At the Ed Lee memorial Sunday, a string of politicians who are not at all humble talked about the humble side of the late mayor. The event featured at least two people who are seeking higher office; Lee was remembered as a reluctant politician.

Mayor Ed Lee’s development policy has led to a lot of displacement. Photo by Sana Saleem

At the Chron, Carolyn Said at least noted that Lee had promoted an economic boost that also increased economic inequality. On KPIX Sunday night, Melissa Caen said that Lee brought the unemployment rate down – but “unintentionally” created the housing crisis.

These were some of the responses from City Hall and the news media on Lee’s legacy.

I get Melissa Caen’s “unintentionally.” I don’t think Mayor Lee sat down with his advisors and decided that it was a great idea to drive 400,000 San Franciscans out of town and create the worst eviction epidemic and economic inequality in the city’s modern history.

But I find it hard to believe that anyone in his administration believed we could bring in 140,000 tech workers, many of them from out of town, at a time when there was almost no vacant housing, with no impact on the housing market.

If that’s the case, it was the greatest “unintentional” policy mistake that I’ve seen in many, many years.

Randy Shaw, who has always been close to Lee, made the remarkable claim that

Ultimately, Ed Lee laid down the foundation for San Francisco to avoid becoming a city of only the rich and rent subsidized poor. This was his greatest gift to the city, and the core of his legacy.

Is there a single working-class tenant who believes that? I don’t know any of them. All I know is that renters all over town are terrified that they are going to get an eviction notice and be displaced.

Ed Lee didn’t ask for the invasion of speculators who have been getting rich by destroying the lives of long-time San Francisco tenants. He often said publicly that he opposed them. He supported the repeal of the Ellis Act.

But his policies created the turf that the speculators played on. His effort to address unemployment by importing tech companies and high-paid workers (as opposed to doing economic development based on the skills and needs of existing residents) set the stage for a brutal assault on every non-rich San Francisco resident.

All of this discussion of the Lee legacy, which we will continue to examine in detail over the next few days, comes just as the Planning Commission gets the latest Housing Inventory Report Thursday/21. Most city boards and commissions are in recess for the holidays, but Planning is still meeting this week, and while there is no action item on the housing document, it’s worth reading.

Among other things, the report shows that San Francisco developers added 5,046 units to the housing stock in 2016. That’s what Lee wanted, and what the Yimbys want (although they want more); adding more housing (“of all kinds, the Yimbys say) will bring down prices –- but prices have not come down.

In fact, in San Francisco, developers tend to build more housing at the same time that prices go up.

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of the supply-side, trickle-down argument that letting the private market determine the city’s housing future will get us anywhere near where we need to be.

But let’s look at the data – because it shows how housing actually works in San Francisco.

When prices are flat or low (typically only during recessions) developers don’t want to build; the rate of return is higher if they put their money somewhere else. They only want to build when prices are high.

The Yimbys (and the folks in Mayor Ed Lee’s administration) argue that more housing will bring prices down – but the city’s own data indicates that when prices go down, developers stop building. The market won’t solve this.

The Housing Inventory also shows that only 16 percent of the total net housing that’s been built is affordable. That’s less than half of what every expert agrees the city needs.

Shaw is right that San Francisco isn’t the only city facing a housing crisis. Big demographic trends that have been playing out for decades have made cities more attractive to young, educated, high-paid workers.

San Francisco is also not the only city with a housing and homeless crisis.

But rather than being on the cutting edge of progressive policy, San Francisco in the past seven years has been the single worst example in the country of bad planning, hyper-gentrification, and radical displacement.

Could Ed Lee have done anything about that? Yeah: He could have made the protection of existing vulnerable communities a higher priority than creating jobs for people who didn’t live here. Was it necessary to turn SF into the tech-boom center to emerge from a national recession and create jobs? Was there another approach that would have kept people who had built lives and communities in town from leaving in droves?

I think so. Maybe I’m wrong. But let’s at least talk about it.

Oh, and as we think about the glories of the Tech Boom, it’s worth looking at new story on Wired, by Erin Griffith.

She argues that Big Tech (and even startups) still don’t get what I (not Griffith) might call San Francisco Values.

Outside the bubble, things are different. We’re not egging on startups that willingly flaunt regulations. We’re wary of artificial intelligence and its potential to eliminate jobs. We’re dubious of tech leaders’ promises to make their products safe for their kids to use. We are all sick of the jokes that no longer feel funny: lines about the lack of women in tech, about obscenely rich 20-somethings, about awkward coders with bad people skills, about “hustling” and growth at any cost. It all feels inappropriate.

This industry is the savior of our city?

  • playland

    I don’t think Mayor Lee sat down with his advisors and decided that it was a great idea to drive 400,000 San Franciscans out of town

    Tim- 400,000 is a massive number and I’m sure that many people are unaware that Ed Lee helped to drive half of the population of the city out during his reign.

    You’ve mentioned it twice already. Could you please point us to the source of this data so that we can learn more about it?

    Thank you very much.

    • Y.
      • playland

        OK. It would have been great if you would have been able to highlight the part of each article that you feel confirms the 400,000 number. This might be because none of them do.

        Both the 48 Hills article and the one from http://www.scag.ca both use Census ACS data, the same data that says that migration out of San Francisco County is about 15,000 a year so it would take about 26 years to reach 400,000.

        Here is their source:

        County-to-County Migration Flows: 2011-2015 ACS

        The Atlantic article does say that annual migration is 60,000 a year. They do not provide a source for that number. The rest of the article relies on ACS data, which puts the annual migration at 15,000.

        It’s looking more and more like the statement is 400,000 people moving out of San Francisco is completely bogus.

    • Rosh HoshHosh

      There was an article in the Atlantic last year that interpreted SF’s in and out migrations between 2010 and 2014. The article estimated the annual out migration at 60,000.

      It’s hard to know how many left specifically because of the pinch on housing and high cost of living, but the article does note that SF demographic trends have followed suit with tech hiring trends.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/05/san-francisco-diversity-migration/481668/

      • playland

        Yes, they make the point (probably true) that the people coming in are wealthier than the people leaving.

        They provide no basis whatsoever for their estimate of 60,000 people a year leaving. If you think that the Census is wrong by a factor of 4X than you could at least provide some type of rationale. They do not.

        Then the rest of their article relies on the Census data.

        • Rosh HoshHosh

          It was actually a Priceonomics study, who specialize in data. They used the American Community Survey, which was done by the US Census Bureau.

          It is much more likely you’ve misinterpreted the numbers than has Priceonomics.

          https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/

          • zutsa

            That Atlantic article is a good one, thanks for posting it. So let’s say Tim is taking the 60k per year, and saying ’11-17 (under Lee) would be ~420k. Let’s say that’s where Tim is getting that number. But why did Tim take that data and overlook the analysis?

            What do you think about this paragraph at the end of that Atlantic article? What does Tim? Why assume Pricenomics is right about the numbers, but oh so dead wrong about the analysis. This is cherrypicking if it’s where he got that 400k figure, is it not?

            “One response that would alleviate the need for out-migration and still allow for in-migration is more housing. Subsidized housing, market-rate housing, big apartment buildings that obscure views or create wind tunnels: These all probably would help the city to retain those who want to stay.”

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            I think it’s not a very scientific paragraph and closes out with the word ‘probably.’ They’d be hard pressed to back it up if they were looking at renters.

            As a renter, how are these new units going to help me if I don’t qualify to buy them?

          • zutsa

            Because new units opening up means more competition on the market, reducing the incentive for your landlord to kick you out (if rent controlled) or pump your rent up to the highest bidder (if non rent controlled). Your landlord can’t get $3k a month for your unit if the new units down the street are $2.7k and brand new. If the brand new units never came to fruition then the landlord has more economic power due to artificial scarcity. It’s one of the biggest reasons we are in this mess.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            I don’t think so.

          • zutsa

            Ok.

          • Geek__Girl

            Not even remotely. There might be competition for the fools willing to pay a million for a tiny condo, or ridiculous rents for a bed with six others in a “tech dorm” that used to be a pretty scuzzy SRO that now has high speed wifi and a new bit of paint on the walls. Let’s be honest, the moment we have enough housing that the priced drop significantly, they will stop building.

