Housing needs


Commissioner Fonda-Bonardi’s notion that building more homes is the reason housing prices rise is complete nonsense. We’ve tried his slow-growth approach for decades, and Santa Monica now has some of the most expensive real estate in the entire world.

Saying that supply and demand is “suspended” in Santa Monica is like saying carbon emissions don’t cause climate change. It’s willfully ignorant and flies in the face of the ample amount of academic and professional research we have on the topic.

Santa Monica desperately needs more homes. This reality is clear to anyone who has tried to rent or purchase within the last few years. Our new RHNA targets are a good first step and may finally force us to address our housing crisis that local leaders have ignored for far too long.

Matthew Stevens is a Santa Monica resident

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  1. The ample amount of academic and professional research we have on the topic in fact shows that demolishing older buildings and replacing them with large new mixed-use buildings not only results in high rents in those very buildings, but also causes large rent increases in surrounding neighborhoods. The displacement that has already occurred throughout the LA Metro area resulting from such construction has also been widely documented, and is one reason for community opposition in such places as South Los Angeles. It is unfortunate that those who most ardently push for more large-scale development ignore, deliberately or from ignorance, the fact that wages have remained depressed at 1970s and 1980s levels, while all other prices have climbed precipitously. We’re dealing with an affordability crisis, not a housing one. Commissioner Fonda-Bonardi’s comments were exactly on the mark.

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