Like most politicians, the elected leaders in Richmond are incapable of root cause problem solving.
They simply complain that Richmond lacks affordable housing and the only possible solution they can come up with is to use tax dollars to subsidize rent.
What they fail to realize is that their own incompetence in management exacerbates the affordable housing problem.
Richmond’s permit and inspection department is completely broken. It was broken before Mayor Stoney took office and it is still broken today despite his promises to fix it.
When you have a broken permitting department, it restricts the supply of housing and when housing supply is low the cost goes up. That is basic economics.
For example, I recently spoke with someone who is trying to bring online 150 affordable housing units but has been waiting 6 months for permits.
The inefficiencies in the permitting office also cause the actual costs of the developers to go up, which are then passed on to the buyer/renter in the final cost.
We must work to have a streamlined, efficient city government that promotes growth in the supply of housing if we are ever going to have a sustainable stock of affordable housing.