          • zutsa

            “Margins are at an all-time-high, and so as soon as the all-time-high is over, production will stop” – That’s you’re argument, and it’s wrong.

            As long as developers will be able to make at least some profit they will continue to build. They will never make housing at a loss, exactly why demanding 100% affordable housing is stupid. But they will continue to make housing so long as it does make a profit. Just because they won’t make peak profit a la 2014-2015 doesn’t mean they won’t keep building. New developments are being built all around the bay at less of a profit than places like the Mission in SF. You don’t know what you’re talking about and you made your bigoted intentions very clear in the preceding comment.

            You don’t know the economics. You don’t understand how it works. You don’t care about a property owner or landlord’s intentions or understand how they work. You DO NOT like the PEOPLE that are here, and you shape your misguided understanding of the world around you to justify your hatred for people who are not like you. Just admit it, it’s not about the economics, it’s about your disdain for techies.

          • Y.

            Stop telling people what they think. You are not privy to it and it’s beside the point.
            Back to the point, developers can wait before building if the market is cool and if they already own the land.

          • zutsa

            You’re right. I don’t, but I can strongly suspect. Beside the point nonetheless.

            The point: As long as it is at least somewhat profitable there will be building, and the demand isn’t going to go away. The area is beautiful, the weather is great… there will always be demand. Where there is demand there will be incentive to provide. Period. If it slows down because demand has been met then fantastic! We have housing!

            That’s why not building and trying to come up with some alternative solution, be it via market manipulation, stifling commercial development/jobs, expanding price controls, etc. are just half-baked convoluted nonsense when it’s rather simple forces of supply and demand.

          • Y.

            It’s not “convoluted nonsense”. It is just adjusting the demand side of the “simple forces of supply and demand”.
            “Where there is demand there will be incentive to provide.” Not at all. Factories, farms, what have you, always adjust production to avoid price-depressing gluts, and so does construction. There are empty lots sitting in every city, even SF, waiting for the right moment to be developed. Business doesn’t just aim to make a lot of money: it aims to make as much money as possible, especially when million- and billion- dollar investments are involved. It’s basic business 101.

          • zutsa

            Adjusting the demand side is far more convoluted than reducing the barriers to building housing. The demand isn’t just immigrating tech workers. The demand is literally everyone who has been here and may want to come here. Developers are lining up to build to satiate this demand but they struggle due to all of the hurdles. The city and neighboring municipalities (especially Peninsula) won’t let them. The empty lots in SF are empty for a ton of different reasons, NIMBYism being one of the reasons we can prevent.

            Thanks for the crash course in business 101. By your logic, the only housing being built in the country should be in places like the Bay area, but that isn’t true. There are buildings going up in all cities around the world much faster than SF/Bay, all with varying degrees of profitability. And think long term. Think about how the problem will get worse without more building as population increases.

            Everyone ignores this part: There’s so much talk about the “demand problem” being some foreign techie, but no one talks about the recent college grad who grew up around here. The 20 year old who wants to move out of Mom’s house (who was about 13 when this whole mess really started to accelerate). The elderly woman in Western Addition who would like to move to an apartment without so many stairs. NONE of these people can move because there is NO vacancy for them. The people here now. Where will they live?

          • Geek__Girl

            No, you don’t know. You basically engage in the logical fallacy of the straw man argument. Not particularly an intelligent move, You ignore the fact that people who already live here are being forced out. That neighborhoods are destroyed, that people have to leave places they have lived for years, that friends, and even families, are torn apart. But hey, the techies, Ron Conway, and a bunch of corrupt politicians are happy….

          • Don Sebastopol

            Neighborhoods destroyed? Families torn apart?

          • zutsa

            I’m not ignoring the fact that people who already live here are being forced out at all. I’ve asked about those people many many times in these comment threads but it gets overlooked every time.

            Jeremy is 19 years old and lives with his mom in the Excelsior. He wants to get an apartment with his girlfriend of 20. With only 5k units having been built in the past year, where does Jeremy and his girlfriend move? With out a huge bump up in the housing stock then how do they have a chance of getting a place?

            Keep in mind that you can’t just say “build only affordable housing” since you can’t build subsidized housing without something to subsidize it.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            You speak as if it’s a hard line — if it makes a profit then build, if it loses money then don’t build.

            This is ludicrous. Look at any of the big real estate development firms in SF. Half the partners are generally from finance backgrounds. Their careers, status, pay, and worth depend on how much profit they can generate. Large profit margins are paramount.

          • zutsa

            Literally every person who works in the private sector’s career, status, pay and worth depend on how much profit they can generate. You’re not really making much of a point here.

            Avocados sometimes sell for $3 a piece. That’s nuts, right? But people buy them. Why is it then, that sometimes a week later you’ll see a bag of them 4 for $5? The margins have shrunk incredibly on the avocados there, but they still sell them, right? The supermarket doesn’t throw them away or cancel the next avocado order because margins aren’t as good as when they went for $3 a piece. They’ll still make money off of them as customers want to buy them, so they’ll keep ordering them.

            You’re saying that even if there’s money to be made, unless it’s *a lot* of money people won’t go for it? What is their target margin, and at what margin will they not build at, if you are so savvy?

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Retail is not a good comparison. A target profit margin can easily be 100% for a developer (I’m not an expert and don’t claim to be savvy).

          • Geek__Girl

            Much of the building is due to obscene profits. Of course, when prices drop, which will occur if, and when, the bubble bursts, those overpriced units will be empty. Kind of hard to maintain paying high rents when you are suddenly out of a job.

            No, fool, I do not like that people who already live here, in some cases, entire neighborhoods, are being forced out so the spoiled rich can claim it as the trendy new neighborhood. Look at what is happening in the Mission. An entire culture is under attack, just so we can house more wealthy techies who work in Silicon Valley and ride their luxury buses. I don’t have anything against anyone, but I do have problems with their tone deaf behavior, and their disregard for proper decency.

            And for what it is worth, I worked for years as a programmer, and I am still developing apps. I worked on some major products, many of which I cannot talk about at all. One of my programs went up on the Space Shuttle as part of an experiment package. I also did some major development work for Bank of America. I worked on projects ranging from consumer electronics, to to, again, some I cannot speak of. No, I don’t have a problem with techies. I have a problem with brogrammers, and criminals like Kalanick and the rest of his mob at Uber. I have a problem with people like Ron Conway who thinks he has the right to buy the City. Most techies today are not particularly smart, or skilled, or remotely geeks. They are frat boys, who not that many years ago, would have pursued degrees in business, and worked as stock brokers, bankers, and such. They are in for a rude awakening when the bubble does burst.

          • zutsa

            “Of course, when prices drop, which will occur if, and when, the bubble bursts, those overpriced units will be empty.”

            Right, because prices do not drop on rental units when they are empty. That is not a thing. Never happened ever in the history of the world. Once the price is set it can only go up, because of greed and profit and stuff, right? Prices have gone up and therefore will continue to go up and never plateau, ever. Have you heard of Miami, Florida?

            “I don’t have anything against anyone, but I do have problems with their tone deaf behavior, and their disregard for proper decency.” … “Most techies today are not particularly smart, or skilled, or remotely geeks.”

            Contradictory statements. Just because you program doesn’t mean you aren’t bigoted in your sweeping generalizations and disdain for entire groups of people. That’s like saying “I’m not racist, I cook ethnic food all the time”. You focus so much on their personalities. Who gives a flying fuck about their personalities? Please take note of how many times you use the word “they”. We aren’t talking about how rude “brogrammers” can be, we’re talking about housing. We aren’t talking about how palatable a certain group of people are, we’re talking about economics. You seem to have a very firm grasp on the groups of people you do and do not like, yet a very shaky and misguided understanding of economics.

            EDIT: Please address my question regarding the people who are here now, growing up and having kids. Where do they move to without new housing?

          • Geek__Girl

            Exactly. The new housing requires someone to be making high six figures to either buy, or rent.

          • Geek__Girl

            What would alleviate the need for out-migration would be a strict moratorium on “market rate” housing until there is sufficient affordable housing to keep people from having to move away. There is no need for the techies flooding in to live here. They certainly care nothing about San Francisco’s history. As long as you put them somewhere with outrageously priced coffee, overpriced toast, and such, they should be happy.

