Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Uncategorized A Millennial's view of housing in SF

A Millennial’s view of housing in SF


A native sees the city go from the absurd to the insane

Prop. I is a response to the boom in luxury housing in the Mission
Prop. I is a response to the boom in luxury housing in the Mission

By Lia Azul Salaverry

OCTOBER 5, 2015 — To say I am a Bay Area “native” would be an understatement.

I have lived in more than 25 rentals across the Bay Area –in Berkeley, Napa, El Cerrito, Albany, Palo Alto, Richmond, and Oakland.

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, I planned a life in San Francisco, where most of my friends and family live. But after months of searching, I have been unable to find any suitable housing in the place I call home.

I hit rock bottom after seriously considering a 5-foot by 9-foot area under a stairway in someone’s “art studio” for $800/month. The proprietress, who had just kicked her boyfriend out and needed some extra cash, said cheerily, “You can hang a curtain!”

At that point I knew I’d transitioned from the absurd to the… insane.

There’s a group of Latino families in the Mission with 12 people in a one bedroom who cook on a grill and eat out on sidewalk due to their lack of space. And I have some friends living 5 up in a 1 bedroom in the Sunset. For all but the extremely wealthy in Bay Area, this madness is not the exception, but the rule.

It is no mystery San Francisco is in the middle of a severe affordable housing crisis. Yet there are cranes everywhere, pumping out $6,000 two-bedroom apartments in the Mission District and $10 million dollar condos on Rincon Hill.

So there doesn’t seem to be a “market rate” problem. Rather a lack of affordable housing for everyone, including young people like me.

At the heart of this issue is the question: who gets to live in San Francisco and who gets to decide? Does money rule? What is the role of City Hall? What input should the existing community have?

Who does our city exclude or prioritize? How many can we accommodate or want to accommodate? Do we want a monochromatic, gated lifestyle similar to cities like San Ramon? What value do we place on diversity of income, race, etc.? In short, what is our shared vision of the future?

There are highly visceral responses from folks across various spectrums of opinion. But one thing seems clear; a huge part of the “insanity” is that we’re doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.

Interestingly, longtime residents and tenants aren’t the only ones living in fear. Developers feel it too. In a recent letter, Oz Erickson of the Emerald Fund compared the “plight” of his developer pals to that of the Jews in Nazi Germany.

As a direct descendent of Holocaust survivors, whose family was almost all brutally exterminated…I was not amused by Erickson’s deeply pathological remarks. If socio-economic cleansing is going on, its target is not on developers.

It’s not just the developers that are out of touch with reality. Into the crisis, the San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation (SFBARF) has sprung, whose “Build Baby Build” solution at first appealed to a housing-challenged Millennial like me.

But I quickly realized that their libertarian vision of a three-million inhabitant high-density Hong Kong by the Bay was not just impossible, it was dystopian. I briefly considered organizing an antidote to SFBARF called San Francisco Tenants United for Mission Stabilization, or “SFTUMS” after the neighborhood where I’d love to live.

Sanity returned and instead of starting my own aggressive astroturf org, I’ve decided to put my efforts into Prop I. At a minimum, Proposition I, Pause for a Plan will give Mission residents a voice at the table.

San Francisco needs real change, tangible, reality-based solutions that uphold our most cherished values as a community. And with Prop I passed, maybe someday there will be an affordable unit for a college grad like me, rather than the couch I’m occupying in Oakland.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.


  1. This city is limited, in size and scope of what can be built, ignoring this is ignoring an understanding of san Francisco, its geology, history, planning, and capacity.

  2. The proof is at the start, parkmerced… two bedrooms that rented at 1500 are now at 3500 per month, which is pure greed, and the golden goose for private interests. this same greed fuels the “no on I campaign” the monster in the mission, and the towers to the sky development theory that the more we build the better we are as a city… The packed transit lines, overcrowded public spaces, and insanely over-stuffed “activities”, shrinking libraries, and public pools, and lack of a real understanding of planning is what is driving the problem and the real data that is not shown side by side with the housing development to date. Progressives had a plan, submitted alternatives that would have been just as successful and were ignored. We are fed up with the people in charge who ignore the publics view. Eventually the tides change, and their will be some sensibility to policy on where and how much density the city can take, without larger investment and taxation on market rate housing.

  3. Of course Noe valley is lily white, I never said otherwise. I’m talking about SF as a whole, which is over 50% non-white, and 25% of which is neither white or asian…yet you act like there are only white and asian people in the city. Not to mention you lump whites and asians together as if they’re the same racial group.

  4. They weren’t any more efficient at producing housing when those things were considerably cheaper. More generally, the city’s record (particularly considering the scandals at the SFHA) does not leave one with any reason to believe it will ever be able to put up and maintain housing at a rate the general public needs.

  5. “ethnic cleansing” horrible reference. insulting to those groups that have actually been cleansed. Get a clue.

  6. “city and nonprofits aren’t efficient enough at producing on their own”

    I dislike this. it’s not that they are inefficient, it’s that they are competing for the same resources (land, labor, materials) and as prices escalate they cannot keep up.

  7. It’s not just the most vulnerable being squashed. A family making the median income can’t afford a market rate apt. in SF. THAT is the problem. These folks aren’t poor by any stretch of the imagination, but SF is too expensive.

    Seattle builds housing to more or less match it’s job growth. What does that mean? The median income is generally enough to pay median rents. Affordable housing programs in Seattle are still needed for the most needy, but the problem is not as dire as SF. People don’t get evicted. There is no rent control. They have no problem building 400′ apartment towers.

  8. Developers are threatened, especially if the moratorium goes citywide and for five years, as Tim dreams of.

  9. Thank you.

    If ever there was a real life example to learn from.

    It’s unlikely these officials would have even been considered qualified for office in their hometowns.

  10. That’s more marketing though. True luxury housing would not be able to be churned out if they had to built with luxury products and ammenities of limited supply.

    In SF’s case, the developers are limited by politics and regs, not their inability to construct the projects they seek to build.

  11. Of course, $165 steaks are purely pedestrian, you can get them at the Mickey D’s on the ground floor of the Millenium tower.

  12. DC suburbs also densified unlke SF’s suburbs that are using the SCS to contain development in gentrifying areas.

  13. Nonsense, doing “something, anything” can and will make matters worse.

    Zoning has to change to maximize the affordable take across a range of incomes from very low to moderate. And transit infrastructure has to be funded before adding more units and jobs.

  14. This is the problem with conflating market rate and luxury housing. One is a result of pricing irregardless of the product’s quality, the other is built for the purpose of being extravagant.

    If the market rate housing being created is all luxury housing and not able to be produced in large quantities, how can they also simultaneously be building too much of it according to you?

    Ultimately we are not talking about kobe beef, we are talking about a t-bone steak costing too much because beef in general is scarce.

  15. Even if that was the case, to do nothing just gets us in worse trouble.

    Unless you can build wall around SF, not building will worsen the current situation for everyone but homeowners. Guess that’s fine if you are, but I don’t think that’s the intended effect.

