One of the reasons for the high standards of living in many major metros is due to the large numbers of commuters who work there but can’t afford to live there.
The Washington Post’s Emily Badger writes about a conflict in Brisbane, Calif., where residents helped to block a mixed-use project with 4,000-units of housing. The development would’ve added new housing to an area short on living space, and the city wouldn’t have had to displace current residents or disrupt traffic patterns. It would’ve provided an affordable place to live for working class families that work in the community.
Residents, though, were more concerned about preserving open space and maintaining their quality of life. So, the Bay Area will remain a bit more cramped and expensive.
Badger wrote that city workers, and not just residents, should have input into city policies. “How would the decisions we reach in local communities change if we considered not just current homeowning voters, but also local firefighters who can't afford to live in the communities they serve, and teachers whom school districts struggle to lure, and line cooks who've been priced out of town?”