When the phrase "workforce housing" comes up, I find myself wishing that there were a dictionary handy with a built-in credibility monitor.
For example, the concept of police officers living close to their work, by living in rent-assisted housing, is often brought up as a justification for high-density "workforce housing," when in reality, no policeman known to me (I have the closest of friends in that profession) would give any serious consideration to living in such a high-density situation.
Similarly, when I hear about some huge number of motor trips into Marin each day, coupled with the plea that Novato should treat the problem by building a great deal of high-density "workforce housing," that ole' credibility alarm goes off again, since fewer than a fourth of those trips are into Novato and three quarters of them are to southern Marin. And if the sincere goal were carbon emission reduction, then the strongest activism would be toward building more of this housing in southern Marin.
However, we don't get that. Instead we get condescending lectures from people living in Ross (which nominated portions of the Marin Art and Garden Center property for future housing, utterly impossible to develop) and Mill Valley about how we Novato folks should do "the right thing" while they talk a good game but don't perform with anything near the charity of heart that Novato has shown in the housing issues.
Far too much of what passes for thinking in this arena has become dogma, on, frankly, both extremes of position. Various groups can't avoid celebrating themselves with every press release when what the communities need is fact and reasoned action. "Professional" city management, a related concern, as grown to the point that its size undercuts and out-balances any good to be done. State regulation in this area, in particular, and the bureaucratic instrumentalities seeking to enforce it have, as in the above "workforce" context, confused ideal goals with practical reality.
Novato has nothing to be ashamed of regarding housing. Novato has much to be proud of, including that empirical thought has continued to have a piton in the rock face of implacable policy.