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SAN FRANCISCO-As high rents and the lack of places to live in the Bay Area indicate, experts say local governments are not doing enough to alleviate the area’s affordable housing shortage.

“Less than 50% of Bay Area cities have some kind of housing element,” says Shannon Dodge of the Non-profit Housing Association of the state-mandated housing plan.

One of the authors of a recent study titled, “San Francisco Bay Area Housing Crisis Report Card,” Dodge made this statement today before a forum hosted by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.

The report card, issued in conjunction with the Greenbelt Alliance, says 72% of Bay Area governments are failing to take “basic steps” to address the affordable housing shortage.

The groups studied 40 of the Bay Area’s largest and fastest growing jurisdictions and then graded them based on their housing element.

San Francisco and Solano County, as well as Antioch, Dublin, Livermore, Novato, Oakland, Pleasanton, Richmond, San Leandro and San Rafael received an “Incomplete” grade because they had yet to draft a housing element as of May 1.

Almost 30% of those surveyed were given a failing grade — Alameda County and the city of Alameda, Brentwood, Daly City, Fairfield, Fremont, Hayward, Pittsburg, Redwood City, Santa Rosa, Vallejo and Walnut Creek.

Contra Costa County, as well as the cities of Concord, Cupertino, San Mateo, Milpitas and San Ramon were all said to need improvement.

On the other hand, a mere 10% received a “good” grade: Mountain View, Napa, Vacaville, and Sonoma County. Berkeley, East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Petaluma, San Jose, the city of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale all made the report’s honor roll.

Experts say the affordable housing deficit must be addressed promptly: According to the Association of Bay Area Governments, between 1999 and 2006 the Bay Area will grow by 230,000 households.

The Non-profit Housing Association suggests local governments make strides by implementing smarter zoning practices, dedicating more local funds to affordable housing, and requiring inclusion of 15% of affordable housing units in all new residential developments.

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