          • playland

            There is no need for the techies flooding in to live here.

            Replace “techies” with “Hispanics” or “Gays” or “Muslims” to see what a disgusting bigoted statement that is.

          • Geek__Girl

            Well, given you are a disgusting bigot, I am sure you know how to make a bigoted statement. I am talking about preventing people from being displaced simply because some jerk has more money. And I notice you avoid mentioning blacks, who have been forced out of San Francisco more than most. And now they are eyeing Chinatown and the cheap places there. There is a company working very hard to evict Chinese families for Trumped up rule violations that target Chinese culture, and then when they are gone, to replace them with techies paying much higher rents, (like three times as much) for a “real San Francisco Experience.” I visited several of those places with a friend who was looking to move here several years ago. They were, well, pretty depressing. Entire families, from grandparents to infants packed into tiny rooms, with a shared kitchen down the hall. The prices were quite low. And I could see where it would be an interesting experience, but they were dark, poorly maintained, crowded….and now they want to kick out the people who have nowhere else to go to take advantage of people with no sense.

          • zutsa

            “I’m not the bigot, you are. Here are a bunch of non-sequitur anecdotal statements strung together in a nonsensical way.”

            Straight out of the Trump playbook. You’re proving our points very nicely.

          • Geek__Girl

            So basically, you have no real arguments, and just throw out a couple of ignorant remarks with nothing to back them up, and compare me to Trump. No, I am not proving you points, as you have no point.

          • zutsa

            That’s fine. We disagree but I know your intentions are benevolent, misguided as they may seem to me. I think the only thing I’d want you to know is that you and I (and yes even people like Kraus and playland) are on the same side. We all want affordable housing and we don’t want the current people here to leave, we just disagree on how to get there. Techies feel the squeeze too. When you need $200k/year (really only upper management at these companies) to live comfortably in the city then that means we’re all in the same boat.

          • epokhe

            That’s supremely idiotic of you. Tech employees are NOT a persecuted minority subjected to centuries and/or millennia of murder, subjugation, and systemic bigotry. One is an identity. Tech is an occupation, like “Wall Street banker” or “Congressional lobbyist” or “ambulance chaser”.

            Comparing tech employees to POC and gay people? Congrats for validating every negative and stereotype about Silicon Valley: that it’s dominated by the attitude of aggrieved, privilege white men (who make up most of its ranks) who have never known the sting of actual discrimination and are suddenly extra aggrieved because they aren’t being welcomed as saviors by people living under the daily threat of eviction.

            Signed,
            An Actual Tech Employee

          • Geek__Girl

            Thank you. Please understand, i actually have nothing against tech employees. Shoot, I was one, and I still do some programming. I started with computers back in the days of punch cards and mainframes. I wrote my first program in FORTRAN on punch cards, and then learned to use a huge green screen terminal that was huge by today’s standard, weighed quite a bit, and which displayed only text and a few other characters. I really miss those days. I signed on as a technician, feeding in decks, and tearing off printouts. I asked questions, and cajoled my way into being allowed to learn how to run the system. I became a defacto operator. Technically, I and the people I worked with, could have been fired for me being at the console, but I turned out to be so good at it, no one said a word. I left school, got a job in PR (I was actually a journalism major at the time) and then got married. When prices dropped enough, I bought my first personal computer. A nice shiny TI 99/4a, which was a surprisingly advanced bit of hardware that TI kludged up to the point where it was largely useless. But, I learned a few things, and discovered what it could do if you programmed it down to the bare metal. We moved to Florida, and I got my first programming job. I talked my way into, partly because the guy who owned the company knew very little about programming. He was a lawyer who wanted to market software to lawyers. I learned the basics of UCSD Pascal in two days, and mastered it in two weeks. I had no real formal training, but I programmed rings around the two others who had degrees (local community college) and not a clue what they were doing. One was just plain dense, and the other was COBOL programmer who decided to go to work for the city. We had another person come in who was actually talented. I solved several major problems which had held things up, and, after getting fed up with the boss, I quit and went back to college. I then got recruited by another company, quit school, did some programming, and other work, until I realized the guy I was working for was a crook. He basically ran a computer store, and also offered programming services (me and another programmer). I was assigned to train the sales staff about computers. So, one Saturday I was lecturing them about the IBM PC when some gentleman came in. They clearly were well off. They were dressed for a day fishing, but it was clear their clothes were expensive, and they had a certain. They noticed me, and started listening. We we took a break, one of them came up, and complimented me on my knowledge. I thanked him. Then he handed me his card. He was an engineer in Boca Raton, with IBM. I almost panicked. We were to an authorized dealer, and he could have had us shut down for being gray market. Instead, he said if I needed any information to call him. His card was not a simple business card, but was clearly one that indicated he was high up. We moved back to Alabama, and I worked at various jobs, but mostly raised my daughter. I had a variety of computers, including several PCs of increasing power, as well as a number of vintage systems I was given. When my daughter was in high school, I was told I might find a job with a firm up the hill from were we lived. It billed itself as “research and development” firm, and I got hired on the spot. I worked on a range of projects for a variety of companies. I worked on a consumer product which we took from idea to finished product. I worked on some work I can’t talk about. I helped design part of an experiment that flew on the space shuttle. And I helped update a process control system for a sawmill that was, of all things, written in FORTRAN. That was what the original programmer had known, and as weird as it sounds, it worked. Then my marriage ended, and I eventually came to San Francisco. I worked for UCSF for a number of years, got laid off, continued my education (CS major), went on to SF State, and after some health issues, wound up on disability. A year ago, I officially retired. Oh, and along the way, I did quite a bit of private consulting. No, I have nothing against tech workers per se. But I do have a problem with greed, corruption, malfeasance, and such. And just to be clear, what I argued is we should have a moratorium on building market rate housing until we have enough affordable to the middle and lower classes. I did not say that people should be refused entry. I would never say such a thing. But playland is the king of the straw man argument.

          • Watson Ladd

            And who is going to pay for that affordable housing? Build more market rate and use the additional tax revenue for affordable housing.

          • Geek__Girl

            You haven’t a clue. Much of that “additional tax revenue” evaporates paying for all the impact all of that market rate housing has on the City.

          • zutsa

            Techies are very privileged when compared to other groups indeed. The point is that one shouldn’t shape their beliefs and advocacy around their disdain for a large group of people. Everyone should be wary of stereotyping and generalizations as exploiting these emotions to justify unfair legislature hurts the discourse. We all agree that scapegoating POC, LGBTQ, immigrants, etc. isn’t productive so why would scapegoating techies be productive? It’s still rooted in ignorance and otherism.

            No one is saying that techies are persecuted as much or more than any marginalized class.

          • Geek__Girl

            So you are actually comparing an occupation to ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion? Wow! That is truly one of the most idiotic stretches of the imagination I have seen.

          • zutsa

            So you want “Them” to go away. “They” do not fit your values, or care for the history of the city? How do you know? Are you not generalizing?

            “Need for out-migration” is a very nice term, I’m sure a ton of Trump supporters who claim to not be racist try similar terms. Your reasoning is bigoted.

            Let’s play a game:
            “What would alleviate the need for out-migration would be a strict moratorium on “market rate” housing until there is sufficient affordable housing to keep Americans from having to move away. There is no need for the immigrants flooding in to live here. They certainly care nothing about Americas’s history. As long as you put them somewhere with outrageously priced coffee, overpriced toast, and such, they should be happy.”

            I only had to change 3 words in your post to demonstrate how ridiculously closed minded and exclusionary you sound.

          • Geek__Girl

            Now, I did not say I “want “Them” to go away…” What is it with right wing-nuts and the need to use straw man arguments. I said nothing about them being forced out. I said we need a MORATORIUM on building over priced housing until sufficient affordable housing is available. That is, no new condos or apartments, targeted at the 1% until we have housing equity. And no, I am not going to get into an argument with you are your racist views on immigration. It is not about being exclusionary, it is about protecting San Francisco, which is vastly different from the nation as a whole, from the attempts to turn it into yet another gated enclave for the rich.

          • zutsa

            “Now, I did not say I “want “Them” to go away…””

            You said “need for out-migration.” Are you kidding me?

