By Tim Redmond
Despite the mayor’s pledges on housing policy, 2013 was a terrible year for affordable housing in San Francisco, the city’s own statistics show.
The annual Controller’s Report evaluating the performance of city agencies got a little press, but not that much – and some of the key facts were missing. Here’s the most important:
The number of rent-controlled housing units in San Francisco declined from 172,322 to 171,305. So the city lost 1,017 affordable housing units (and let’s remember: existing rent-controlled stock is the most valuable in a housing crisis) in the year that Mayor Lee celebrated his “jobs agenda.”
During that same period, 207 affordable housing units were built – with public assistance, which is required, of course, for affordable housing. There will be a lot more affordable housing in the future, thanks to the Housing Trust Fund, but still: For now, that reads to me like an utter failure in housing policy.
Now: A lot of that is out of the mayor’s direct control. Ed Lee can’t limit the number of Ellis Act evictions, and good for him for going to Sacramento to try to change state law. (And the mayor now thinks that the middle class is getting richer. This despite the fact that median income in the city is about $75,000 – below what the mayor thinks is middle class.)
But he came late to admitting that this is a crisis, and still hasn’t acknowledged that his active support of bringing high-paying jobs to a city that had no extra room for new arrivals was going to, by definition, force existing residents out. (more after the jump)