by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
There was a fascinating piece in The New York Times this week about a developer who is building dorms in San Francisco. For adults.
Housing costs are so completely out of control in the Bay Area, that there are waiting lists for these. And they’re exactly what you imagine. We are not talking about apartments. We’re talking about dorm rooms, just big enough for a bed, dresser, chair, and maybe a small dog. Bathrooms, kitchens, and living spaces are shared.
You might not think this seems very appealing, but evidently, in a city where the average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment is something like $3400, and where the median house price hit $1.5 million last year, a dorm room for $1500 or so can look pretty good.
And it makes a bill designed to reduce regulations, increase the housing supply, and therefore increase affordable housing, seem all the more sensible.
North Carolina’s local leaders should learn from what’s happening in California. We’re a long way from dorms in Charlotte or Raleigh, I think. But we can learn the lessons now, avoid adopting unnecessary regulations, reduce as many existing regulations as we can, and avoid ever getting to the sort of affordability crisis that we see in places like San Francisco.