SAN FRANCISCO — Dustin Becker jumps in his car at 5:30 every morning to begin a grueling 90-minute drive from his home in the suburbs to his telecommunications job 60 miles closer to San Francisco. He does it because houses cost twice as much where he works.
The forces of population growth and gentrification have long ground at the Bay Area, sending lower- and middle-class residents to the outer suburbs or to different cities altogether. A 17 percent population boom since 2010 has thrust housing prices in the Bay Area to new highs and sent people to live far from their jobs. The ranks of super-commuters are growing.
“The commute gets a little longer every month,” said Becker. “It sucks. But it is what it is. We’re fortunate enough to be able to afford a home at all.”
The lack of housing is also testing the environmental goals of the climate-friendly state.
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