The letter “Stacking the deck” (Aug. 17) made some good points on housing, but missed the mark on entirely why housing is so expensive.
How can we help if we choose to remain uninformed?
The high housing costs are 100 percent because of local/“progressive” smart-growth land use policies of our local governments.
Limiting land for housing artificially raises the price. That’s why, in Santa Maria, the same house will sell for $150,000 to $200,000 less than in San Luis Obispo.
Santa Maria has a “traditional” planning department that added land for housing as population grew. San Luis Obispo has progressive planning — planning that says one thing but does another.
Progressives used their love of government to limit land for housing, both to keep San Luis Obispo artificially small and to enhance the value of existing stakeholders. This is 100 percent at the expense of renters. This is progressives in action helping the average Joe.
To make it better, you must start by correctly identifying the problem. Without actually building affordable (under $200,000) workforce housing (modular homes on foundations on semi-small lots), there is no hope for young families.
It can be done, but you actually have to have leaders and staff who care more about actual people than their progressive theories.