• 116 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 4 tables, 2 figures, 4 maps
  • Price: $19.95
  • EAN: 9781439923610
  • Publication: Mar 2023
  • Price: $64.50
  • EAN: 9781439923603
  • Publication: Mar 2023
  • Price: $19.95
  • EAN: 9781439923627
  • Publication: Mar 2023

Regional Governance and the Politics of Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area

Paul G. Lewis and Nicholas J. Marantz

The San Francisco Bay Area is generally considered the most expensive regional housing market in the country. Because the region added jobs and residents at a faster rate than housing, rents and home prices escalated. Moreover, small municipalities, common in the most job-rich parts of the Bay Area, have strong political incentives to resist development of new multifamily housing. Regional Governance and the Politics of Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area explains how a decentralized, localistic structure of government shapes land-use politics in ways that exacerbate housing shortages and inequalities.

The authors evaluate six potential reforms, arguing that targeted changes to local and regional institutions could generate durable improvements to the region’s housing opportunities. The main lesson from the case of the San Francisco Bay Area is the need to focus on governance when addressing the housing challenge. As the authors effectively illustrate, leaving a solution up to individual cities is unlikely to lead to increased housing supply.


Regional Governance and the Politics of Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area does an excellent job of articulating the connection between local government fragmentation and an undersupply of housing. Lewis and Marantz synthesize past findings about regional governance and usefully situate their discussion of governance options in this existing literature. This is a concise, clear, and comprehensive primer on regionalism and what’s at stake in the discussion about regional governance.”Juliet F. Gainsborough, Professor of Political Science at Bentley University, and author of Fenced Off: The Suburbanization of American Politics

“Unlike some other books on regional planning and governance, Regional Governance and the Politics of Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area adopts a realist rather than a normative stance by assessing the potential for meaningful reform. The authors evaluate pragmatic, detailed proposals to address housing unaffordability and the jobs-housing mismatch, drawing on their extensive knowledge of the case and presenting nuanced qualitative and well-designed quantitative evidence.”Zack Taylor, Associate Professor of Political Science at Western University, and author of Shaping the Metropolis: Institutions and Urbanization in the United States and Canada

"This book is a tightly argued addition to the conversation on land use and housing and adds a governance dimension that has been missing. It has value to researchers seeking to understand governance as part of the housing policy arena and is especially valuable to those in the San Francisco Bay Area, since it focuses on that region with very specific policy recommendations. With a slender 83 pages of narrative and a straightforward writing style, this book can be useful to scholars and practitioners."

About the Author(s)

Paul G. Lewis is Associate Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. His previous books include Shaping Suburbia: How Political Institutions Organize Urban Development, Custodians of Place: Governing the Growth and Development of Cities, and Policing Immigrants: Local Law Enforcement on the Front Lines.

Nicholas J. Marantz is Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine.

In the Series

Political Lessons from American Cities

The Political Lessons from American Cities series, edited by Richardson Dilworth, will publish short books of approximately 25,000-30,000 words, each covering one major American city and an important lesson that city has to offer to the study and practice of American politics. These lessons will span a relatively broad range of topics, encompassing globalization, labor, race relations, immigration, financial crisis and decline, organizational structure of government, political reform, and more. Combining synthesis and original research, these short, accessibly written books will be particularly useful for course adoption. 

Prospective authors should contact series editor Richardson Dilworth or Editor-in-Chief Aaron Javsicas at Temple University Press to discuss their work in progress for inclusion in the series. 

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