Robert Selna, Oakland resident and Friends of SFHAC member, sat down with the SF Housing Action Coalition to share his views on housing affordability, not only in San Francisco, but in Oakland and San Jose too.
I own a home in Oakland, close to the MacArthur BART station and have a solo law practice focused on land use, real estate and business. My office is near Oakland City Hall and I work with clients in San Francisco, the East Bay and Contra Costa County.
Why have you chosen to be a member of the San Francisco Housing Actin Coalition as an Oakland resident?
SFHAC promotes a highly productive and dynamic exchange of ideas about housing development in the Bay Area. SFHAC understands better than most organizations or governments I have encountered that housing development and related issues are critical to the future of the region. In turn, SFHAC brings together individuals who are knowledgeable about, and actively engaged in, these issues. Time spent with SFHAC is time well spent.
What’s one thing you think we need to do to improve the housing crisis?
I believe that the recent focus on spurring the development of middle income housing in San Francisco will help to improve the SF housing crisis and that other cities, such as Oakland and San Jose should get ahead of that issue before it is too late.
Unfortunately, the fact that little attention has been paid to the middle class in San Francisco has led to an out-migration of families and children and one of the fastest growing gaps between the rich and poor. Similarly, Oakland created only 22 units of middle income housing between 2007 and 2013. If Oakland takes the same path as SF – and ignores middle income housing development for much longer — it will eventually encounter the same problems SF is trying to remedy now.
This is a complex issue that is significantly impacted by national forces, but creative thinking locally could help address the issue and provide some viable approaches.
Join Robert and other members on May 21st for a panel discussion with Mayors Edwin Lee of San Francisco, Libby Schaaf of Oakland and Sam Liccardo of San Jose at SFHAC’s 9th Annual Spring Forum where we will be asking questions about middle income housing and more.
Have questions for the Mayors? Tweet your questions to @SFHAC #SFHACForum2015
Be there live at the forum. Tickets are going fast, so grab them now.