            “It is not about being exclusionary, it is about protecting San Francisco, which is vastly different from the nation as a whole,”

            You’re struggling here. Your logic does not make sense. Protecting San Francisco, from whom? People you don’t like?

            I am not right wing. I strongly believe in open borders. For the country and the state, region, and city. You apparently do not. You want the borders of SF closed (temporarily, as a moratorium?) because don’t like the people moving here, correct?

            Trump wanted a moratorium on Muslims entering the country until we “figure out what the hell is going on”. You want a moratorium on techies entering the city until we “figure out housing equity”. Both ideas are rooted in the fear of the other. Both ideas are bigoted. Both ideas disregard logic and equality to appeal to emotion and subjectivity. You are on the wrong side of history here.

          • Geek__Girl

            Good grief, now you have taken to outright lying. Yes, I used the term “out-migration” to refer to people who have lived in San Francisco for their entire lives, or a significant portion of their life, being forced out so someone can indulge their desire to live here. I am saying we need to stop building housing for the wealthy until we have enough housing for the rest. I am saying that the City needs to use eminent domain, if necessary, to buy land, and build housing for those who are being priced out. Then, when that is done, we can allow the greedy landlords to have at building more overpriced condos and luxury apartments, or well, more overpriced micro units that the fools will pay outrageous rents for. The City can tax the tech industry, or perhaps simply impose a tax on bribes. Shoot, Ron Conway would have to pay for a lot of housing.

          • Sanchez Resident

            Geek_Girl – Who are you supporting for Mayor? Who do you think will bring your plan to the City and make it successful? I’m leaning towards Ms. Jane Kim.

          • Geek__Girl

            Kim would be a reasonable choice, though I think Leno has a better chance of winning. I am not at all thrilled with London Breed since it became clear she has signed the standard contract, signed in blood, with Ron Conway to be Mayor in exchange for her soul. I also am looking to see what direction Herrera takes, though he has, on occasion, been a bit timid about dealing with real corruption.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Also the ranked-choice voting amendment adds a wildcard factor. If Kim turns out to be a more likely 2nd or 3rd candidate choice than Leno turns out to be she could win the election without holding the majority of 1st choice votes.

            Same goes with any of the candidates of course. It’s going to be exciting.

          • Geek__Girl

            I imagine that has a lot to do with Farrell’s decision not to run. He was clearly looking to be the primary moderate candidate. I suspect Ron Conway told him, “No, I want London this time out.”

          • Weebal

            Herrera cravenly backed Lee’s soft coup against Ross Mirkarimi.

          • Geek__Girl

            That I am not happy about. I have seen Herrera do some very good stuff and I have seen him do some basically cowardly stuff. That is why I am somewhat ambiguous on him. Given ranked choice, it is not quite an all or nothing vote. In the last election, the “Vote 1, 2, 3, Out With Lee” campaign put some fear into him. He did relatively poorly against three unknown candidates. Reminds me once of a a campaign worker who said, “I am so proud, Sheriff Bailey got 70% of the vote in the last election!” I looked at him and said, “He ran unopposed.” Bailey went on to lose the race for Congress (thankfully). He was the Democratic candidate, but was so bad, most of the people working “hard” to get him elected supported his opponent, who was Republican, but was actually a decent Representative.

          • Don Sebastopol

            No one was forced to move to SF or forced to stay. The cost of housing is often a factor, but most are not forced to move; it is a choice.

          • Geek__Girl

            When the alternative is a tent on the sidewalk, I would say they are forced to move. Sometimes, there is no valid “choice.”

          • Don Sebastopol

            I agree, if the only choice is a tent on the sidewalk, one would be crazy not to leave. That is not the typical choice one has to make. The higher the income the greater the options but the principle may be the same. If you can’t find something desirable or suitable in SF you can afford in the City you may be forced to leave. If you can’t afford Seacliff you may be forced to move to Tiburon.

            In my 75 years all my living relatives and most of my childhood friends moved out of the City. There were many reasons but thinking back some moved to a better house in a nicer neighborhood, compared to what that could get in the City.

          • Geek__Girl

            Well, truth be told, the ones living in tents are the ones who used to sleep in doorways, or on sidewalks. Tents are actually an improvement. It is kind of amusing that so many don’t realize that the tents are not evidence of “more” homeless, but simply represent an upgrade in accommodations. That is one reason that the policy of having DPW steal them, and that IS, what is really going on, is so wrongheaded. Not that many years ago, it was not uncommon to see people sleeping along certain streets. Granted, a person wrapped up in blankets is less noticeable than a relatively large tent, but it is also exposing people to the elements. These people are the ones who cannot get into shelters because there is no room. Not that many years ago, people would rotate from the Episcopal Sanctuary to Next Door and back every six months. There was also MSC South, but it was not part of the same system. MSC South is still there, but it still puts people out every morning, so it is less popular. There are a few other, smaller shelters, but Newsom closed some, and did away with most of the drop-in centers where people could do laundry, take a shower, use the bathroom, get snacks, see a counselor, get storage, use a phone, etc.

            We need three things. We need short term shelter that is sufficient to get people off the streets without long waits. We need to expand the Navigation Center model, perhaps making ALL shelters into that style. And we need long term supportive housing to move people to. Some, can be helped with training so they can move into decent jobs, and live on their own. Some will need assistance for the rest of their lives, especially the elderly and disabled. Some will need drug rehabilitation. Some will need mental health care. Some may wish to reunite with family. But, if we actually made REAL efforts, we can at least get a handle on things.

            The first step is taking a serious look at where the money is currently going, and what works, and what doesn’t.

          • Watson Ladd

            And that place would be where exactly? Other towns don’t want to build housing more then you do.

          • Geek__Girl

            I would strongly suggest down the peninsula.

          • Watson Ladd

            They haven’t built any housing: I have friends who are making good money who have to sleep 5 to a home to have any hope of affording it.

          • Geek__Girl

            Why should they? Everyone wants to ride the fancy buses. And to force people out of neighborhoods.

          • Watson Ladd

            Because they added jobs and people like shorter commutes? I really don’t see what your proposed solution is to accommodating everyone who wants to live in the bay area: no new market rate housing means more Ellis Act evictions and TICs.

          • Geek__Girl

            No, they have not really “added jobs.” People who already lived here, and who need jobs, are pretty much locked out unless, by some unlikely chance, they fit the “corporate culture.” The Bay Area is more than just San Francisco. Please don’t try that sort of deception. The problem is is not people wanting to live in the “Bay Area,” but in the 49 square miles of San Francisco. In fact, there are lots of places that could be developed for housing, but they are not “hip.” Ironically, people who just have to live in San Francisco, who are newcomers, could do quite well in those places, and make a quick trip to the City any time they want to. They would even have more money for things like coffee made from beans that were crapped out, absurdly expensive variations of things like toast, burgers, and such, boutique cocktails, and ultra-limited edition beers that they stand in line for hours, or even days, for a glass of.

            They seem to want to create their own version of someplace like Palm Beach. An enclave of wealth where the peasants are allowed to visit and gawk, but would be pretty much given the cold shoulder if they actually wandered into any of the shops or other businesses. Interesting town. It is the only place I have ever seen a Rolls Royce dealer with a rather large lot full of them. Most have one in the showroom, and you have to order your car, and have it built. Or maids walking around in their uniforms with outrageously expensive designer purses (almost certainly a “hand me down”). The houses are breathtaking, but if, oh say, Zuckerberg were to move there, and yes, he could certainly afford it as a second home, he would be shunned, and basically frozen out. Not old enough money, which he earned in a “vulgar” way, and lacking the refinement to be a proper resident of the community. Shoot, Donald Trump is considered beneath them.

            So, the need to create their own exclusive community. Because they are not even accepted into society here.

          • Watson Ladd

            What places would those be? And no, we want a bay everyone can live in, and will get there by building homes for everyone. You want a landholding aristocracy to be allowed to live here and profit from it.

          • whateversville

            “What would alleviate the need for out-migration would be a strict moratorium on “market rate” housing until there is sufficient affordable housing to keep people from having to move away. “

            When would that be? How many units?

            “There is no need for the techies flooding in to live here. They certainly care nothing about San Francisco’s history. As long as you put them somewhere with outrageously priced coffee, overpriced toast, and such, they should be happy.”

