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News + PoliticsHousingPoll shows SF voters don't believe market-rate housing will help crisis

Poll shows SF voters don’t believe market-rate housing will help crisis

Clear majorities say the city should protect vulnerable communities from luxury housing that causes displacement.

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Most San Francisco voters think the city has approved more than enough market-rate housing and needs to focus more on non-market affordable housing, a new poll shows.

The survey, conducted by the widely respected David Binder Associates, shows that 56 percent of voters say the city has already allowed developers to build enough market-rate housing, and only 37 percent disagree.

Voters want more non-market housing, not luxury dsevelopment.

On the other hand, 66 percent say the city is not doing enough to build affordable housing.

More: Some 67 percent say that more market-rate housing won’t make the city more affordable, and 78 percent say that high-end housing leads to displacement of existing low-income communities and “protecting existing lower income neighborhoods from higher prices and rents is more important than building new market rate housing there.”

The poll was commissioned by Build Affordable Faster California, sponsored by TODCO, which operates more than 900 units of senior affordable housing in Soma.

From the group’s press statement:

San Francisco voters are deeply dissatisfied with the city’s failure to keep up with the growing need for affordable housing — and are sick and tired of real estate developers forcing working families out of the homes where they have lived their entire lives and replacing them with fancy condominiums that only wealthy people can afford … Voters are clear: market rate housing in San Francisco should not be built in communities that would force current tenants out of their neighborhoods or price out homeowners by increasing their property values.

The poll comes at a time when city planners are starting to develop a new Housing Element for the General Plan and when battles are going on over whether market-rate housing can address the city’s affordability crisis.

It’s also relevant to the state Assembly race, where the two leading candidates, David Campos and Sup. Matt Haney, are increasingly taking different positions on the housing debate.

The message:

This poll serves as another piece of evidence that frustration with the lack of new affordable housing has reached a crescendo. Residents want more affordable housing built in their cities. They are eager for the government to subsidize the building of more affordable housing. And they are in favor of making it harder to build market-rate homes in working class communities.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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.
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