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POLL: Developers, Tech Industry Fueling High Real Estate Prices

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- When it comes to real estate sticker shock, a new poll has found that a majority of Bay Area residents place the blame for the high cost of housing on developers and the tech industry.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group says the steep prices are the downside of a booming economy.

"People love having jobs, but all too often it's as if we don't think that jobs -- people -- need a place to go home and sleep at night," said Carl Guardino, the organization's CEO.

Recently, Guardino's group conducted a poll asking local residents who they felt was responsible for the Bay Area's sky-high housing prices. Pollsters found that 57 percent of those asked blamed real estate developers, 48 percent said it was the tech industry while another 38 percent laid the blame on local politicians.

Guardino believes conditions will not get any better until the finger-pointing stops and leaders rally together to find an answer.

"Instead of pointing fingers, let's join hands and actually try and solve the housing crisis that's impacting all of us in the Bay Area and beyond," he said.

Local pastor Scott Wagers, a housing advocate, agrees with Guardino. He says too much blame is being shouldered by the tech industry.

"The technology companies are not intentionally driving up the cost of housing," he said.

But Wagers believes a cooperative action must be taken soon.

"If the demand is here and the money's here and people can afford it, prices are going to continue to go up," he said. "But Martin Luther King Jr. said it best -- if we don't bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots, you're talking about a decline the quality of a society. And I think that's where America really is."

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group says addressing the housing issue is vital to the Valley's longterm success. Not only is it important to attracting top talent, it's important to convincing people working here now not to move away.

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