            What overprivileged bullshit is this?
            You’ve written off tens of thousands of people based on where they earn their paychecks. I didn’t realize I forfeit my entire personality just because I took a 9-5 job to pay my bills.

          • Geek__Girl

            When people who are middle class have places they can afford, and people who retired, elderly, disabled, and such are housed. If we actually stopped playing games, it could be a year or two. At the rate we usually do things, it would be somewhat closer to the time of the heat death of the universe.

            You’re a “techie” and you work 9-5? That’s drool….

          • whateversville

            “When people who are middle class have places they can afford, and people who retired, elderly, disabled, and such are housed. If we actually stopped playing games, it could be a year or two. “

            OK. Show your work. How many units? Where? How would that be funded? What “games” need to be stopped?

            “You’re a “techie” and you work 9-5? That’s droll….”

            Believe it or not, not everyone who works at a “tech” company structures their entire life and identity around that fact. I’m not a “techie,” I’m just another person with a job in an office. How monstrous.

            It’s strange how people like you seem to loathe receptionists, accountants, sales reps, and HR managers if they work at Google or Twitter, but not if they work at Wells Fargo.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Market rate housing pays for affordable housing. You can’t have one without the other. People move away for many reasons unrelated to the price of housing. But many do leave the City for bigger and better they can’t afford in SF. That include people in all income levels.

          • Geek__Girl

            Not enough, and only when the builders can’t wiggle out of paying. Yes, of course, some people move for other reasons. But no one should have to leave because their landlord wants to toss them out in order to price gouge. An excellent start would be rent controls on vacancies. If someone has been paying, say, a $1000 a month leaves for any reason, the landlord cannot raise the rent unless he could legally have done it if the tenant stayed. And if a landlord is caught pulling an Ellis Act scam, impose crippling fines, with, oh, say, 90% going to the victim, and 10% going to the City, plus the landlord has to reimburse the City for the cost of investigation and prosecution.

          • Don Sebastopol

            It could be that vacancy control would solve the housing crisis without building more housing. It would bring down the percent of income for rent and create more service jobs as people would have more money to spend on services. It would also encourage more legitimate (not scam) Ellis evictions thereby increasing the supply of owner occupied units, making them more affordable and improving the City.

          • Pvt. Hudson

            How do you fund the affordable housing? You can’t bar people from moving here (privileges & immunities clause/FHA), so scarce vacant units will be rationed by price, and rents will continue to increase.

          • Geek__Girl

            Well, a good start would be to stop subsidizing companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. Make them pay the same fees and meet the same standards as anyone else. Either they pull up stakes (not likely) or they pull their fair share. Increase taxes on the upper levels of income.

          • curiousKulak

            How are Uber and ABnB “subsidized’?

          • playland
          • Rosh HoshHosh

            That is the priceonomics article I linked to, the Atlantic used it. Call it research or whatever, but I was showing that they did use the Census Bureau data for their research and your numbers didn’t match up.

            The article clearly states what the writers believed to be out of the norm from their scrutinizing of the data. Priceonomics motto is ‘in data we trust.’

          • playland

            OK. Well, I linked to the Census files in question. You go on believing whatever it is that makes you feel better. Have a nice day.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            I provided my links as well, including one from the USCB that was meant to help interpret their data. Priceonomics derived their 60k number from the USCB.

          • playland
          • Rosh HoshHosh

            It’s not a link I provided.

            There was census data for the 2010-2014 ACS data from the USCB when Priceonomics wrote the article (which is their stated reference and which I linked to). It’s not factual to state otherwise in an attempt to discredit.

            #bullshit-ass-blogger

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Here is the link to US Census Bureau ‘quick facts’ for San Francisco County representing the period April1, 2010 through July 1, 2016. Population percent change is clearly listed at 8.2% of a population estimate of 870,000.

            You do the math. Your citations do not support the numbers in the way you have presented them.

            https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/sanfranciscocountycalifornia/POP645216

          • Geek__Girl

            You need to stop playing with petards. You didn’t even make it back down before you you went again. Yes, you ignored the fact that what he posted with the article you claimed no one could find. I posted a link to the original. You keep trying to back pedal, and lie, and you look incredibly foolish.

          • Geek__Girl

            In YOUR FACE!!!!!

            https://priceonomics.com/quantifying-the-changing-face-of-san-francisco/

            I have long suspected you are quite dishonest, but now you are truly hoist by your own petard. I don’t know why you think nobody can link to it? I found it without any trouble at all. And yes, it was 60,000 per year.

          • playland

            OK. This will be totally wasted on you.

            Here is the documentation from the census bureau on county to county migration. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2015/demo/geographic-mobility/county-to-county-migration-2011-2015.html

            There is nothing to indicate anywhere that when they say 2011-2015 that they re talking about averages.

            One author for one blog got it wrong. So cling to it for all your’re worth and spread the false information as best you can. And by all means, don’t look at the Census data for yourself to see if he was right.

            Not even the Priceonomics article says that outflows increased under Ed Lee. Do you think that 60,000 people a year left under his reign? Maybe it was 90,000 before him.

            I know this is wasted on you, but for people who are capable of rational thought it does. Perhaps you can ask one of your minders to help explain things.

          • Geek__Girl

            You keep trying to use the Census data, which is pretty much raw, in order to obfuscate the truth. You don’t like the truth, so you simply try to hand wave it away. You are simply trying to protect Ed Lee’s legacy, so it can be continued by, you hope, London Breed, who will also sell out to Ron Conway.

          • playland

            OK…so using Census Data to answer questions about population movements is a way to obfuscate the truth. Because it involves raw data?

            Just trying to understand.

          • Geek__Girl

            No, you are simply trying to obfuscate by hiding from analysis of the data that does not fit your agenda. And I have already shown where you tried, rather desperately, to lie, and when that failed, you resorted to citing raw data, and claiming it says whatever you want.

          • playland

            Oh, ok. That is perfectly understandable. Very clear and concise.

          • Geek__Girl

            Yes, Conway’s company is one of 28 investors. I don’t think that means he has absolute control. I think they could easily afford to tell him to piss off, and it would be fine.

            Even more desperation….

          • Y.

            Link below: The ACS data was for the year 2015. In other words, 60K left the city in 2015.

          • playland

            They don’t report this data for just 2015; they report 2011-2015. Because so many of the county to county numbers would be infinitesimal if reported for just one year. Here is the file where you can see for yourself if you are interested.
            County-to-County Migration Flows: 2011-2015 ACS

          • Y.

            That was in my other comment:
            https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/tech_docs/subject_definitions/2015_ACSSubjectDefinitions.pdf
            (p.117): “The data on residence 1 year ago were derived from answers to Question 15 in the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS), which were asked of the population 1 year and older.”

          • playland

            I know. What that means is that question 15 asks “Did this person live in this house or apartment 1 year ago?”.

            If the answer is NO and if the person is over 1 year of age they ask them what their address was last year.

            Then they aggregate the answers and report them on a 5 year rolling period.

            Here is the questionnaire so you can see for yourself:
            https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/methodology/questionnaires/2017/quest17.pdf

            There is more than one question 15. The one you are referring to is on page 8 of the PDF.

          • Y.

            Where do you see that they aggregate them? It would indeed make sense, given the scope of the report, but for whatever reason they are specifically saying this came from the 2015 questionnaire. Note that there’s also a total population column in the spreadsheet, which gives what appears to be the 2015 SF population.

          • playland

            What spreadsheet are you talking about? The one that shows migrations (in and out) by county is this one which can be downloaded from this page: https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2015/demo/geographic-mobility/county-to-county-migration-2011-2015.html

            It says 2011 to 2015 all over the place. And it shows 63,000 people moving out of San Francisco to all parts of the world.

            Do you have another one that shows migrations out of San Francisco County? Would love to see it.

            Also, the questionnaires are longitudinal; they ask the same questions every year to track how things change over time.

          • Y.

            That’s the one. Go to the California tab. Rows 11923 and on show the movements to (column I) and from (column K) San Francisco from and to other US counties.

            The explanatory document I linked to is where it says these are 2015 numbers.

