A Housing Platform

Our Values

Dense

Diverse

Dynamic

Equitable

Our Beliefs

Well-Functioning Markets

Effective Government

Our Positions

  1. Upzone all city neighborhoods, including those currently restricted to single-family homes, while protecting existing low-income residents. This means raising height limits, legalizing apartments, and making it easier to add accessory dwelling units. Extra focus should be given to areas with access to mass transit. Spreading new housing out across the cities allows for increased density and diversity while mitigating the downsides of development concentrated in lower-income neighborhoods.
  2. Repeal zoning restrictions that prohibit mixed-use development. Blending residential, commercial, and cultural uses creates more liveable, more interesting neighborhoods, encourages walking and biking over driving, and reduces congestion and pollution.
  3. Make permitting by-right, meaning zoning rules are clearly defined and conforming buildings and businesses are automatically approved. A few loud voices should not have de facto veto power over new housing or the ability to bully small business owners.¹¹ Abolish discretionary review processes and amend laws like CEQA that are used as cudgels to prevent any new development.
  4. Favor housing subsidies over rent control. While price controls help some residents, they raise rents on newcomers,¹² they reduce the supply of housing,³ and the benefits accrue disproportionately to the already-advantaged.¹⁴ They do not solve the fundamental problem: there are not enough homes for those who want to live in our cities. Subsidies can more effectively target those in need, and can be paired with safeguards to protect the vulnerable from predatory practices, such as anti-price gouging rules.
  5. Prefer housing subsidies to below-market-rate lotteries. Subsidies are more effective at targeting the most needy and can reach all of them. Unlike price controls, subsidies don’t increase housing prices, don’t disincentivize new housing, and don’t create long waitlists for affordable homes.
  6. Use taxes to ensure market prices include costs to society and to incentivize their reduction. Examples include carbon taxes and congestion pricing. Avoid unpriced subsidies for activities with high societal costs, such as free parking or minimum parking requirements.
  1. Tax equitably, with a focus on land value over productive economic activity, so we can fund the government without creating harmful distortions. Taxes should not discriminate by residential tenure, so that moving within or across cities is not disincentivized, nor between homeownership and renting.
  2. Directly support the housing-vulnerable, including with housing vouchers, cash transfers, and social services. Markets will not always allocate resources equitably, and subsidies are better than price controls at targeting those most in need and mitigating displacement risk. Invest in supportive housing that delivers integrated services to the most vulnerable.
  3. Deliver the services necessary to achieve zero unsheltered homelessness, including shelters, health programs, and drug programs. We support a right to shelter, and we should build enough shelter beds to have zero wait list. Our homeless neighbors are victims of our larger housing crisis, and they deserve our help.
  4. Prioritize public services that promote economic mobility, particularly public schools and early childhood services in underprivileged neighborhoods. The disparities across neighborhoods and cities are significant, and everyone deserves an equal opportunity.
  5. Ensure every resident has access to affordable, efficient, pleasant transportation. Expand mass transit to underserved dense areas and promote multimodal mobility in order to alleviate congestion, reduce emissions, and promote equity. Break up cartels and replace supply constraints with congestion and carbon pricing, allowing active competition to best serve the entire population.
  6. Increase long-term investments in public infrastructure, including for climate change adaptation.

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Michael Siliski

Michael Siliski

products, software, data, cities, housing, mobility, San Francisco, Boston sports, minds, music, coffee, spirits, funny stuff, beautiful stuff, amazing stuff