We need to build to control rents

One in Five Americans Has Sacrificed Spending to Make Rent
What it would actually take to reduce rents in America’s most expensive city

News about the rent being too damn high continues-- one in five Americans has had to cut back in other areas, such as food and medical care, in order to be able to continuing paying their rent.  About 15% of renters have had to move because the rent was getting too high. 

At the same time, the clearest solution is often politically untenable-- major push back to updates to zoning to make it easier to build more housing to meet demand often scuttles plans, as it did in South Willamette.  A study of San Fransisco's increase in rents over the last fifty years shows to actually fix it, there is a lot of catch up building to do, if they want housing to be affordable while maintaining jobs and salaries.  

If San Francisco wants the cost of housing to go down, there are three clear ways to get there. The city could build more of the stuff. Or it could hold out for falling incomes or job losses among the people who compete for housing. The second two plans seem counterproductive (although there may in fact be frustrated residents rooting for those strategies).

If San Francisco wanted to revert to what rents were in the early 1980s, according to Fischer’s model, the city would need to add another 200,000 housing units. Or the people currently living there could take massive pay cuts — the equivalent of a 44 percent drop in their salaries. Or it might do the trick if half of all workers in San Francisco lost their jobs.
— Emily Badger, Washington Post