          • Geek__Girl

            So, just to be clear, you are using data from 2011-2015 to counter something from 2010 to 2014. And you are saying that the person you disagree with “got it wrong.” Again, you seem desperate to avoid the truth. All you have done is present a link to a web page with multiple spreadsheets that contain raw data, and then claim that it shows that an article, where experts analyzed data and reached conclusions, are wrong. And you follow up with a snarky attack. Obviously, your only argument is part argumentum verbosium and quite a bit of obfuscation fallacy topped off with ad hominem.

            In another words, thanks for the laugh.

          • Geek__Girl

            So basically, you are using a combinatio,n of obfuscation fallacy, argumentum verbosium, and ad hominem. Simply put, you have no real arguments. You reek of desperation.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            You are citing the wrong column. It is not column K that lists gross migrations, it is column O (where it says Gross Migrations). I must say, the numbers in column O are much higher.

            That’s quite the oversight for something you have been forcing down our throats all day. Would you not agree? Or is this when you bow out?

          • playland

            Wait…Column O says “Gross Migration between Geography A and Geography B”, right? Do you see anything about direction there? Would it differ between someone going SF-Marin vs Marin-SF?

            As opposed to Column K which says “Counterflow from Geography A to Geography B” Do you notice the word “from“???? Implying direction???

            No, I don’t need to bow out…I know what I’m talking about.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Your interpretation is correct .. I see what you mean. The spreadsheet is a headache and I admit I don’t know how to interpret it.

            I’ll do ten push-ups.

          • playland

            I agree…the spreadsheet is not intuitive.

            I was impressed that you actually downloaded the file.

            And if you add up all of the Column Ks for San Francisco you get something like 63,000.

          • playland

            And just so you know…”Priceonomics” is a didly squat startup that Ron Conway invested in.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            I don’t know anything about Priceonomics. It did seem they tacked a pro-building plug onto the end of the article .. editor didn’t want to lose his job??

            I’m still thinking something is being missed. It seems too low to be a complete accounting.

          • playland

            Well not everyone who moves leaves San Francisco. One of the things that Tim never mentions is that 70%+ of the people who move into new market rate housing do so from other places in San Francisco. People also move to Dogpatch and Mission Bay.

            And if the editor was worried about losing his/her job he/she wouldn’t have published that piece at all.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            There’s a lot of people who have moved to the city in the last decade that can afford to buy. I’m not sure what implications you think that 70% number should have on Tim’s writing.

          • Kyle Traveler

            you could just accept your victory here instead of attacking more. Plus, priceonomics can’t be all that bad, they gave us this! https://priceonomics.com/the-invention-of-the-aeropress/

          • Geek__Girl

            Misinterpreted? I’m not sure that is the correct term.

        • Don Sebastopol

          For at least 40 years now better educated have been coming. It was that talent pool that attracted employers with higher-skilled higher-paid jobs. As far a leaving SF, the rich are more likely to commute from outside the City as the low income are.

        • Don Sebastopol

          Talented young people have been flocking to SF for at least 40 years, and employers with higher skilled jobs followed. During the same period as in the Atlantic article 2010 to 2014 the number of workers with less than high school increased by 5,375; Hispanic workers increased by 4,837 and Blacks by 2,512. Those with a BA or higher increased by 7,373.

      • Geek__Girl

        That is correct, The Atlantic is not the only publication to give these figures. Of course, some people simply want to ignore the reality of what has happened. Right now, some feel reasonably secure because they own their homes. They don’t expect to be kicked to the curb by a greedy landlord, though Heaven help them if their house is not paid for. Banks can be just as greedy. Foreclosing on a house that originally sold for, oh, say $100,000 that would now sell for several million can be quite a temptation. Or, if we have an even more corrupt mayor, imminent domain can suddenly put you out on the street, with far less money than your property is actually worth. And the Supreme Court has ruled that cities can take land for private companies if they claim it is for the greater good.

        • Watson Ladd

          You can’t foreclose on someone who is current on the mortgage.

          • Geek__Girl

            People can have a rough patch. Job loss, illness, a divorce, or some trickery from a bank, and whoops, out on the street. In some cases, HOAs can create rules that can lead to foreclosures. All it would take is a bank, or greedy real estate company buying up units until they have enough, pooling the votes, and making it easy to charge violations. It happens. Such a tactic is being used in Chinatown in an effort to evict tenants from a building in order to move in wealthier tenants. The new owners of the building have created absurd rules, that basically target the culture of the current residents…like no shoes in the hallway

          • epokhe

            Predatory lending & foreclosure has been an epidemic in this country for the last 10 years, particularly in communities of color, have you seriously not heard of it? Our current Treasury Secretary made his name and fortune by foreclosing on a 90-year-old woman for a $0.27 rounding error for goodness’ sake.

      • Don Sebastopol

        Census data shows that around one or two percent of those who move are evicted or foreclosed, and another seven or eight percent move for cheaper housing. It is more likely the high prices discourage people from coming to SF in the first place. What was the reason you moved the last time? I moved to become an owner.

      • Don Sebastopol

        It could be around 8% leave for cheaper housing, but even if someone leaves for bigger better or to become an owner, the price of housing was probably a factor. If you want 3,000 square feet on 2 acres, you will not find it in SF.

    • AhmadChalabisFoRealz

      There is no source for data which would show that about HALF of the city left, because it is untrue…like much of the nonsense that Tim writes.

    • Geek__Girl

      No, he just decided it was a great idea to sell out the City to wealthy techies and to create a nice nest egg for his retirement. I personally know several people who were forced out of San Francisco by Ed Lee’s policies. Ironically, one of them, who is a bit of a “rice queen” can’t seem to grasp that he efforts to get David Chiu elected are why he is miserable living in Arizona.

      • SnapsMcKenzie

        “Rice queen” is a pretty bigoted and homophobic statement. As is your insinuation that someone supported an Asian candidate simply because of racially-based homosexual lust. Would you say a white woman supporting a black male for office has “a bit of a mandingo fetish?”

        • Geek__Girl

          Wow, you are grasping at straws. That is how HE identifies. He has made it clear, many times, that he prefers Asian men. And given your, uh, choice of words, I would say you are the homophobe. And no, I would not say such a thing (which IS a highly racist remark) mainly because would not use either of those words to describe someone. Rice queen is common gay slang. It an be used offensively, or it can just be how someone identifies. In this case, it is how he identifies.

          • SnapsMcKenzie

            I am a gay male, I don’t need you to lecture me on “common gay slang.” You identifying the political support your gay male friend offered an Asian candidate as indicative of his “rice queen” tendencies is evidence of racist and homophobic tendencies on your part. Now, I’m quite sure you view yourself as an über progressive, down with the gays and the racial minorities too. But the previous statements indicate something different. You need to spend less time tearing others down in comment sections and more on working on your own set of privileges and prejudices.

          • Geek__Girl

            That’s nice. Now, stop twisting what I said. He supported Chiu because of his interest in Asian men. Chiu isn’t even gay. But my friend, who you don’t know, is very interested in Asian men. And no, I view myself as über moderate, not in the lame San Francisco sense, where it means “right wing.” but as in, I am a centrist. I don’t care for extremists from either side. Now, Chiu sold out to Ron Conway, and did a lot of harm in his efforts to get himself elected to the Assembly. I have gay friends, and have had for many years. I have friends from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. I simply pointed out a fact. My friend support Chiu because he was Chinese. And by doing so, he contributed to his being forced to move to Arizona, where he is quite miserable. Now, why don’t you drop the faux offense, and defend your absurd support of San Francisco being destroyed.

    • Don Sebastopol

      Even if that 400,000 over X number of years is accurate, it does not show the reasons why people move. According to the census, one or two percent move because they are evicted or foreclosed on. Another seven or eight percent move for cheaper housing.

  • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

    Why do commenters come here to rage? I stay away from Breitbart. Stay away from 48 hills if you are continually triggered by a blog. If you’re looking for YIMBY stuff go to The Bold Italic.

    • playland

      Well I follow Breitbart because I want to see the information being provided to a large segment of people. It matters, just look at the White House.

      These are local stories we’re talking about and there isn’t a lot of coverage. If someone wants to know more about them they will probably see listings from 48 Hills on Google. Not being familiar with Tim, they aren’t aware of how much false information they are being fed.