  16. Even if that was the case, to do nothing just gets us in worse trouble.

    Unless you can legally hhutthr

  17. Nope, kobe beef is the granite countertop, tits view of the city and bridges and sub zero fridges of beef–a luxury item by design–that does not lend itself to mass production.

    Your analogies are grounded in free market faith rather than hard science, you conveniently ignore any evidence that does not bolster your belief.

  18. Pretty soon he is going to tell you to f**k off, like he does to me. He doesn’t like it when he is proven wrong.

  19. If you were to overproduce kobe it isn’t really a luxury product anymore. The problem is we are not even meeting demand from an objective point of view, let alone producing in bulk.

    Asking producers to sell chuck when the demand for kobe still exists makes no sense from a profatibility standpoint.


    The Hispanic population of San Francisco has been steadily increasing, from 12% in 1980 to 15% today. The white population has been declining.

    I know it is trendy in Progressive circles to believe all sorts of things that aren’t true, but the facts are the facts.

    As far as I can tell, Noe Valley has always been majority white, though the old timers tell me it used to just be considered part of The Mission, back when that was an Irish and German majority neighborhood. If you have census data from the past, broken down by neighborhood, I would like to see it.

  21. ACS data for Noe Valley would show that it is almost exclusively Caucasian. That check was cashed in the 1990s.

  22. I can give you the ACS source data if you so desire. Just because the Mission is changing does not mean the entire city is.

  23. I’d wager that demand is growing faster than housing could be produced to sate it and see price stabilize or go down.

  24. “You shouldn’t move somewhere and consider it “your community”, then interject your ideals on to it.”

    That statement applies to half the current BoS’ plus more than one ex-Mayor. And look what it’s brought us.

  25. Objection to NIMBYism just takes it for granted that growth is inevitable and good for us. At some point maybe 7 billion people on the planet is too many. Maybe there are enough people, enough strip malls, enough resource depletion, enough human defacement of the planet. Of course that’s not exclusively San Francisco’s problem. If we allow market forces to dictate the future of San Francisco what will not be for sale? What will not be considered too important to tear down, evict, or commoditize? Why don’t we just build thirty high rises in Golden Gate Park? Isn’t it NIMBYism to oppose such an idea? After all, we need the housing for the precious tech workers. I’ve got a better idea. How about we build those high rises in the South Bay and stop treating San Francisco as a dormitory for Google employees? This is a world class city. Certainly the most atheistically pleasing on the West Coast. How about keeping it special instead of treating it like a commodity?

  26. We don’t have to get to 100,000 or even 75,000. The point is that more housing would have downward pressure on rent.

    Which is more ethical, destroying people’s views or making things more affordable?

    I also don’t think we have to destroy the City to get to 100,000 units. Who honestly thinks the way the Sunset is now is great. It’s essentially a suburb that promotes a car-driven lifestyle. Upping density doesn’t even have to mean 10 story condos. Imagine if the Sunset was as dense as North Beach, is that really so horrible?

  27. That’s pretty funny. Not sure what the equivalent would be, choosing to live off the grid in a tent in Golden Gate Park?

  28. SF’s policies have, in fact, made it even *more* expensive than NYC, especially for market-rate tenants not entitled to take over a family member’s lease. SF is still quite low-density, at least by the standards of Eastern cities, but higher density doesn’t necessarily mean choking traffic: new services and businesses pop up when density is higher.

    The reason that Miss Salaverry cannot find housing inSF is because it doesn’t exist yet at the price she is willing to afford. Prop I will do nothing to change that, unless it unleashes a giant crime wave that convinces all the tech workers to leave, or unless this article pays better than our own blogging efforts.

  29. There was not the capital in place up until the past decade and more so with zero interest rates to finance the levels of construction that contemporary boosters hallucinate could have happened.

    Larger projects require longer time horizons because they are more complicated. Developers always whine and then make out like bandits.

    If anything, the process should be more burdensome so that we get better outcomes. A streamlined process would crank out the crap.

  30. Most projects that require an approvals process do not conform to the code and require exceptions. Most conditional use requirements in plan areas where most development occurs were eliminated almost ten years ago. The large project authorization is a rubber stamp. Either developers get what they want when they want it or there are onerous burdens placed on development.

  31. SF past ethos? You’re funny.

    Did you or your parents move here thinking this city was about embracing any kind of person? That’s fiction. The city is full of dogma. Yours included. Oh, and guess what, not all voices get heard equally. Life is hard.

    The election isn’t a welcome wagon.

    Neighborhood and local activism during an election is a dangerous place to go looking for a void of community in your life. Elections and legislation have consequences.

    Sadly, SF’s infrastructure is overstretched at the moment. We can’t welcome all comers with open arms, especially those fantasizing about living in the Mission, or other hyper trendy areas.

    Try over the bridge, or just outside city lines. The Bay Area is great, and has plenty of room.

  32. I’m suggesting that projects that adhere to the planning code should not require such a lengthly approval process.

  33. That 100K was 3 years ago. Now it is probably 125-35K. Who wants to ruin the city by chasing that tail?

  34. Too little capital and the realities of the construction pipeline is what stands between your idealistic vision and hard cold financial reality.

  35. Whine, whine, whine. Developers open with what they know won’t be approved and then negotiate down from there. Exceptions from the code are granted routinely by an inept Planning Commission.

  36. Are you suggesting that Noe Valley is not a lily white enclave? Do we need to visit the census data on that?

  37. Show me a citation. Because Egan’s Mission moratorium report, under the section “Preventing Indirect Displacement Effects”, contains an analysis of Mission data that provides exactly the opposite conclusion:
    “The results [of three different pricing models] were consistent: proximity to market rate housing had a statistically significant negative effect on housing prices …”

  38. $am is obviously no fan of the Pope or his ideas. Mussolini or Hitler might be a little closer. At various times he has advocated economic and ethnic cleansing in SF.

  39. What I get is that, based on your comments, for someone who seemingly paints himself as some kind of holier-than-thou San Franciscan who knows better how it should operate, you certainly misrepresent yourself as a purveyor of San Francisco-past ethos of embracing any kind of person who wants to live here regardless of their socio-economic or political status.

  40. Despite the fact that there are “cranes everywhere” SF actually produces very few new housing units. The city produced a thousand or so units a year while the population was increasing by 10K a year. The reason that cave under the stairs was $800/month is because there were 6,000 people looking for housing in this city.

    The Mission has been under a de facto new construction moratorium for ages and has had very little new development in recent years. Most of the city’s area is zoned for single family use.

    Too much construction is not the problem.

    SF Progressives seem to be under the belief that anytime a developer makes any money something evil must be happening. Part of the reason developers are able to gauge us as badly as they are today is because we keep building and land extremely scarce.

    If we really wanted to create more middle-income housing we would increase the minimum height limits in SF from 40ft to 65ft and create the potential for thousands of new low-rise apartment buildings.

  41. To be clear, I completely agree with you. I just hear the talking point that the entire world would live here if they could therefore we can never build enough housing repeated over and over again.

  42. Wrong on this one Fake. Do a search of Google Scholar search for gentrification, which is often associated with luxury housing. It’s a fairly well established phenomenon.

