With housing prices in San Francisco and across the Bay Area showing no signs of letting up on their precipitous rise, affordable-housing activists have tried nearly every avenue of protest in the book.
They haven’t, however, tried taking legal action against high housing prices — until now.
According to the Inquisitr, the housing activist group San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation (SFBARF) recently launched an effort to file a lawsuit against the city of Lafayette, CA called Sue the Suburbs.
In its mission statement, the group argues that the city’s move to build a luxury gated development of single-family homes instead of a moderately-priced apartment complex is only adding to the Bay Area’s housing crisis. The city’s decision to build 44 single-family homes, priced at about $1.2 million each, equates to far fewer spaces for new residents.
Lafayette isn’t the only city contributing to the housing crisis. Over the last few years, several cities and counties in the area have built just half the needed number of housing units to accommodate the current economic and population boom taking place. As a result, the Bay Area — and San Francisco in particular — has the highest housing prices in the nation.
In one recent poll, 41% of Americans reported that they would rather purchase a brand-new home rather than an existing one. In San Francisco, where the median home value for both new and existing homes is more than $1.225 million, it’s nearly impossible for members of the middle class to afford either option. In fact, 100% of the housing in San Francisco is now unaffordable for those on a teacher’s salary, the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported.
SFBARF’s lawsuit filing comes just a week after activists held a rally against additional luxury developments in the city. Currently, the city of Lafayette is considering instating a ban on additional high-priced luxury constructions — though it’s unclear if this is a direct result of SFBARF’s pending lawsuit or not.