      And to the extent that this happens, the public discourse is weakened. We have people believing that half the people got driven off by Ed Lee and there are tens of thousands of Airbnb hotels and Ed Lee created (instead of reacted to) the tech boom that actually started in Palo Alto in 1939 when Hewlett-Packard was founded. Ed Lee wasn’t even born.

      • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

        Glad you knew I was talking about you Playland. So then you affirm your generation started this nightmare. Thank you –

        • Kraus

          What “generation” is that precisely?

          • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

            check his username

    • chris12bb

      You need to get out of your bubble and read a variety of views that conflict with your own. Some of the benefits include broadening your horizon, helping you understand others perspective and may help you create a fuller argument.
      Or you can just read stuff that matches your world view and keeps you narrow minded

      • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

        Wow thanks Chris!!!

      • Geek__Girl

        I do read a variety of views. That is why I know you are full of crap.

      • Y.

        1. Most of the contrarians here, including yourself (and Kraus, curiousKulak, and playland), pepper their posts with personal attacks and insults toward Tim, Zelda, and the commenters. That’s not a kindly offer for the rest of us to “broaden our horizons”, that’s stirring shit up.

        2. There are plenty of sites I can go to for the pro-development perspective, from socketsite on down. I don’t need it shoved in my face on this comment page to the point of smothering sympathetic discussion.

        • Kraus

          Pointing out Tim’s flawed logic or Zelda’s hypocritical arguments is not a “personal attack” — it’s the exercise of critical thinking. If you can’t handle it you should exit the kitchen.

          • Y.

            It’s not your kitchen. It’s Tim’s. I don’t go to YIMBY discussion boards to insult them.
            You have criticized their arguments, fine, but also put in plenty of personal insults at every occasion.
            I can handle it fine, but that doesn’t make it right.

          • Kraus

            You need to show an example of a “personal insult” from me if your going to make such statements.
            You just can’t handle criticism.

    • Kraus

      Translation: “RuMADorRuREALLYmad” prefers to stay in the comfort zone of their own little “echo chamber”. They don’t like it when their ideology is challenged.

      • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

        damn you really got me

    • zutsa

      Childish logic. This headline reads like a news article and the tag for it literally is “News + Politics”, yet it has sensational uncited numbers presented as fact. The rest of it reads like a blog but it is very deceptive. Fake news should be called out on both sides.

    • PaxSF

      Well, if you don’t understand why progressives have become a diminished force in San Francisco, and why several generations of San Francisco residents have turned away from the “progressive” old guard, and why “San Francisco progressive” has become a nationwide punch-line… then you’re certainly not going to understand why San Franciscans who actually care about facts, and integrity, and the future of our city come to 48Hills to point out how error-prone, corrupt, and dishonest it is.

      • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

        wow, I guess I’m lucky to have saviors like you around.

    • Foginacan

      It’s all about raising their profile by dominating internet chats and it has worked if you notice Redmond using YIMBY like it describes a real group of people instead of astroturf sociopaths juggling screen names.

  • realspear

    Ed Lee was not the mayor. Ron Conway was. And he’s making a move on London Breed too, starting at Lee’s funeral. Inappropriate as always, but the real powers never care.

  • zutsa

    “Yeah: He could have made the protection of existing vulnerable communities a higher priority than creating jobs for people who didn’t live here. ”

    Is this not a conservative mantra? Preserve the culture we have, give the locals or natives a privilege boost, dissuade foreigners from entering.

    And what about the denial and ignorance of science and academia regarding economics? Supply and demand is real and economists will agree that the economic arguments attempting to be made here are wrong. I guess the economists are paid off just like the climate scientists are. All shoddy numbers fabricated to suit their agenda, I guess.

    Let’s take a look at the fake numbers too. 400k displaced, a new and unverified number that the commenters have to work to figure out, as Tim doesn’t cite it. Can’t find evidence to support your claim? Make it up! Like the millions of people who voted illegally in 2016 and cost Trump the popular vote, right?

    Oh and the scapegoating, can’t forget the scapegoating. Another conservative pillar. Let’s paint a huge group of people who relocated for work and generalize them up and down; blame them for moving to OUR homeland for economic opportunity and attribute every problem in the area to them, the foreign invader. Excuse me, I mean the “demand problem”.

    This thread is perfect. We even have a “Soros!”, oops, I mean, “Conway!” guy in the comments here.

    • PaxSF

      Don’t forget the straw man premises and infantile logic: “More houses and higher prices.”

      No one says that building more housing will have a short term effect on prices. Not YIMBYs, not economists. No one… except Tim Redmond, and even then, only when he’s being intellectually dishonest.

      What economists do say is that building housing of all kinds is the only way to bring down prices over time (at best), and (at worst) prevent prices from rising even more sharply.

      Likewise, the absolute number of houses we built doesn’t matter; what matters is how many houses were created relative to the number of new residents — residents, meaning San Franciscans — live here. So yes, last year we added 5046 new units of housing. But we also added 21,000 new San Franciscans, who arrived here to join our community.

      We are still not building nearly enough housing to lower prices. But if Tim had his way, we would have built even less, and prices would be even higher. Which underscores one of the convenient things about being a progressive in San Francisco: Progressives often get to blame others for the costs of their own policy failures.

      Anyone with a little education or a little integrity can understand this. Those kind of people do not write for 48Hills.

      • playland

        That’s what I took away from the article. That last year we built 5,046 units and prices haven’t dropped. Hence we know that adding units doesn’t help.

      • Geek__Girl

        Well, it sure hasn’t worked out any over the long term. How long do we have to build expensive housing before the middle class, and the poor can afford to live here? Clearly, you have neither education, or integrity.

        • Watson Ladd

          If you look at Philadelphia most of the affordable units are older, run down buildings. Those don’t exist in SF because we didn’t build them. If you look at the LAO report you would see that this is a regional issue that requires a very large amount of building.

        • Kraus

          Building enough housing supply to meet demand worked very well in SF and throughout the Bay Area from the end of WWII until the 70’s.

          Starting in the 70’s we began to institute a series of policies that have resulted in the artificial stymieing of housing creation

          — i.e., the consistent underbuilding housing relative to demand throughout the past 40 years —

          and we are now “reaping the benefits” of this failed, anti-housing-creation approach.

          4 decades of this has lead inexorably to this moment.

      • Rosh HoshHosh

        No good economist is going to say ‘building housing of all kinds is the only way to bring down prices over time.’ Obviously there are other ways to curtail demand, and if a potential mayor can’t recognize this then s/he can kick rocks.

        It sounds like you think current San Franciscans shouldn’t worry about when relief will come – if they are intelligent and have integrity they should support pulling the stops on building oversight for future generations.

    • playland

      Great points. I think the scapegoating is really damaging to all sides.

      You have problems? It’s caused by those people over there. Get rid of them and your problems will disappear. No need for you to take any other actions.

    • Geek__Girl

      Nope, just the opposite. The conservative mantra is, the rich rule, the poor can, well, just go to Hell. And the 400,000 is quite reasonable. We lost 300,000 from 2010 to 2014. It is pretty clear the rate has accelerated. And I love how you try to compare those who come here as it says on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” To which you would add, “And I will send them right back….”

    • Do Something Nice

      Yeah, protecting vulnerable San Franciscans is a ‘conservative mantra’ or something. Just like ‘trickle down economics’ helps everyone.

    • Don Sebastopol

      The economic growth benefited people who live here.

  • curiousKulak

    Tim’s claim of “400,000 have left” sounds high-pitched. However, that averages out to about 6-7% per year. I believe that is wholly in line with previous periods. The ACS doesn’t go back all that far, but does have some reach – and that 6% figure, iirc, is commensurate with other periods. If so, Tim is practicing alarmism.

    What would also be interesting, is to compare SF with other cities or urban areas, for their degree of im/em-migration. I did a comparison several years ago – during the dot.com era, and found that people leaving was not significantly different than other areas.

    Its easy to state a large number and cause people to be alarmed by its size alone. For example, if the news sez ‘the Dow Jones went up/down 200 points today!’, that sounds dramatic. However, if they said “the Dow Jones changed less than 1% point in trading today, few would bat an eye. So, its another thing to put those stats in context of time and place. If done so, we all would have a better understanding of the extent of a problem – if any.

    • Y.

      Do you have a link to your discussion? The link given doesn’t work.