  43. It may be expressed in a rude way, but the point is strong. SF is adding housing at a much lower rate than it’s adding residents and jobs, which is the main reason all housing–not just new development–is getting more expensive. Assuming the quantity of market rate housing is obviously sufficient because you noticed some cranes is breathtakingly lazy thinking, a habit I would hope good college instructors would attempt to break in their students.

  44. I don’t think this problem in mindset is limited to Millenials. I moved to the Bay Area from NY in the 1980s. At that time, SF did offer a bohemian lifestyle with middle-class comfort. One could earn little and cover the bills. Hey – I wanted that too!

    What I can’t relate to is the idea that the government should be in the business of preserving THAT.

  45. No, I’m not embracing newcomers with an equal voice for the sake of making them feel welcomed. They can engage by supporting the established voices, and then grow into the roll you’re speaking of.

    My join the chorus line was directly in regards to her misrepresenting her background, and expertise. It’s a problem in this city.

    And not, we don’t all need to worry SF will become a gated lifestyle like San Ramon – that’s the kind of hyperbole we don’t need to entertain with any seriousness. There’s enough emotion and seriousness here to handle already.

    I’m not silencing anyone, read my words again. I’m suggesting she play her position. Glad her voice resonates with you, but she misses the mark, as have people like Weiner, I believe, for similar reasons. They’re no Harvey Milk. A fundamental misunderstanding of the situation, and a lack of information, life experience, and understanding of SF. I’m not sorry if that offends you, as a recent transplant, or someone who loves the influx of new citizens you can get to validate your own point of view. But yeah, ask questions about the community, don’t think you’re entitled to represent that community, or you are the cornerstone of that community. Get it now?

  46. Why do people keep repeating this silly talking point that “the whole world” wants to live in San Francisco? They do not. New York City’s population hit 1 million before the Civil War, took until 1940 to hit 7 million, and crawled up over the 8 million mark as the 20th century turned.

  47. I just don’t think that your soapbox should be taller and louder than hers because you can claim a longer residency status. I’m not denying that longtime residents may feel their needs differ from those of newcomers, that’s pretty obvious. However, shouldn’t we be embracing newcomers who are actually willing to engage in the political conversations that will shape the future of the city we share? Instead of chiding her joining in the chorus, maybe offering some guidance or sources for her to continue to inform her political opinion.

    And please, what else are people supposed to do when they move to a new place? NOT assume it as their NEW community? I just don’t get the lombasting of people who are trying to become engaged with their geographical surroundings. Cities are akin to complex, breathing organisms, they change and they are dynamic. The author isn’t trying to present herself as any kind of authority on the geopolitical history of the Bay Area but rather ask questions of how we want this city to adapt to the changes it’s facing. It’s right there in the article:

    “Who does our city exclude or prioritize? How many can we accommodate or want
    to accommodate? Do we want a monochromatic, gated lifestyle similar to
    cities like San Ramon? What value do we place on diversity of income,
    race, etc.? In short, what is our shared vision of the future?”

    Those are questions we should all be asking, old or new residents alike. She never pretended to have answers or solutions to these questions. And you shouldn’t silence her because your longtime residency status supersedes her ability to ask questions about the community she wants to live in, too.

  48. You can’t admit newcomers are at a handicap and politicians have taken advantage as a result?

    Granted an outsiders perspective sounds lovely, and being of grounded principles and logic should apply to any city – but nope, we’re talking about an election full of confusing issues, where having a long memory matters. Voters are routinely taken advantage of, and it often takes years to understand why. And we agree, issues are complex.

    You shouldn’t move somewhere and consider it “your community”, then interject your ideals on to it. I would never move somewhere and decide I knew what’s best for long time residents. It’s also not a matter of remaining voiceless, it’s the misrepresentation of authority, and understanding. You shouldn’t pretend that living in Albany or similar, is the same as being a San Franciscan. Sorry, but this is just common sense in most major cities, with very few special exceptions.

  49. Why shouldn’t she join in the chorus regardless of her actual time living in the city? That seems completely nonsensical like newcomers are devoid of developing logical opinions on their state of community or that their “newcomer” status strips them of their ability to chose how they want their community to operate. I much prefer the new residents moving here to become engaged in local politics as complex as they are. Just because she has not shared the plight of longtime residents does not mean she should remain voiceless.

  50. If there was an over abundance of filet mignon, would it be an expensive cut of meat?

    The problem is San Francisco doesn’t even have enough filet mignon or chuck to meet demand. The price of chuck skyrockets as does the filet mignon as a result.

    Since there is neither enough chuck or filet mignon, the wealthy begin even buying the chuck after a hipster chef displayed that chuck wasn’t so bad, and you could actually make some awesome stews with chuck. Suddenly, the poor and middle class are competing for chuck with the wealthy.

    Some people say we should only allow cheaply priced chuck to sell, and attempt to ban market rate beef of all types. In the end, beef providers decide it’s not profitable to sell beef at below market rate, nor can the government afford to subsidize all of the meat. Ultimately, no beef gets sold, but hunger remains and continues to grow.

  51. The mission isn’t the only area of SF where latino people live (in fact most of SF’s 120,000+ latino people don’t live there). The mission’s latino population is definitely shrinking because of gentrification, but SF’s latino population is at an all time high (15%, compared to 14% in 2000, and 13% in 1990), with rising numbers in many other parts of the city, like the bayview/hunters point, lakeview, the tenderloin, the sunset, etc. Go look up some census stats and stop talking shit.

  52. Regulations are great, but that doesn’t mean that ours can’t be improved. If our zoning regs were well-designed, maybe we could skip some of the planning department review steps, and get things built a little faster. If it didn’t take 7 years to build 12 apartments over an old KFC, maybe those 12 apartments would get a little cheaper.

  53. If you would ever descend from the lily white enclave of Noe Valley into the Mission, you’d notice the ethnic cleansing.

  54. One of two things will be true 20 years from now. Either 2-3 million people will live in SF, or the richest 800,000 of those people will live in SF. Which sounds more “dystopian”?

  55. 1) Building luxury in downtown Stockton might induce demand, but people are already clamoring for housing in San Francisco, regardless of how shitty it is. Nobody is deciding to move to San Francisco because there is a shiny new building. They are already moving here, whether we build or not.

    2) Market rate housing should not be the same thing as luxury housing. Most San Franciscans live in rent-controlled market rate housing. Why are you content with the idea that anyone with a normal income should have to live in subsidized housing?

    3) We took a “pause” for 7 years to put together the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan.

  56. The percentage of the population in San Francisco that is Latino has been staying constant at about 15% for quite a while according to the ACS. Perhaps invisible to you and your hipster friends, but not citywide.

  57. Activists are not the community. Activists hate the community as much as you do. Left and right, professional minders of other people’s business believe that if the people lead, the leaders should shoot them.

  58. The problem is that the conservative / libertarian minded (often trolls) that you’re trying to reason with do not take into account power differentials, and in fact are more likely to paint the wealthy / powerful as the victims. It’s a lack of reason and logic so fundamental, such a big blind-spot, that they cannot be reasoned with.

