Libertarian Solutions to the Housing Crisis: End Greenmailing | Libertarian Party of San Francisco

Libertarian Solutions to the Housing Crisis: End Greenmailing

Housing affordability impacts all San Francisco residents. In our official opposition argument to Proposition E's "Affordable Housing" proposal, the Libertarian Party of San Francisco suggested reform of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as an important to address the current housing crisis.

We were delighted Reason Magazine (one of our favorite publications) just published this fantastic article describing the CEQA problem. Frequently, this broken law is used to "greenmail" developers for reasons having nothing to do with environmental protection. Greenmail both pushes up the cost of new development and delays housing construction, constricting supply and thus increasing market rates.

Because this is San Francisco, we would like to add that although this article is very critical of labor unions, the LPSF is not strictly anti-union. Our party's major criticism of unionism concerns the public sector where we feel civil service laws are more democratic and fair to the taxpayers. Furthermore, labor unions have a long history of unfair discrimination, and "right to work" was originally a civil-rights initiative to ensure racial minorities could negotiate employment contracts directly when shops shut them out. That said, labor unions in the private sector and public employee work councils play a very important role in protecting worker safety and ensuring fair treatment and wages. Craft unions, especially, can ensure the quality of work-product, and many employers (including public employers) find it convenient to negotiate project-labor agreements as a means of hiring qualified workers and assuring their customers of product quality.