By Jen Kinney.
More than one-third of Bay Area residents say they are prepared to leave the region in the next few years due to high and rising housing costs, worsening traffic, widening income inequality and other concerns, reports the Mercury News. In a poll of 1,000 residents conducted by the Bay Area Council, 34 percent said they are considering leaving. Residents who are spending more of their income on housing, and those who have lived in the region for fewer than five years were the most likely to say they want to depart.
“This is our canary in a coal mine,” Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, told the paper. “Residents are screaming for solutions.” Among the most proposed and demanded solutions is more housing stock close to jobs and transit corridors.
The number of residents who believe the region is headed in the wrong direction also increased dramatically this year. Last year, only 28 percent of residents polled by the council felt the Bay Area was on the wrong track, and 55 percent felt it was headed in the right direction. This year’s respondents were more equally split between optimism and pessimism.
Santa Clara County and San Francisco residents are feeling the least optimistic. Only 33 percent of San Francisco residents think the region is headed in the right direction; 52 percent say it’s on the wrong track.