  59. RealFake is a notorious troll, don’tchaknow. No sense in trying to reason with him – take a look at the unhinged stuff he posts to SFist sometime, if you want a laugh.

  60. Same difference. It’s a form of nostalgia for lost youth that some ageing SF’ers want to stop all change.

    You and Welch are the same, only he is more successful

  61. Those who argue that the “community” should decide really want a situation where a few activists have the power

    I prefer elections to activism, because elections are for everyone but activism is for the few and the ideological

  62. You have it the wrong way about. Challengers are too scared to run against Lee because they know Lee will win regardless. Their failure to show up is a sign of his populatiry.

  63. Ass, it is a well known fact taught in public engagement curricula nationwide that NIMBYs want to enshrine their communities in amber, not freeze it in time. Get your hysterics right.

  64. Manhattan is like San Francisco, a boring isolate populated by nothing but upscale Asians and whites, like a friend that got a lobotomy.

    Bring a book.

  65. GI peddles hate and intolerances in much the same way as Nazis and the KKK did. It’s just that his target is different – it is people who are more successful than he is.

  66. Hong Kong has as many public housing units as there are residents of San Francisco.

    That must be the true horror show for you.

  67. No it was a neat characterization of those who seek to freeze the city in time to bolster their own property values, while they deceptively try and claim they care about “affordability” – something harmed by NIMBYism

  68. Why does SF need more poor people and bad artists? It’s not like we aren’t over-populated with both already

  69. It was devised to marginalize existing residents so that developers might get down to the business of making some real money.

  70. 1) More supply = higher prices? Then we should start demolishing homes to make them cheaper!

    2) That takes money and you dont have any

    3) Progressives have had 40 years to develop a plan and they have not. Why even more time?

    4) He’s right – the real plan with I is to hurt developers and not to house anyone

  71. Endlessly complaining about not being able to afford to live where you would ideally like to live cannot really be described as anything other than “whining”.

  72. And where were all the lazy Progs during the formation of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan? Wait, I already know the answer to that: The meetings were too boring for you and your ilk to attend, so you bailed.

  73. You are doubling down on the same regulatory regime and anti-market nonsense that has defined this city since before either of us were born, and pretending you are the one somehow doing something new? New would be the city supporting developers to build more homes. You are just the tail end of the same insane shit that’s been happening forever. You are the relic, you are the one pursuing policies that got us here and exacerbate the problem.

  74. There are natural tensions between good land use policy, neighborhood involvement and development. Smart regulation is necessary for cities to work well, but regulation prevents some uses, creating tension. Neighborhoods need input, but that input too often is a simple ‘no’, creating more tension.

    What is the ‘yes’ that produces units a recent graduate can afford?

  75. Our goal is to lower rents by building places for people to put their stuff. Developers are the best friend this city has, and the population shit on them for fun. SF deserves the rents it has, and has enacted policies to ensure them, and you support those policies. So stop being upset and start realizing the policies you support are the problem.

  76. The only thing we need are more places with 4 walls where people can put their stuff. You are one just more person opposed to a very simple concept, and the result is the situation we have. Yet you double down.

  77. Your property is your property. The empty lot next door is not.

    Would libertarian opinions change if houses stopped being produced by the market and started being produced by the government? Yes, obviously.

  78. Since I know that urban dwellers use less resources than suburbanites and rural folks I think that building up is a grand thing. I love my planet and wish for it not to be destroyed by global warming and resource depletion. What is your motivation for stopping development?

  79. San Jose can be Hong Kong. It’s not a crime to like things the way they are. This ‘affordability crisis’ has become so well-discussed that it’s assumed that everyone is on board with the dual premises that 1) SF is too expensive and 2) we need to do something about it. Many of us may agree with the former, but not the latter; we may feel SF is expensive but also feel that nothing necessarily needs to be done about it. Of course the term ‘NIMBY’ is flung at us, in ignorance of the fact that we may not be suggesting anything be done at all; the term only works if we’re hypocrites – what if we’re saying that the condition exists and nothing needs to be done to remedy it? This would fall on deaf ears, as ‘affordability’ has immense political power, currently.

  80. “It’s rude to just insult someone like this.”

    Perhaps. And ordinarily I’m opposed to just hurling insults. But I’m pretty sure that the point RealFakeSanFranciscan was trying to make is that even a precocious 10 year-old would ask the question: well, how many people will be able to live in those buildings. And also ask the question: how many do we need? Those are numbers that people have actually taken the time to determine. Obviously Lia is sufficiently intelligent to ask those questions and locate the research that’s been done to answer them. The fact that she hasn’t addressed them in her article means that she’s not engaging her readers in a serious, intellectually honest way.

    I’m highly sympathetic to millennials generally. Being myself a gen-Xer, I see them as a younger reflexively cynical cohort to my own generation. I’m also highly sympathetic to women journalists and the type of on-line abuse they attract — one of the reason’s that I’d prefer not to directly comment on this article. (Though I’m doing so now obliquely, so: so much for good intentions) In addition I’m actually a supporter, by monthly donations, of this site, even though I disagree with Tim’s current crusade against market rate housing. He is a skilled writer and reporter who I enjoy reading even when I diametrically disagree with him.

    But there are a number of obviously defective arguments in this article, and really it shouldn’t even be necessary to spell them out in detail.

  81. It scares me that people are actually advocating for this approach. This type of allocation has been done before. In E. Berlin. Prague. Budapest. Warsaw. Bucharest. Moscow… From 1917 to 1991. “Soviet Law after Stalin” page 11 goes into detail about how scarce housing in cities were allocated in absence of market controls…

  82. What does this mean?? Since when am I a “NIMBY”? And how could you possibly know if I was one? And do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

  83. It’s even more rude to try to lie to people’s faces. In what world can you say that the Mission is “pumping out” apartments, when just 75 units built in the Mission last year?

  84. God, progressives just don’t do numbers do they?

    The City’s economist has said that we would need 100,000 new housing units in San Francisco to make things affordable. San Francisco has 386,564 according to the last survey. This is a far cry from trying to turn the City into Hong Kong.

    Face it, if you aren’t for more building, you have to make a choice. Either San Francisco has to close it gates or we can try to do something about this problems.

  85. Hong Kong is regularly ranked in the top five place on earth in terms of life expectancy at birth:

    Rather long lived for a dystopian nightmare.

    Also, 40% of Singapore is national park and unavailable for any type of development, having some of the most breathtaking hiking anywhere. A number that far exceeds SF or the Bay Area generally. Something rather difficult to do when a significant portion of your city is low density: made of detached units with lawns and all new multi unit construction has to have a corresponding number of parking spaces.

  86. According to the ACS, the average rent in San Francisco is $1600 a month. Most tenants have been in their place for more than five years. So it is not true that long time rent-controlled tenants are suffering from overcrowding or high rents. Long time home owners pay very low property taxes due to Prop 13. This discourages people from moving, even when they should be downsizing.

