Golden Gates: The Housing Crisis and a Reckoning for the American Dream

By: Conor Dougherty

Meeting Date: March 1, 2023 6:30 PM

“Golden Gates” is a book about the housing affordability crisis in the San Francisco Bay area, what caused it and the efforts there to undo the damage. We discussed how to prevent a similar crisis in Urban Atlanta, while dealing with our own affordability issues.

The “big ideas” for Urban Atlanta:

  • Tell the story: Housing was affordable in the not-so-distant past; we’ve made it less affordable today. We can reverse the damage. But to do so, we need advocates for housing armed with good information and data to persuade the general public.
  • Show up: Advocates must attend public meetings where housing developments are considered. Opponents of housing routinely dominate these meetings. Pro-housing citizens must make their voices heard as well.
  • Remove the obstacles: Sometimes yesterday’s “good idea” is weaponized against today’s “good project.” In California, housing opponents delay housing developments by suing under the state’s environmental laws. Housing advocates in Urban Atlanta need to identify the delaying tactics most often used here, and work with state legislators and city council members to limit these tactics.

Posted in ,