With the arrival of our new chief planner, Gil Kelley, previously from San Francisco, this current piece in The Guardian seems relevant – linked to by Durning, who pulls out some quotes:

…”well funded opposition…”   Wonder if they have a CityHallWatch in San Francisco?

…”not to build is to displace …” – Renter’s Union spokesperson.  After the Grandview-Woodland ‘debate’ … well, misinformation is a powerful tool.



“The tech boom is a clear factor,” said Peter Cohen, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations. “When you’re dealing with this total concentration of wealth and this absurd slosh of real estate money, you’re not dealing with housing that’s serving a growing population. You’re dealing with housing as a real estate commodity for speculation.”

But Cohen is quick to note that there are other culprits behind what some realtors peg as San Francisco’s $1.2m pricetag for a starter home and its tops-in-the-nation $3,510 median rent for a one-bedroom apartment: population growth, income inequality, history, geography. …

Since Kenneth Rosen moved to the San Francisco Bay Area 42 years ago, he has counted six boom and bust housing cycles.

The primary cause for the current boom, says Rosen, chairman of UC Berkeley’s center for real estate and urban economics, is something most cities technically envy: “Extraordinary job creation,” 30,000 to 40,000 jobs per year for the last five years in San Francisco alone.

Rosen figures that 70% of the new leasing and job growth springs from the tech sector. For housing costs to drop and affordability to rise substantially, he said, “we’d have to see a correction in that sector”. …

Compounding the problem of population growth in San Francisco is the fact that the city has built far too little housing for far too many decades. Since 2010 alone, its population has grown by more than 60,000, but only 12,000 new units of housing were constructed.

On the plus side, though, San Francisco is in the middle of one of the biggest building booms in its history.

Most of the new units, however, are in flossy skyscrapers filled with high-end condos. Because, as Paragon Real Estate Group described San Francisco in a spring 2016 update: “Development is not for the faint of heart or shallow of pocket.” 

Sonja Trauss is founder of the San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation, which the activist describes as “the increase capacity arm of the anti-displacement movement”.

“I want to remind everybody that not building displaces people,” she said at the hearing.

“I don’t really see any downside at all,” she said, “besides the fact that some neighbors might have to let their eyes pass over a new thing that looks different and unfriendly to them. We’re talking about places that people live, and I don’t think it’s worth it to save the way a house looks to deny someplace for someone to live.”

To which Monica McFadden, a self-described fourth generation San Franciscan whose children are “fourth generation Noe Valleyans”, replied: “We can’t allow one-person’s greedy wants to overshadow literally the quality of life of many.”