    The facts is, it is the older generation that has rigged the rules in their favor, shutting out young people. The Boomers are the reason that most young people cannot find a place to live in San Francisco. Building more housing is the only solution, that way more people can live here without displacing anyone.

  87. I have compassion for people born and raised here and it is pretty obvious that they have a leg up on obtaining housing over everyone else. But they are not entitled to a rent-free parcel for life in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. They need to earn their place, just like everyone else.

  88. The main reason we should not have a moratorium is that it sets a bad precedent. Tim Redmond was pushing for a five year citywide moratorium in 2000 and this is just a recycle of this bad idea. If it does pass, it will do nothing to help the affordable housing situation in The Mission or anywhere else and the proponents will use this as proof that it needs to be extended and broadened to a citywide moratorium.

  89. GI – Ms. Salaverry is an idealist for wanting to move to SF since she supports a position you like and someone who doesn’t have the exact same world view as you is an immoral genocidal social economic cleanser? And you get decide that only people who are in such agreement with you should move to SF. This is tolerance? I fully support her desire to move to SF, just like any one else.
    I am an immigrant, who came from no money, I don’t work in tech nor am I white, not that it should matter. I moved to SF for a job I was offered here in 2009 and was happy to move for its reputation a great place to live, great weather and liberal sensibilities, and an attractive job. That is immoral?

    I am for more affordable housing. I just don’t agree with you on how to get there. But this genocide and immorality stuff is really difficult for people who may be sympathetic to your position but not in absolute agreement to get behind. It’s unproductive and divisive.


  90. What? Argue with my point, don’t call me a shill. Starting your comment out by implying I am not thinking for myself is insulting and rude.

    Using the phrase “trickle down” in an effort to relate my argument to a failed economics model is disingenuous at best. The economic argument is very simple: for prices to decrease, either supply or demand most lower. On this principle, luxury housing actually WILL decrease price overall, even if you don’t feel it. How much prices will decrease is anyone’s guess, it seems unlikely rents will halve, for instance. But anything is better than nothing.

    You’re tackling it from the other side and are talking about decreasing demand. I think when you talk about removing policy effecting tech companies, you are talking about economic disincentives which will end up doing more harm than good. Rents might lower, but so too will the amount of jobs and overall capital flowing into the city.

    For me, I want to have a thriving city with a bustling tech scene, and I want to live here too. That means building more housing to accommodate all the new people. I think to take the opposite view–to stop building, to want the techies out, to demand things stay the same–is conservative and repressive.

  91. Most new development in The Mission is on empty lots and parking lots and does not displace anyone.

  92. The photo-shopped dream city of your fevered imagination is a shit hole up close, unless you are rich enough to live in these towers. 90% of the population lives in squalor, notwithstanding the pretty pin up you’ve posted.

  93. They are coming regardless. Unless you plan to pull up the drawbridge.
    So your point is existing residents dont want new residents. This is known. SF is known across the US for its NIMBYism and its inability to change.

  94. Lee is heading for a “landslide. Laughable. A landslide when there are no serious politicos with the balls to run against his money?

    But keep your eye on the bouncing ball, because the 123 candidates Broke Ass Stuart, Amy Farah Weiss and Francisco Herrera are going to do a lot better than people thought, even though they don’t have a political campaign dime between them.

  95. What a stupid argument!

    From 1945 to 1979 we built out the Richmond and Sunset, Twin Peaks and did lots of infill, destroying Victorians for troll housing. From 1979 to the present, we had the geographic reality of a city almost entirely built out. Have you forgotten we’re 7 x 7? We’re not Houston, a vast wasteland on a huge plain.

    So now you want to go up, up, up? You want a city of 1 million, or 1.25 million or 1.5 million? Who’s going to pay for the infrastructure, the subways everywhere Wiener says he wants? Who pays for the hospitals, the schools, the jails, the sewers and water, etc.?

    Most San Franciscans don’t want to become Hong Kong on the Bay. That’s a political reality you choose to ignore.

    The wise policy of resisting “progress” and “growth” comes from the bottom up, from the lived experiences of the citizens, notwithstanding those who want to profit by building an empire city.

  96. You’re channeling the anti Prop I mailers without any independent thought. Sadly, the Yes on I people have pretty lame messaging… but here goes.

    More supply of luxury housing is not good for those being evicted. A $6000 2 bedroom at Valencia and 22nd St (real example) is never going to “trickle down” to a level affordable to the Latino carpenter and a maid with two kids that were displaced by the new construction.

    The “inevitability argument” that rich people will keep coming, keep displacing is false. The displacement is a matter of POLICY from the Mayor and the tech barons who bankroll him.

    The Twitter tax break, the replacement of the payroll tax with a gross receipts tax that exempted IPOs, the permit expediting by the Planning Dept. etc. are all a part of the larger POLICY to replace middle class and working class people in the Mission with wealthy techies.

    We need different POLICIES.

  97. “Building luxury gooses the “market” pushing all prices higher which creates eviction-displacement pressure.”

    Prove it. The only published empirical research on the subject was from the city economist’s report on the moratorium, and it showed no evidence that proximity to newer property, by itself, increased property values.

    The data is not on your side.

    Progressives have no workable plan for the middle class. And they won’t ever have one, despite months they’ve had to spend working on one – which they spent campaigning for the moratorium instead (what was stopping you from planning all that time?)

    This is NIMBYism and spite. There is no sensible policy put forth here. I have enough friends of my own getting shoved out of the city, and you’re all only pouring gas on the fire with this BS.

  98. To a troll, any contrary opinion is “whining.” Whining is one of the ten favorite troll words.

  99. Are you on the messaging team against Prop I, or just parroting their memes? This one is particularly stupid.

    1) Building luxury gooses the “market” pushing all prices higher which creates eviction-displacement pressure.
    2) Progressives advocate building affordable, not luxury. We want development, for the middle class.
    3) A plan needs to be DEVELOPED, Prop I creates a mandate and a structure for a plan.
    4) There is no “dirty little secret” that you are privy to.

  100. I’m 5th generation and have studied the Gold Rush since the 2nd grade. Europeans largely arrived 1st in NY, then transferred to vessels that took them around the Horn….or to the eastern area of the now Panama Canal, where they faced an insect infested march to the Pacific. Lots of people died. So. Americans, Aussies, Asian groups also came by ship.

  101. Your first mistake is in thinking you’re arguing with libertarians. Well, Sam/Oboed may be, of course. The rest of us are simply looking for a city that as inclusive and accommodating to as many people as possible. The real question is why you’d get on board with a bunch of old, wealthy property owners trying to protect their investment at others’ expense.

  102. NIMBYism is a loaded, ideological term for the desire of property owners to control their property. Why should libertarians object? Another way to say the same thing– with positive spin– is neighborhood preservation.

    Given a particular neighborhood with architectural coherence, a stable population of owners, what’s wrong with the owners wanting to preserve the good thing they have invested in and built up?

    If instead of blocking for profit developers, the “NIMBYs” were blocking Soviet style apartment blocks built by a left wing Mayor, would libertarian opinion change?

