Bay Area Housing Report Ignores Immigration Flood
April 10, 2018, 08:49 AM
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When it comes to Fake News, California media certainly leads a crowded field. But the San Jose Mercury-News’ front page story on Sunday truly went a step beyond. In an article and poll about Bay Area housing shortages, the word “immigration” did not appear.

Sunday’s front-page graphic listed possible causes of the housing crisis as City and state officials, Real estate developers, Tech companies and Bay Area residents.

It’s not like immigration-caused population growth has not been discussed in regional media —there’s plenty of information available. Is the Murky News incapable of assessing cause and effect, supply and demand?

Consider a message from a website called SiliconValleyOneWorld.com (!) that celebrates diversity and growth:

Global Immigration to the Bay Area at 5-Year High, SiliconValleyOneWorld.com, March 24, 2016

International migrants are pouring into the Bay Area at the highest rate in five years, driving population growth and cultural change across the region.

More than 238,000 foreign-born people and some Americans returning from abroad moved into Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties in the last five years — more than 92,000 came to Santa Clara County alone, according to new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released today. . . .

A San Francisco TV station was more realistic about the cause and effects of extreme growth:
Study: Silicon Valley attracting record number of foreigners; locals leaving, KRON Channel 4, February 4, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — More and more Bay Area residents are getting fed up with the high cost of living and the crowded freeways.

But while tens of thousands of people are leaving for other places, you might be surprised at who’s moving in.

In the past two years, the region from Santa Clara to Daly City has lost 44,000 people to other parts of the country.

At the same time, it gained almost 45,000 new immigrants from foreign countries. . . .

Naturally, all those foreign techies will need places to live, thereby driving up Bay Area rents and house prices which continue to skyrocket. For example, a Bloomberg headline from April 9: Home Values Are Rising by $800 a Day in San Jose.

But the Mercury-News accepts the premise of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group who helped arrange the poll that the exploding cost of housing has nothing to vastly increased immigration bidding up the numbers higher and higher. The poll does note “newcomers” as a possible factor, but the Mercury cannot bear to speak ill of immigrants in any way:

Who caused the Bay Area’s housing shortage?, San Jose Mercury-News, April 6, 2018

Hint: It’s not just tech

EVERYONE HAS A THEORY about who’s to blame for the housing shortage that’s driving up prices and chasing Bay Area families out of the region.

A new poll offers surprising insights into where most of us point the finger: not at the government officials who control what homes are built where, but at the tech companies that have flooded this region with jobs and the real estate developers trying to maximize profits.

Experts say finding someone to blame is not that simple. The real answer, they say, lies entangled in a complicated web that implicates everyone involved, from businesses to local elected officials to your next door neighbor. And the stakes are high for policy makers trying to untangle that web as the housing crisis intensifies. To solve the problem, it’s crucial to understand the factors that turned the Bay Area’s real estate market into one of the country’s most dysfunctional.

“There isn’t one single sector to blame for the housing crisis,” said Pilar Lorenzana, deputy director of pro-affordable housing organization SV@Home, “and consequently there isn’t one single sector that’s responsible for fixing it.”

In a five-county poll conducted for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and this news organization, 48 percent of those surveyed pointed to tech companies as a major contributor to the region’s housing shortage. Only developers ranked higher, with 57 percent of residents saying they were a major factor.

 

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