Living in the Bay Area right now means you are acutely aware of the housing crisis our region is facing.

The local news headlines are a constant reminder of the staggering rates of displacement—particularly of low-income communities and communities of color—to the outer boundaries of the Bay Area and beyond. Crushing commutes are a constant topic of conversation. Unsheltered individuals are struggling more than ever to access services and find permanent housing.

But did you know that the housing crisis is also a threat to the Bay?

Image credit: Fernando Martí

The lack of infrastructure available to homeless encampments is resulting in staggering amounts of trash and other waste making its way into local creeks and the Bay. Long commute times and more people driving alone increases roadway pollution, such as oil and trash. These and other pollutants flow into the Bay and threaten wildlife.

We must aggressively address the housing crisis to protect the Bay and improve quality of life in the Bay Area. Through our work to advocate for Bay Smart Communities Save The Bay is engaging with local and regional organizations to Protect tenants from displacement; Produce more housing, with a focus on permanently affordable homes; and Preserve the existing stock of affordable housing.

While this work happens year-round, May is Affordable Housing Month–which is an opportunity for the entire region and organizations of all kinds to support and create affordable homes for all.

Here are five ways to get involved:

Engage – Get involved and join Save The Bay leaders as we attend events sponsored by The Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County; Community Council of Housing OrganizationsEast Bay Housing OrganizationsSilicon Valley @ Home

Learn – Find out more about our Bay Smart Communities initiative to achieve sustainable and equitable communities.

Read – Find out how housing and climate change are connected by reading California Senator Scott Wiener’s recent article in the New York Times highlighting the links between these important issues.

Follow – Join the conversation on twitter as we turn over our feed to organizations around the Bay championing the effort for affordable homes. Use the hashtags #AffordableHousingMonth and #AffordableHomesForAll #savesfbay @savesfbay

Attend – Find a regional event near you and take action in your community. Here are a few activities to consider.

San Mateo County 

San Francisco

Santa Clara County

Alameda & Contra Costa

 

 

Allison Chan

Allison manages Save The Bay’s pollution prevention program, which is focused on helping cities to implement policies that address the Bay's most common trash problems, such as cigarette butts, plastic bags, and Styrofoam take-out containers. When she’s not attending city council meetings or researching pollution, Allison loves to try new restaurants, hike, and seek sunny spots in San Francisco.