How to End the Bay Area Housing Crisis
Caleb Benjamin Smith

Hey, I think this idea is step in the right direction. I live in Milpitas, a city that actually builds most of the units that ABAG recommends. House prices, however, still go up by 10–25%/year because other towns don’t hit their quota. We incur all the costs (congestion + loss of environment + pollution), and only some of the gains (more local shoppers).

It was a little hard for me to follow along at times — lots of government bodies and acronyms that I’m not familiar with. So under this new trade system, PA, SF, Oakland, etc can pay Milpitas money to take their development quota and build even more units. Plus, those cities will give additional to offset the consequences of increased congestion?

Milpitas’ population more than doubles during the workday. More units might mean fewer people who drive far distances to get here. But what about companies located in other cities? Their employees who want to live near work will still face high prices. Should incentives be given for companies to relocate to Milpitas (perhaps in the form of tax breaks)? Luring companies away from PA/MV/SF would mean lower tax revenue for those cities, and if that becomes a real threat, maybe those cities would be less inclined to sell off their quota.

Just trying to process it all. Do you have any numbers, models, or simulations to experiment with this new cap-and-trade system?

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