  103. The developers, realtors, SPUR and DINOs (Dems In Name Only) in fact do want to drastically increase density and population. Their goal is gigantic profit through building an empire city to rival New York. What the hell do you think the gigantic phalluses in SoMa surrounding the new transit project are? They’re the first step towards Hong Kong.

  104. I’ll take the bait… Redmond is half right, half wrong. I’ve said elsewhere that gentrification is a form of socio-economic cleansing by which the power of money displaces existing poorer populations for wealthier populations who find SF attractive.

    Gentrification is inherently immoral, just as the genocidal ethnic cleansing of the original SF gold rush was immoral. For those of who haven’t read the history, the 49ers wiped out native CA populations with government payments for scalps. CA whites killed natives faster than any other state, because an hysterical mass greed was ginned up, the “Indians” were in the way and there was no West to push them to.

    Obviously, an inherent flaw in population preservation schemes is that they can exclude newcomers. But currently, the newcomers excluded are the NON TECH, and NON WEALTHY. Mayor Lee’s policies are crafted to benefit wealth and tech. Currently, the excluded new comers are those like Lia, idealistic young people who aren’t part of the gold rush.

    Your argument misses the point entirely.

  105. More concrete than greenery in those shots….trees looking painfully cramped into tight spaces. Ugh.

  106. You hate yourself as well as the CCHO/SFIC that hides behind the notion of “community” that suits only themselves.

  107. I think you are confusing NY and SF. SF was not founded by people migrating in “stinky, leaky, disease ridden” ships. Do you honestly think this? What body of water did these ships travel on?

  108. Finally you get something right. There are many of us here who know nothing about tech but who are making bank by selling to those who do

  109. So your points rests on the dubious premise that SF is a city for losers and misfits, rather then a city for wealth creators and risk takers?

    You self-describe as a hippie and that is your saving grace. But really, it’s time to move on for that summer when nobody took a shower.

  110. They spent months in stinky, leaky, disease ridden ships, risking their lives, for an opportunity to put food on the table. Sure they had dreams of riches, but the average Gold Rusher didn’t find gold or silver…the city was built by those who provided goods and services to the boatloads of dreamers.

  111. Actually, rents are low in the Upper East Side of NYC, because everyone wants to live in hipper areas, closer to trains.

    Doesn’t it matter *what* is being built? Some development will help things, and some will make things worse. Facts of life. So if things are crazy, and loopholes are getting exploited, the desire to slow this down sounds better than screaming last call and wheeling a keg into an AA meeting.

  112. If you just moved here, don’t join the chorus as if you’re living the same fight. Accept the reality of climate you’re joining.

  113. I saw a lot of trees during the Olympics, and there is a countryside…. but I think it’s the idea of ghost cities and other scenarios fit for literary fiction, they’re referring to.

  114. Who? Most of the city was built out like suburban sprawl. There wasn’t any large scale building to disallow. People who owned lots of land slowly sold them off for houses that (usually) fit the character of the area. Some eyesores went up in the 80’s, but it wasn’t until the 90’s that all hell broke loose, with a boom in triangular shaped apartments.

  115. A “Bay Area native”? Way to appropriate the gray spotted owl status of the SF Natives.

    If you grew up in Berkeley, Napa, El Cerrito, Albany, Palo Alto, Richmond, and Oakland. (remarkably different experiences/dynamics), WHY pick now to move to the Mission?

    I expect that naivety of someone moving from Brooklyn by way of Michigan, not someone bragging about their status living all around the Bay.

    It’s a good reminded, this is not just an issue of everyone fallingoff the turnip truck trying to live in the Mission, it’s people moving from El Cerrito too.

  116. NIMBY is a term that applies to anyone who’s already got a place, but opposes new development or change in that neighborhood at the expense of others who would also like to live or work or play there.

    If you live in the Mission but spend your time lobbying against new development in Hong Kong — a much more worthy cause than lobbying against such change in SF, surely, if HK is such a high-density dystopia — I won’t call you a NIMBY.

    But if you oppose development, change, nightlife, etc., near where you live, then I do think the shoe fits.

  117. Duh. Not a single tree in the photo. Some people like glass, neon, concrete….but the most beautiful cities are built around parks and Hong Kong is not known for it!s parks or open spaces.

  118. Uh, no.
    SF literally became a city overnight because of the gold rush. It did not become a city overnight because people were being persecuted. People came here to make money.

  119. Time to read SF history…people came here because they were starving or being persecuted where they lived. They scraped together a life inspite of the lack of the gold… And the wealthy took care of those less fortunate. I feel sorry for those who don’t get the importance of living in a community that cares for each other. That’s the SF used to be…and that’s what us “hippies” miss.

  120. This is really extreme! I don’t think that’s what she’s saying at all! It’s just one person’s experience!

  121. So what I’m hearing is that instead of just building enough housing for everyone, we should have a government committee that decides who gets to live here and who should pack their bags, and not only should we all fund that committee, but in fact we should all pay taxes to build the housing for these specially selected people as well. And to boot, for reasons thoroughly unexplained, Lia is one of the chosen few who should get to live here! Pray tell Lia, what diseases have cured or Nobel prizes have you won?? What exactly is your great contribution to San Francisco that you think you have the right to live here and other people don’t? Amazing. Thanks for mentioning that you’re Tim’s daughter by the way…oh wait!

  122. You have obviously never been to Hong Kong, because there is a park right in the middle of the Central Business District, and large amounts of Victoria Island, and the other islands, are green and forested.

  123. This is profoundly naive and simplistic. You do realize that San Francisco was founded in the greed of the gold rush followed by the silver rush followed by the railroads, followed by…
    I would suggest you spend less time worrying about how much money other people have and how much time other people spend looking at their cell phones – you’ll be much happier in life. SF is not a human being, it can’t hug you, and it certainly isn’t capable of caring about one group of citizens over another.

  124. I’m all for that… you seem to be under the impression that the people who are being forced out didn’t pay their bills… ridiculous!

  125. Honestly, that’s revisionist history. SF has always had hostility towards newcomers, including the hippies, punks, gays and assorted weirdos who are generally considered the “soul” of SF. They, too, were seen as tarnishing the city – and they often did, in many ways.

  126. You would have to be pretty brilliant to extrapolate from the mayors we’ve elected what ‘most people’ are ‘like’ or whatever your claim is.

  127. I’m not Catholic. I’m not even religious. I think people should pay their way and not whine about wanting a subsidy. Problem?

  128. thats not true. The old timers are NIMBY’s who disallowed construction trying to retain their home values in fear of it falling , thereby stalling development to meet regional demand. Are you going to focus solely on me ?

  129. guess you missed all that the Pope was saying last week… maybe you should listen to his excellent words on the subject of helping those who have less than. It wasn’t a billionaire city when they many of these people first arrived… and now, just because someone wants profits, their lives are not important?

  130. You don’t see the connection between growth and development, and continually electing pro-growth and pro-development mayors?

    Er, OK.

