SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A new poll finds more than two-thirds of Bay Area voters say housing has become harder to find, up sharply from 2021.
According to results from the Bay Area Council’s poll of 1,000 voters released Thursday, 67% said finding housing had become more difficult over the past year, up from 42% last year and 64% in 2020. The poll also revealed that 65% are concerned about finding affordable housing for themselves.
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In an earlier release of survey results, the group found that the area’s housing crisis was a priority among respondents. When asked what the most important issue currently facing the Bay Area was, 24% listed homelessness as their top answer, while 21% listed housing and 10% listed cost of living.
Nearly half of respondents, 48%, said they were considering leaving the Bay Area, with the region’s high housing costs cited as a top reason.
In terms of solutions to ongoing housing issues in the Bay Area, a large majority of respondents supported several strategies to increase housing supply.
More than 7 in 10 people said it should be easier to build homes near public transit and job centers, and nearly 80% backed cities approving projects of up to 10 units close to public transport and in urban infill areas. Meanwhile, 83% supported converting unused offices and commercial spaces into homes.
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The poll also revealed that 57% of respondents supported the construction of new housing in their neighborhood. More than 6 in 10 supported the construction of duplexes, triplexes and quadruplexes in areas currently zoned for single-family homes.
Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 9, which allows homeowners to build up to four units on a single-family lot. Some communities have expressed opposition to the measure, including Woodside, which recently considered declaring itself a mountain lion habitat before receiving a warning from Attorney General Rob Bonta.
“We’ve been successful in recent years in getting much needed housing reforms, but the solutions so far just haven’t reached the scale of the problem,” council chairman Jim Wunderman said. in a press release. “State and local leaders must muster the courage to do more, to reject misguided local resistance to housing, to enact deeper reforms, and to end this tragedy.”
While respondents supported a slew of measures to address the crisis, voters seemed less receptive to cities relinquishing control over housing decisions, with only 46% backing the state in rolling back local housing laws. where housing can be built. Meanwhile, 57% supported cutting funding for cities that weren’t providing enough housing.
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The poll by EMC Research was conducted during the first week of March. It has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.1%.