      • curiousKulak

        Sorry – its not a link; just Google trying to flip anything with a “.com” as a hyperlink. My comments were vague on purpose.

        Feeling rather exhausted – by files that take forever to download, posters calling each other ‘racist’ etc, and an article with a huge ambiguity seem prone to produce heat rather than light.

        My point is that the City (and state) have set up policies that incentivize people to stay here (less-than-inflation rent control, prop 13), rather than protect those who truly want/need to stay. The City is doubly hypocritical in that it wants to keep people here, but does little/nothing on its own; instead forces private individuals to subsidize them. At least the State only makes newer purchasers bear the brunt of the burden while long-timers skate. One could argue that that was the ‘will of the people’; but it devolved as a result of a state (and other entities) unwilling to consider the burden they were asking by taxation, and unwilling to consider reasonable challenges to its authority. As it is, CA is one of the highest tax states in the nation; and SF one of the most profligate. It will be interesting to see what the new US tax changes will mean (I don’t expect much to change in Sacto/City Hall though).

        • Rosh HoshHosh

          Rent-control is not subsidized housing.

          • curiousKulak

            In some circumstances it is exactly that.

            If the rules are rigged (and they are for small props) such that legitimate operating or capital expenses are unable to be compensated, then that is a situation where the renter is not paying their fair fare. Who then subsidizes those expenses? (hint: not the City!)

            And even when those expenses are legitimated, there’s a provision where a renter can forgo those additional expenses if their situation warrants (Ilow income). However that may legit or desirable, the fact is that those expenses are real and someone pays. If not the renter who benefits, and not the City, which controls the rent, then its the private owner that who subsidizes the housing for those private individuals. But, thanks for asking.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            It’s all rigged. Not a very convincing argument.

          • curiousKulak

            So are you saying those costs not passed on to tenants are not a direct subsidy of those tenants?

            (we can argue about the way things are ‘rigged’, but I had a more specific complaint – that, as the rules were set up when RC only applied to larger bldgs, and never changed! – that the process benefits large LLs, and is virtually un-applicable to small props; it was not a pre-election Trumpian grumble)

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Yes.

          • curiousKulak

            Well, how about an indirect subsidy (we’ll forgo linguistic subtleties)?

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Just call it what it is — a ‘regulation.’ Your ‘linguistic subtleties’ are nothing more than smears.

          • curiousKulak

            Oh, “smears”. Well, its not Liable if its the truth.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Your loose use of English vocabulary makes it hard to decipher what you intended to convey with your statement. I’m not sure how you meant ‘liable’ to be interpreted, and I don’t really care.

          • curiousKulak
          • Don Sebastopol

            The landlord subsidizes the income of the renter. The subsidy would be the difference between the rent paid and market rate. On the positive side, higher income renters have more money to pay for services that employ lower income people allowing them to stay in the City longer.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Not realizing a profit is different from subsidizing. You can have your own opinions, but for the sake of discourse proper language should be used to express them.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Whatever, but tax policies are also considered subsidies by many. Rent control is government policy that takes money out of the pocket of landlords and gives it to renters. The government is providing the benefit. In theory the difference between the market price and the price paid could be taxed as income, like counting free parking at work as income.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            It’s a tenuous theory you have there.

    • Don Sebastopol

      Also if you look at the reasons people move, only one or two percent were evicted and maybe another 8% moved for cheaper housing.

      • curiousKulak

        Then there is the overlooked reality of people naturally moving – occupational opportunities, family reasons, new adventures, boredom … . Saying 400,000 are ‘displaced’ is highly suspect (which # would be on top of those I just mentioned).

        • Don Sebastopol

          It is more like replaced than displaced. People move all the time for many reasons unrelated to housing prices. I recall a study that compared areas being gentrified to those not being gentrified. The mobility of low-income minorities was greater in areas not being gentrified. People were willing to pay more to stay longer in improving areas and gentrification provided jobs. If you look at Divisadero in NOPA, the number of retail and food service jobs increased substantially. In SF the number of Blacks declined from 2010 to 2015 by 2,246, but the number of Blacks with steady jobs increased by 4,503. The Black unemployment rate is down to 7%.

        • Don Sebastopol

          Naturally moving probably accounts for 90% of the reasons for moving. People change jobs or their jobs move, which would not be related to prices. However, it is possible than change in marital status or to establish own household or wanting new or better home or less crime is related to affordability. Two employed people together can afford more than each going their separate ways, and better housing and nicer environment is generally more affordable if you leave the City. There is a limited supply of housing for families with school-age children in the City.

  • Tony

    According to a Bloomberg report, 210,000 Californians left in 2016, but was offset by increases in immigration, lured by Tech jobs. The number of Californians leaving should increase due to the new tax laws, which will penalize states with high taxes and expensive property, and anti-immigration policies. There is expected to be an impact on housing sales and prices as more people leave.

    • Don Sebastopol

      Anti immigrant polices may solve the “overpopulation” problem and bring down housing prices. 35% of SF residents are foreign born, 55% in Daly City. Factor in their American born offspring, the impact of immigration on housing is enormous. Of course migration of Americans from other areas to the Bay Area may offset any loss in immigrants.

  • Dirty Burrito

    Without getting into arguments about causality, the whole “look we built 5000 houses in SF and prices didn’t go down” is deceptive and not meaningful.

    1. Because people have the ability to commute, housing supply is regional. Looking at housing or jobs produced in San Francisco is not going to tell us anything without taking the whole Bay Area into consideration. Regionally, 5000 units of housing in a year is next to nothing, especially in the context of jobs created.

    2. Are we producing “a lot of housing” regionally? By historical standards the answer is no. In the 60s, 70s and 80s California saw production peaks of ~300k units, now we’re down to 100k units.

    • Don Sebastopol

      True, 80% of the Bay Area jobs are not in SF. And people are free to live where they want to.

      • Rosh HoshHosh

        *as long as they can afford it

        • Don Sebastopol

          Yes free to live where they can afford to. That’s how the system works. Not everyone who would like to live in SF can. Or would not be willing to accept what they can afford. Most the transfers from other areas where I worked choose to live outside the City where they could afford a bigger better single-family home than what they could get in SF. Most who were renters in the City and were ready to buy a home as their families grew, left the City. In one case it was a choice between the outer sunset and Novato. All things considered, warmer weather, lower density, bigger yard, better schools, less crime, he chose Novato. The commute was not really that much longer and more comfortable.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            It’s a over-simplistic version of how it works.

  • Don Sebastopol

    I am not in favor of over-development and believe building enough to bring down the
    prices where homed are “affordable” would ruin the City. But wasn’t there recent
    data showing a slight decrease in SOMA rents due to the increased supply? However,
    even if the rents came down by 20% they would not be affordable.

    Driving out 400,000 San Franciscans out of town. The worst eviction epidemic? The worst
    economic inequality. Ruining lives? Where is the evidence?

    Regarding inequality, that is the result of economic growth and is good. It raises the standard of living for the poor and middle class. Over the past five years the unemployment rate for Hispanics and Blacks have plummeted and there are several thousand more gainfully employed Hispanics and Blacks.

    I have been hearing the prediction the SF would be only for the rich and subsidized poor for 50 years It hasn’t happened yet.

  • whateversville

    Why isn’t climate change reversing, even though we’re building so many solar panels? Why do I still have a headache after taking a baby aspirin? Why is one pizza enough for a small party but not a large one?

    Mysteries.

    • Zhoosh

      I ate some kale yesterday and don’t feel any healthier today. Going back to Burger King.

  • Robert S

    why live in sf unless you have too yea the landscape is nice but its a depressing place of homelessness and full of junkies shitting on the sidewalk except on NobHill thats where its nice and everything is perfect

  • c in sf

    “I think so. Maybe I’m wrong. But let’s at least talk about it.”

    ..yeah, I think you’re wrong. The ridicules and increasing $10 bil budget funded by taxes allows many other programs and provides services to many in need. So growth provides more tax revenues. Only there must be increases in infrastructure. Anti-development and rent restrictions prevented housing to keep up.

  • George

    I had no idea that noxious carpetbagger “Sweet Melissa” was on TV now!

    Did she marry the legendary columnist’s failed columnist son to get that pedigree?

    Really, she is best ignored.

    As is all of TV “news”!

  • LKR1

    Great article.