  131. It is not our job to perpetuate your weird self-serving notion that this is the city of peace and love

    That was your hippie dream, not reality

  132. Its not the greedy ones – its just that not many small developers cannot withstand the NIMBYism leaving it only to the big-wigs with muscle power to withstand years of social pressure and dollops of holding costs.

  133. That’s absurd. SF has a long history of welcoming newcomers and helping them to establish lives here. The difference is that until recently the newcomers weren’t out to make billions in profits while hurting others.

  134. Yep, Prop I is about sour grapes, as in “if I cannot afford to live here because I am a loser, then nobody will”.

  135. If there were a plan, it’d have been presented. It has not. The moratorium is not about building affordable housing, it is about spite.

    ETA: well, spite and a small amount of payback to certain friends of David Campos. There’s that, too.

  136. Truth. I’d like to see any proposal for large increases in housing in SF that was either proposed or supported by progressive San Francisco – anything in the last twenty years.

  137. Market rate development allows those wealthy folks to at least buy their own place instead of buying existing housing that may have been vacated by evicting someone else. Meanwhile, progressives can only advocate for shutting down that construction and replacing it with …. nothing.

    There is no plan whatsoever for building affordable housing at a level to satisfy the current demand instead. And the dirty secret of the folks really pushing for the moratorium is: they were never interested in one.

  138. This isn’t even close to true! You use really extreme language. Try typing one comment without the word ‘most’ or ‘all’

  139. The usual suspect progressives have had decades to come up with this solution. Yet everything they tried just made things worse

    And now they ask for more time?

  140. Bullshit it is. All SF progressives have ever shown any interest in is shutting down construction. There is no positive agenda in the local progressive movement for getting housing in any nontrivial quantity built, for folks of any income level. None.


  141. Affordable to whom? The wealthy are having no problem paying for housing… It’s the most vulnerable people who are being squashed in this situation. Some of those developers will be relocated to a hot netherworld when when they die.

  142. or those who’ve been here so long that they’ve realized that they prefer no one else but them to live here.

  143. I love the city. I hate self-serving and self-promoting activists who hide behind a notion of “community” that suits only themselves

  144. Exactly, the people who don’t like the term NIMBY are exactly the same people standing in the way of building enough homes.

  145. When you quash the building of housing throughout the city through various efforts, you are shutting a generation out of SF. That is the explicit outcome of your efforts, whether you like admitting it or not, and it’s time for you to own that.

  146. It’s pretty damn obvious from who supports it – the same usual suspects that support all socialistic subsidies

  147. I think the headline meant ‘One millenial’s’ rather than ‘the millenials” though I interpreted it the way you did at first, too.

  148. If someone can afford to live here, and I can, then the question of whether I should be here does not arise.

    It is those who whine that they want and need a subsidy, like Lia and Ragazzu, who must answer that question.

  149. I have no objection to them, but the sense of entitlement needs to go, and they need to pay their own way like the rest of us did

  150. Efforts to keep people from being able to live in a neighborhood … that’s what divides people. It should be a slur, and it fits here.

  151. Just to clarify, I know what the term means, I didn’t know what ‘If you don’t like it, don’t be it’ meant.

  152. It’s a bad term. It’s time has come and gone; it only divides people and makes them more embittered. It’s a real slur!

  153. It used to mean people who oppose anything with a public benefit because of any little inconvenience it might cause them, like if someone shuts down a kindergarten with a lawsuit because they don’t like the noise.
    Now it is just a term of insult to anyone who opposes any kind of development. It basically means “yes we should build and you’re wrong, stupid.”

  154. NIMBYism is the idea that all growth should be elsewhere and that a regressive policy of building nothing can somehow magically make SF affordable.

  155. Mission residents are busy working and trying to get ahead.

    Attempts to consult with Mission residents really means getting your ears pinned back by semi-professional activists and agitators who care more about ideology than what the residents really want

  156. Wow, that’s looks like a really exiting place.

    But no, of course, I’d rather live in Detroit because it is less unequal.

  157. exactly the attitude of the newly arrived wealthy: “Just get out of our way! We know better than you, who were born here and who are 4th or 5th generation. Our money is more important than your communities, your families, your lives….”

  158. True, and moreover “listening to the residents” invariably means listening to some self-serving activists who claim to represent the community but who in reality are merely promoting their own narrow agenda.

  159. Agreed, and the people can reject Ed Lee next month if they believe that.

    But every sign is that Lee is heading for a landslide.

  160. guess you didn’t read: “many, not all, developers could care…” I know developers who are morally intact with their projects but they are becoming fewer and fewer because the greedy ones keep pushing prices out of reach.

  161. uh, for one, lots of the Mission is landfill and technology didn’t exist to build higher and safely when it was developed. I’m all for high rises if they don’t displace long time residents and they have their fair quota of affordable units. Guess you have to be a compassionate person to feel for those who are being evicted from the city they were born and raised in. It’s morally wrong to displace these people… and in SF that used to mean something…but then we got Willie and his developers who have ruled City Hall ever since. It’s all about the money.

  162. There’s a lot of extreme language in the post. People don’t just boil down to ‘greedy’ ‘rich’ etc.

  163. There’s an inherent desire to exclude beneath all of the moratorium support. They don’t really imagine an inclusive SF; they mostly imagine one where _those_ people over there get permanently shoved out of the city, instead of _these_ people over here.

  164. OMG…someone said it. The mentality of most people that want the moratorium is lifting themselves higher by only pulling others down. Can you just now focus on your own growth to make it affordable for yourself?

  165. it’s so weird that no one is talking about profits and greed. Many, not all, developers could care less about who or what, they displace because all they want are profits. This used to be city that cared about ALL it’s citizens, not just the rich ones. SF used to be a place where profits could be made without killing off entire neighborhoods. Now the city panders to greedy developers. And it’s shameful that no one is looking after the people who made this city so great that every techie has to now live here. Our politicians have been remiss… and those who did stand up to say no to the tech handouts were drowned out by big corporate money. SF is out of balance and I’m not looking forward to living with a bunch of greedy folks who spend their days staring at their cell phones in restaurants, parks and even while crossing the street.

  166. The real “Monster in the Mission” is NIMBYism. If only that were the sole area affected by this monster’s depredations — but of course it isn’t. The Not-In-My-Backyard attitudes of people who’ve got places to live and don’t care whether new homes are built for others who also want to live in these neighborhoods, infects all of San Francisco. Nor is it just a municipal scourge, it is a regional problem, a national problem, even a global problem.

  167. why were the exisiting projects in the Mission made at 2 storeys? why was that not thought out properly? Why think on someone else’s dime?

  168. Why should residents that own million dollar housing get a seat at the table? are the needs of those that own million dollar housing the same as those who cannot afford the rent?

  169. From the official text: “The goal of this plan would be to propose legislation, policies, programs, funding, and zoning controls intended to enhance and preserve affordable housing in the Mission, such that at least 50% of all new housing be affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income households, and to ensure that those units would be available to resident of the Mission.”

    The full text of the proposition is more explicit: existing plans need to be revised, because they are not working. They are not helping affordability, they are not preserving PDRs, they are not generating enough impact fees. Prop I calls for preparing a new plan for affordable housing development in the interim.
    There’s more, and it’s all in the voters’ booklet. It’s actually readable, as proposition texts go.

