When I was younger, I was a big fan of those little puzzle books you bought in the airport bookstore to entertain you during your flight. They featured word hunts, crosswords, and my favorite, logic puzzles. Frequently, when reading the newspaper or listening to public comments at City Council meetings, I am reminded of these logic games I used to so love solving, and I also wonder if perhaps I was the only person who ever entertained myself this way. Certainly, the leaders of the Oakland People’s Housing Coalition seemed to have skipped them.
So here’s a little puzzle for my fellow Oaklanders. If every other city in the Bay Area has inclusionary zoning, and, as advocates of the policy claim, inclusionary zoning is an effective method for supplying affordable housing in urban communities, then why is it that “Families have had to move to outlying areas such as Antioch and Tracy to find homes they can afford.”?
I have heard this identical sequence of assertions repeated probably thousands of times over the last year. And every single time, I can’t help but wonder – are the inclusionary zoning advocates being intentionally deceitful about its efficacy, or are they just stupid? I honestly don’t know the answer.
Also, I call bullshit on Christopher Heredia, who makes this assertion in his story on the matter: “Efforts to get an inclusionary zoning ordinance on the books in Oakland have been stymied by political divisions and those who believe the city has too much affordable housing. Among the latter is City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente.” I’ve listened the Councilman speak about affordable housing and inclusionary zoning dozens of times, and I have never once heard him claim that Oakland has “too much” affordable housing, or anything even remotely similar.