“Can’t Wait For Housing” March Draws Attention to Housing Crisis

A woman marching for housing rights stops on Mission Street to listen to speakers talk about the luxury condos being constructed where the Giant Value store once stood. Photo by Molly Oleson

A woman marching for housing rights stops on Mission Street to listen to speakers talk about the luxury condos being constructed where the Giant Value store once stood. Photo by Molly Oleson

More than 30 people marched down Mission Street on Tuesday morning in an effort to raise awareness about displacement and the shortage of affordable housing in San Francisco.

Organized by Causa Justa (Just Cause), the event highlighted three sites in the Mission where housing development is underway. The group stopped on Mission Street near 22nd, next to where the Giant Value building is being demolished and replaced by luxury condos.

A speaker expressed anger as he pointed to the development behind him. “That’s not housing for us, that’s housing for the wealthy,” he said.

“Booooooooo,” the crowd replied. “Boooooooo.”

“We need more people in the streets,” he said. “We need to stop the construction of luxury housing.”

The crowd cheered and proceeded down Mission Street with signs that read, “Tenants Can’t Wait For Housing,” “Workers Can’t Wait For Housing” and “Families Can’t Wait For Housing.”

“Housing is a right,” they chanted. “Housing is a right.”

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Filed under: Mobile, Today's Mission

7 Comments

  1. Freedom

    ah yes, once again, people shooting themselves in their own feet. Blocking development is the WORST way to increase the supply of housing.

    You want more affordable housing, then beg the city to loosen up the permitting process and let developers go wild. It will be crappy and ugly, but at least it will be cheap and affordable.

    • two beers

      “You want more affordable housing, then beg the city to loosen up the permitting process and let developers go wild. It will be crappy and ugly, but at least it will be cheap and affordable.”

      What planet do you live on? “Loosening” up the permit process would only mean MORE unaffordable luxury boxes.

      Have you seen Market St lately, from 10th to the Castro? Solid construction of UNAFFORDABLE luxury boxes.

      The 15% “affordability” has been bought off. For a legal bribe, the developers can get off the hooks, and the affordable housing those bribes are supposed to pay for will NEVER be built.

      • Ben

        Given height limits, minimum parking requirements, floor area ratio limits, and caps on the number of units allowable for a piece of property, we’ve created a situation where it isn’t really possible for a developer to make money building affordable housing – by the time you’ve taken all of these things into account, the only way to make a buck is to go upmarket.

        I’m far from a free markets zealot, but the city’s NIMBYs have done a great job of ensuring that only the well-off can afford to plant roots here.

      • Freedom

        two bears — housing in SF is expensive because of the economic basics of supply and demand. This is not an evil plot by the rich — this the result of the simple fact that there is a HUGE demand for housing and a VERY constricted supply. If you have two apples, and 300 people who would like to buy your apples, you will sell those apples to whoever offers you the most money.

        That is why housing is expensive in SF.

        It is really that simple.l

        Teachers and painters are unlikely to be able to afford housing here because there are plenty of folks who *can* afford to buy the few units that are built and sold in this city.

        If you increase the supply substantially, for instance, if you had 300 apples and 300 people wanted to but them, then the price would fall significantly.

        Are we building enough new housing now to see an effect? Probably not — despite all the construction you see, we really are not building much new housing in this city relative to the un-met demand, and expected population growth over the next 20-30 years.

        So, if you want cheaper housing, the only answer is to build a LOT more housing. But, I’m not sure that is going to happen because so many people fail to understand the basics of economics and end up protesting the very process that would help bring prices down. The city will turn into the playground of the smart, well-educated, creative, and productive innovators. That is actually pretty cool if you think about it. As they said in the bible: The geek shall inherit the earth.

  2. Johnny

    “Waiters can’t wait!”
    “Subsidies are a right!”

    I wish these protestors would put all of their energy into educating themselves in order to get a higher-paying job instead of spending all this time protesting progress.

    Do they think the people buying the “luxury” condos didn’t have to work for them? Prepare for a SHOCKER! They did.

    “Booooooooo,” the crowd replied. “Boooooooo.”

    Long hours, hard work, responsibility == good pay and hopefully some of the nice things in life.

    • Ramón

      @Johnny: The men who recently painted my building worked very hard and put in many hours (always more than eight per day), yet cannot afford to purchase luxury condos or even at-rate homes in San Francisco. How can anyone compare one kind of job to another and say that those who make less money are not working very hard? How can one justify the fact that teachers, who are usually highly educated and totally dedicated to their jobs yet are among the very lowest paid workers, should not own homes? It seems that in your opinion these people are not as valuable to society and do not deserve the same things as others. I am obliged to tell you that I own a small building, so please don’t consider me to be one of the people who feels entitled to free housing or services. The problem is that San Francisco has become expensive beyond anyone’s imagination. Those who don’t earn lots of money can no longer afford to live here. I don’t have an answer to this conundrum, but neither do you. Your letter adequately demonstrates this.

      • Johnny

        I don’t feel that painters deserve a job in San Francisco any more than teachers or software engineers.

        I appreciate the free market and how market forces work. The market will always judge the value of a job. If the market wanted to give teachers higher compensation, it would. If you don’t make enough money on a taxpayer funded job, maybe its time to think about the private market?

        Additionally, who guaranteed you that you would always have a home in San Francisco? That person sold you a lie and you should ask for a refund. Since you own a home here, you know what I mean.

        Unless you are enjoying Prop-13 subsidized property taxes, in which case you are another doof that benefits from a 40-year old tax break while complaining that CA taxes don’t cover enough public services.

        If you can’t afford San Francisco, sell your small building (hopefully for a large profit) and move somewhere that you can afford. “Too expensive” is always relative to your financial situation.

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