  170. You’ve had months now to start “considering other options”, and you spent it yelling about a moratorium instead.

  171. Why do we have to “pause” so we “consider other options”?
    Why have we not been thinking of other options for the past 8 years? What will happen in the next 1.5 years in a moratorium that has not happened in the last 8 years?

  172. “Yet there are cranes everywhere, pumping out $6,000 two-bedroom
    apartments in the Mission District and $10 million dollar condos on
    Rincon Hill.”

    I think you should ask UCSC for a refund on your tuition. If you think this is a compelling counterargument, your education in critical thinking was … incomplete, shall we say.

  173. You don’t get it. Prop I is a threat: Represent the people or the people will make shitty laws. See Prop F.

  174. Prop I will not make things affordable in the Mission all of a sudden, but it wil give us time to consider other options. Should the last few available parcels in the Mission be used for affordable housing? What is exactly the effect of building on housing prices nearby? Are there adjustments necessary to zoning codes?

    The issue to me is not “why should we have a moratorium”, but “why should we not have a moratorium”, to which the answer is always some variation of “Act now! You may not have this opportunity again!” which sounds to me like I’m being scammed.

  175. They won’t listen to residents until residents are allowed to organize to represent our interests without the commuter nonoprofiteers who wrote this measure insinuating themselves on our behalf.

  176. I wish that Prop I got Mission residents to the table. Please point out in the legislation where Prop I gets Mission residents to the table:

    There is no mention of Mission residents in any of the relevant language of the measure.

    I’m not sure which is worse, the SFBARF insanity on luxury condos solving the affordability crisis or the nonprofits hijacking popular outrage to serve their own narrow self interested agenda.

  177. Ms. Salaverry (or anyone else who would like to comment) – I am curious to get your thoughts on this:

    “That means, if you are a decent human being, you will accept that you might not be able to get a sweet flat in the Mission right now. You might have to live in Oakland or Richmond or somewhere else until a place in the city opens up”

    This was written by Tim regarding people who want to move to SF to work in technology jobs. So even if, housing was cheaper and you could afford it, based on seniority, you should not want it/get it.



  178. Sam, why should you deserve to live in SF? Can you afford to buy a house here, based on your regularly earned income?
    How about if anyone whose house is worth more than, say, 3 times than what it cost when they bought it, put it on the market? We’ll have plenty of housing for sale all of a sudden, prices will drop, and the city will be affordable again, no?

  179. Prop I is the equivalent of stuffing your fingers in your ears when someone is saying something you don’t like. Do I love the idea of super expensive apartments being built? Not really, but there is an economic principle at play that is important to remember: supply and demand. More supply is good for everyone, not just the super rich who can afford the new apartments. If those apartments didn’t exist, all that happens is the same rich people will rent the cheaper apartments that the rest of us can (barely) afford.

  180. Gary,

    Proposition I is “exactly wrong”.

    Hardly TR’s “big stick”, it’s more like “the knife one uses to cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face”.
    Proposition I makes absolutely no sense — it’ll only exacerbate the shortage of housing and only accelerate displacement.

    The present “housing crisis” is the result of approximately 40 years of incrementally well-intentioned — but cumulatively disastrous — policy that has continually restricted the production of adequate amounts of housing in SF over this period.

    From 1945 until 1979, we produced, on average, 32,000 units of housing per decade during a period of actual population decline — from 845,000 (WWII massive overcrowding) to 690,000 (all time low.)

    From 1979 until the present, we have produced, on average, 19,500 units of housing per decade during a period of continual population increase — from 690,000 to about 855,000 today (all time high.)

    We have actually become substantially less productive when it comes to housing creation in SF. This is largely due to mis-guided politics and poor development policy that has restricted the creation of housing.

    Proposition I is exactly more of the same old reactionary and ill-conceived approaches that got us into this mess to begin with.

  181. Perhaps the real message here is that Millenials feel entitled to a nice home in an affluent city, without regards to reality. And have unreasonable expectations as to the lifestyle their skills and education can deliver.

    And since she has always lived in the Bay Area, maybe she should move elsewhere to develop those skills and gain job experience. And then as you say move here only when she can afford to be here, like the rest of us did.

  182. He doesn’t explain how Prop I would “force politicians to listen” at all. He just assumes that. It is very possible that the mayor and supervisors will just wait out the moratorium, which can last no longer than two years, and focus instead on the 98% of the city that the moratorium doesn’t affect.

    Prop I is symbolic only. The idea that it will lead to more affordable housing is totally unproven.

  183. “Prop I won’t lower rents or property values or make anything more affordable. But if it passes, politicians will be forced to listen and respond to residents as if we matter.” This is an honest assessment IMO even though I am not sure if it will result in an end game (more affordable housing, etc.) that is positive for the city or its residents that we would hope for.

  184. Exactly, I graduated from a top 10 law school and wanted to live in SF. I got job offers in Boston, DC and NYC but didn’t score one in SF. Did I move to SF right away? No, I worked in another city.

    As for Hong Kong, what a poor analogy! I guess you forgot about the umbrella movement last year which was fighting for a chance to vote. Most HKers have a choice between Hong Kong or living on the mainland. You’re complaining about choosing between SF and Seattle/Austin/NYC/LA/Portland. Yeah, life is tough.

  185. “At a minimum, Proposition I, Pause for a Plan will give Mission residents a voice at the table.” This is exactly right.

    Prop I won’t lower rents or property values or make anything more affordable. But if it passes, politicians will be forced to listen and respond to residents as if we matter.

    Prop I is the big stick that Teddy Roosevelt spoke of.

    Vote yes on I.

  186. Lia, you say you are looking for a rental home. How will building nothing in the Mission help you get an affordable home in the Haight or SOMA?

    You say you are despairing of being able to live in SF. But why do you need to live in SF? The only reason you give is that you have “friends here”. Maybe you have a job in SF. But none of that means that you have to live in SF. It’s an aspiration and not a necessity.

    You mention that you have rented before in places like El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, and Richmond. All just a few miles away, all on BART, and all much cheaper than SF. Or what about Oakland, even closer, and where the average rent is 45% cheaper than SF?

    Saying you want to live in SF rather than elsewhere in the Bay Area is like saying you want to live in the Upper East Side in NYC, La Jolla instead of the rest of the San Diego metro area, Knightsbridge instead of the rest of London, and so on.

    You cannot reasonably expect to live a Champagne lifestyle on a Prosecco budget. The key to upgrading your lifestyle is developing the job skills that make that possible, and not somehow believing that building nothing will magically give you a home for a fraction of what it is worth.

  187. TLDR: We cant build enough for the whole world who wants to live in this amazing place by the bay, so we shouldn’t build anything. Honk Kong has 8 million city residents – No one has proposed building enough housing in SF for 8 million people – not even SFBARF. Hysterical hyperbole.
    Would someone explain to me how not building anything in the mission for 1.5 years is going to magically make it a place where Lia can find affordable housing?

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