Summary of Position

The need to expand housing and provide more affordable options in the San Francisco Bay Area could not be clearer. With some workers enduring two-hour commutes to get from homes in the Central Valley to jobs in Silicon Valley and others looking elsewhere to start their businesses or raise their families, the housing crisis presents a serious threat to our region’s quality of life. Furthermore, the homeless crisis in the Bay Area ranks among the worst in the U.S. and the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have left millions more Americans at risk of eviction and losing their homes.

By the Numbers

  • There are over 92,091 people experiencing homelessness in the United States.

  • In 2019, a $172,000 income was needed to buy a typical home in the San Francisco metro area.

  • In 2019, the average rent in many Bay Area cities was more than $2,500.

  • Approximately half of Bay Area renters pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

  • To afford a one-bedroom rental unit in Contra Costa County making minimum wage, a person would need to work 109 hours per week.

Things to Know

  • Co-founded the Congressional Caucus on Urban Regional Studies with T&I Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) to help tackle the challenges facing urban metropolitan regions
  • Authored a bill to encourage the building of housing around transportation hubs
  • Supports legislation to stop homeless shelters from barring transgender individuals experiencing homelessness

Working for You

Promoting Innovative Approaches to Housing Needs
New housing is urgently needed around the country, especially in California. To help states and local governments develop and fund innovative solutions, Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the Housing Innovation Act (H.R. 4756), which would create an Office of Housing Innovation at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to explore and fund innovative approaches to increase and diversify housing supply.

Encouraging Transit Oriented Development
As the high cost of living in the Bay Area has pushed families farther from their workplaces, new housing options near public transit hubs have become critical. To address this need, Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the Equitable Transit Oriented Development Support Act (H.R. 5783), which makes loans available for building affordable housing and developments in underserved areas, particularly near public transportation.

Defending Critical Housing Programs from Cuts
Congressman DeSaulnier sponsored and passed an effort to maintain funding for nonprofits to assist in building affordable housing across the country (Section 4). This program has been instrumental in building and preserving more than 41,000 affordable homes for low-income households since 2010.
Fought to Keep Millions of Americans in their Homes
Through no fault of their own, millions of Americans, left unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic, have been left unable to make rent or keep up with their mortgage payments. To keep millions of Americans from losing their homes, Congressman DeSaulnier joined an effort to urge the CDC to extend its temporary order protecting tenants against eviction.

For a downloadable copy of Mark's housing work, click the image below: