As I put it yesterday, there's almost no limit to how expensive you can make a really nice city with really wealthy people. Making people wealthier alone won't make housing more affordable unless the housing supply is allowed to adjust quickly and completely to changes in demand. Otherwise, all you'll get is richer people who can't afford good housing.
For example, in the Palo Alto/San Jose area, a fair number of the homeless are rich enough to afford a car but not rich enough to afford an apartment of any sort, and so have been living in their cars. This evidently has been such a problem that progressive Palo Alto banned it this summer.
According to a city staff report, the ordinance would be rolled out over a six-month period, focus on connecting offenders with social services and be enforced on a complaint-only basis.
The estimated 30 to 50 people who live in their cars in Palo Alto could potentially be charged with a misdemeanor and face a maximum penalty of six months in county jail, a $1,000 fine or both. City officials, however, stressed that the legal system would only be used as a last resort.
"I believe that this is an appropriate action at this moment with the proviso that we will be looking at the next steps and looking at resources and productive ways of addressing this problem," said Council Member Gail Price.
Council Member Larry Klein said it was time to change Palo Alto's status as one of the few cities in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties without an ordinance. He added that he toured Cubberley with police Sunday night and counted 27 vehicles that potentially belonged to vehicle dwellers.
"The dramatic increase in the use of Cubberley by homeless people sleeping in their vehicles, I think, shows that we have inadvertently become a magnet and that has to come to an end," Klein said.
Barron Park resident Bob Moss, who was among the 50-plus people who addressed the city council about the ordinance, said most of Palo Alto's vehicle dwellers are "perfectly normal," but as their numbers have increased at Cubberley, so has the percentage of "weirdoes."
"They're not the kind of people you want to have living in your neighborhood," Moss said.
If your city is experiencing a dramatic increase in people who can afford cars but not apartments, I suggest that your problem is not the lack of an appropriately sensitive vehicle-dwelling ordinance, but the lack of housing. This is a somewhat fringe neoliberal position, though, so I can understand why there was no room to raise the idea in a 1,000 word article.