Affordable Housing – What’s on Randy Tsuda’s & Sue Russell’s Reading List

4 story apartment building
4 story apartment building

Are you going to hear Director of MV Development, Randy Tsuda, at our lunch March 21? If so you might want to prep for lively Q&A by doing a little interesting background reading. Here’s what Randy’s been reading about housing & development and also what Sue Russell – our Affordable Housing Committee & Development Chair –  recommends as a reading list.


Can Silicon Valley build its way out of a housing crisis? Silicon Valley Biz Journal (SVBJ)

If Silicon Valley traffic throttles the economy, can towers on train stations save it?  (SVBJ)

Affordable Housing Glossary .pdf

Agenda for Change .pdf .

City needs more housing says balanced growth campaign leader  MV Voice

Council quiet on North Bayshore housing   MV Voice


Randy Tsuda’s picks

Randy Tsuda recommended these two articles from the Silicon Valley Business Journal via Twitter in the past 10 days…

Can Silicon Valley build its way out of a housing crisis?

If Silicon Valley traffic throttles the economy, can towers on train stations save it?


Housing Committee Chair Sue Russell’s picks

3-story condos

Check out Sue’s new, hot off the presses Affordable Housing Glossary .pdf on our website. It explains those pesky acronyms and esoteric terms as well as the how the various ordinances and legislation are implemented by city councils in Mountain View and Los Altos.

Sue Russell generally agrees with the planning and affordable housing approaches explained by in their easy to ready and well-illustrated Agenda for Change.pdf.

The Bay Area is in a time of tremendous change. We are the economic envy of the world, but we have huge challenges as well. Housing is too expensive. Inequality is on the rise. And we’re not prepared for the realities of climate change. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to solve the toughest problems our cities face. SPUR’s Agenda for change is our vision for the central cities of the Bay Area — our manifesto. It condenses the big ideas behind our work and lays out our seven-point plan for making this vision a reality.


Picks from Mountain View Voice


open space - a plaza with people sitting around - public space making
open space – a plaza with people sitting around – public space making

City needs more housing says balanced growth campaign leader

This first article highlights the jobs-housing imbalance in Mountain View, which will be greatly exacerbated by literal implementation of parts of the City’s new General Plan. The General Plan allows a great expansion of office space, especially in the North Bayshore area, which is not matched by anticipated housing production.

Council quiet on North Bayshore housing

This second article explains that presently no housing is to be allowed in the North Bayshore area. This is happening at a time when rents in Mountain View are rapidly escalating and many long-time residents are being forced out, either because of high rents or because their dwellings are being torn down to make way for new luxury housing. Adding housing in North Bayshore will not solve all our housing woes, of course, so other policy changes are also needed.


Bay Area Anti-growth & Pro-growth Voices

Our local members suggest these articles:

Residents express outrage. Source:


A Threat to Planning? 

The opponents of Plan Bay Area, both Bay Area pro-growth and Bay Area anti-growth are undercutting the role of regional planning as a tool to manage long-term growth according to this article from SPUR.

modern condo housing complex
SPUR website – courtesy of Flickr user mark.hogan


The Uneven Housing Recovery

‘The biggest challenge to addressing the Bay Area’s housing costs is political. There is a great policy paradox in regional planning — namely, the places with the greatest demand are anti-growth and the places that are pro-growth don’t have enough market demand to support new construction. Add to this the fact that some of the tools to create affordable housing, such as inclusionary housing (in which municipal and county planning ordinances require a given share of new construction to be affordable by people with low to moderate incomes), are under attack, and you have the conditions for a perfect storm. We need to change some of these dynamics if we are ever going to address the extraordinary cost of housing in our increasingly unaffordable region.’

ABAG Region Map
ABAG Region Map


Prioritizing Conservation: Authorities Angle for Funding

“Let’s also think about the areas we want to conserve.” Laura Thompson, Bay Trail project manager at the Association of Bay Area Governments  (ABAG), remembered how this idea developed into a key strategy in creating the region’s new Plan Bay Area. As a result, in addition to Priority Development Areas, the plan contains more than a hundred Priority Conservation Areas submitted by counties and approved for inclusion by her agency. The goal is to retain and enhance the value the region receives from its rural areas, including agriculture and parks. Counties may also apply to have additional areas receive the designation. By Leslie Stewart.

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Cover of Brochure for Plan Bay Area

Plan Bay Area Approved

Cover of Brochure for Plan Bay Area


So What is Plan Bay Area?

 Plan Bay Area charts a course for the Bay Area’s Sustainable Communities Strategy out to the year 2040. The Plan will accommodate needed growth within our nine counties while at the same time decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. Clustering housing in cities and reducing travel needs is intended to help California achieve GHG reduction under AB 32, the state’s landmark climate change legislation. —Sue Graham, VP Programs LWVLAMV