Author: Ray Bramson (Ray Bramson)

Bramson: 2023 is not a good year for recycling

In an interview on Good Morning America in 1984, President Ronald Reagan addressed a topic rarely discussed by any commander in chief: homelessness. Yet despite his acknowledgment that this is a crisis that has faced our society for generations, he fell into the old game of shifting the blame. Bad economic and housing policy had...

Bramson: A warm light in the winter chill

With a winter storm rolling in on this bleak December night, it’s easy to start thinking about all that has continued to go wrong in 2022. Set against a backdrop of a looming recession, you can look out across the Silicon Valley and see a place where there just aren’t enough affordable homes, wages are...

Bramson: Understanding the playbook on Measure A 

It’s football season in America, and here in San Jose, while we punt the political pigskin of housing this year, some people are fumbling the ball when it comes to understanding what really works to create meaningful change for so many in our community. So in a Hail Mary pass, I’m going to give it...

Bramson: When the market gives you a recession, make some affordable housing

Recessions usually mean bad tidings for everyone. Jobs are lost, savings are depleted, and the poor get poorer. Generally the most vulnerable people feel the pinch the worst, struggling to make ends meet while shivering under the shadow of a bleak economic outlook. That’s why with major market indicators once again pointing to the strong...

Bramson: When the numbers don’t add up

Since 2015, over 20,000 people have left the streets to find permanent housing in Santa Clara County. Let that sink in for a second. It’s the population of many small cities in California. How have they found these new homes? It’s a combination of supportive services, rental subsidies, new affordable housing and crisis response. Often,...

Bramson: Finding affordable housing in the desert 

You’re probably familiar with some version of the story of a lost man wandering through the desert in search of water. In the distance, he sees palm trees, birds flying overhead and a shimmering pool below. Sadly, as he approaches, the water vanishes. Convection currents created by the extreme heat – coupled with the maddening...

Bramson: The fix for encampments in our backyards

Base pandering. Deceptive disinformation. Scare tactics. Impossible edicts. Rhetorical devices we’ve all become far too familiar with as it relates to what to do about the horror and impact of having people live on our streets. Facts are eschewed for flash judgements, while popular sentiment — as opposed to evidence-based solutions — begins to consume...

Bramson: A housing plan without a future

A few weeks ago, I was on a call with an elderly woman from Honolulu. She had lived in Hawaii her entire life, but her husband had recently died and due to a set of really terrible circumstances near the end of his life, almost all of their entire life savings had been depleted. With...

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