Advocates Rally Against Proposed Mission Condos

Protestors gather at 16 and Mission BART. Photo by Erica Hellerstein.

Protestors gather at 16 and Mission BART. Photo by Erica Hellerstein.

A coalition of housing advocates, activists, and Mission residents joined forces at 16th street BART Plaza on Saturday afternoon to rally against a proposed large-scale market-rate housing development at 16th and Mission Street.

As Mission Local reported earlier,  the housing development, which was proposed by Maximus Real Estate Partners, would build 351 housing units and 32,000 square feet of retail space at 1979 Mission Street and could replace several existing storefronts; including Walgreens, Hwa Lei Market, City Club Bar and Burger King.   The project is at a preliminary stage and has not yet been approved by the Planning Department.

At the rally, members of the new La Plaza 16 Coalición/ The Plaza 16 Coalition (consisting of a wide range of local member organizations including the Mission Economic Development Agency, Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, and PODER), gathered to also advocate for affordable alternatives. The 16th Street and Mission Street area, they argued, has the highest concentration of Single Room Occupancy Hotels in the Mission and it is unclear how the proposed development will accommodate the city’s affordable housing requirements.

Maria Zamudio, the San Francisco Housing Rights Organizer with Causa Justicia: Just Cause, said the coalition was created after members first heard about the market-rate housing development, which will mainly consist of two to four unit apartments renting at $3,500 to $5,000 per month.

“That’s a level that folks that live in this intersection would never be able to afford,” she said. “If building market rate housing was going be what solved the housing crisis then we would have seen it happen.”

Zamudio said that more than 300 units of market rate housing have been built, or proposed, in 2013. “And they haven’t lessened the housing crisis in the Mission,” she remarked. “Rents are still going up, evictions are still going up, folks are still getting harassed by their landlords to leave.”

For Christopher Harris, a recent San Francisco transplant from Los Angeles, the lack of Mission-based affordable housing has gotten in the way of getting off the streets. “I’m currently homeless at the time, and I’m out here for equal housing opportunity,” he said. “It’s so hard to get a place, The rent’s so expensive. I’ve been trying to get on every list that I can get. I’ve filled out 10 applications in the last month and I’m still here.”

Harris said that San Francisco offers better services for the homeless than Los Angeles but falls short when it comes to affordable housing. “It’s 700, 800, 900 dollars a month. I can’t afford it.”

In addition to housing affordability, protestors voiced concerns about the shuttering of local businesses and other neighborhood institutions. Paula Tejada, the owner and founder of the empanada cafe Chile Lindo, said she thinks the proposed 10-story structure would crowd out or shut down local businesses.

“There needs to be consideration for low and medium income people so that the business owners are not displaced and this construction is not so invasive,” she said. “If I have construction going on outside of my business, I’d want to close and open up when they’re done. It is so invasive. If there’s tons of construction and cranes and noise, who is going to want to come here?”

Tejada added that residents are also concerned about construction impeding student learning at Marshall Elementary School, which sits behind the proposed development. “When you have that amount of construction work, how are the children going to study?” she wondered.

With a looming eviction notice and small business in the heart of the construction battleground, Tejada has become a vocal spokeswoman for The Plaza 16 Coalition and the focus of recent media attention. A Mission resident of over two decades, Tejada worries that if the development crowds out longtime local businesses the neighborhood may lose some of its flavor –  concern that several other advocates voiced at Saturday’s protest.

“Often times there’s a false choice that gets talked about in working class neighborhoods of color,” said Zamudio. “You either let gentrification happen and people get pushed out but that’s the loss for cleaner neighborhoods, safer neighborhoods. Or, you do not allow gentrification to happen and you get urban slums. We need to center communities, existing residents, and folks that use these public spaces in the conversation and have them sit at the table to get real solutions. Otherwise the problems are just going to be moved out and there’s never going to be a real solution. Instead of the problem being at 16th and Mission, it’s just going to be somewhere else.”

178 Comments

  1. pete

    Zamudio said that more than 300 units of market rate housing have been built, or proposed, in 2013. “And they haven’t lessened the housing crisis in the Mission,”
    Yeah, that’s why we need MORE housing.
    Clueless…

    • Zig

      It really makes no difference. Other forces will swamp any efforts to build more housing in the Mission

      This is much like the arguments against a small increase in the minimum wage. Econ 101 says one thing if you isolate this variable but the real word is very complex

      • John

        Just because SF can never build enough housing does not mean that we should not build any.

        If the money is there to build these homes, then we should build them. Partly for the associated BMR units that will be part of the deal, and partly to provide an alternative to more affluent people buying up existing housing stock, which will drive up housing costs.

        If every new affluent arrival had a new condo waiting for him, there would be less TICs formed out of existing rental buildings.

        • landline

          As long as real estate speculators can make super profits by converting rental housing into TIC’s and condos, they will, regardless of how much new luxury housing their brethren develop. Building more luxury housing hastens gentrification and the incentives to convert existing rental housing. That’s why the real estate boosters push so hard for it, while positing disingenuous falsehoods that its development is good for current poor and working class residents.

          • John

            RE development is an inherently risky business because all the costs have to be paid before a single unit can be sold, and a project can take up to a decade, meaning much can go wrong during that time.

            So the rewards of development have to be high, or else nobody would risk it. And without such development, the vast majority of the existing housing stock would never have been built and, no doubt, your own home is the result of a speculative investment.

            But again, it is your distaste for someone making a profit that you are bringing up here, rather than a serious consideration of whether these homes are needed. And clearly they are needed because other similar projects do quickly sell out once they are finished.

            If existing homes were being destroyed as part of this, you might have a point. But they aren’t and so you don’t.

          • landline

            Existing rental housing is being destroyed daily as speculators convert it into TIC’s and condos and either evicting its residents or buying them out under threat of eviction.

            What this neighborhood needs is 100% affordable housing development, not luxury housing development.

          • John

            The only reason TIC formation happens at all is because people want to own their own homes rather than rent, and because there is a value gap created by rent control, such that a SF home is worth too little as a rental because of control on rents.

            That said, most SF TIC buyers are residents who previously rented. The two TIC owners I know well personally are a teacher and a nurse. Are they the kid of people you want to not provide home ownership opportunities for?

            Meanwhile, your idea that new homes should be 100% affordable is clearly not possible. Nowhere anywhere on the planet can do that, nor should do that. It’s impossible to build a cheap home in SF so what happens with a so-called affordable home is that the resident gets some form of subsidy. IOW, someone else pays for it.

            There will only ever be a limited amount of funds for BMR construction because the voters do not want to pay higher taxes. So building homes for profit is the best solution – the rich get some new homes and the poor do as well.

            Diversity includes having rich white people too, you know?

          • Such simple mixed fools, EVERY building in thus town was built because of PROFIT. No profit and we would all be living in tents….

          • I don’t want to live in a City that only the affluent can live in – because that’s not a City, that’s a gated community. However, no one is entitled to anything upon arriving here and I am honestly tired, like John and others, of being accused of not “caring about poor people” because we actually can afford to live here. It is envy and it is spite and as long as that attitude continues, NO solutions are going to come out of anything. John is also right – you don’t solve a housing crisis by building all below market rate housing. You know what that creates? A ghetto – which is exactly what happened in the Western Addition after the “clean up” of Fillmore Street. This City needs more housing – it needs more density. It needs removal of stupid restrictions that don’t allow single family homeowners to expand and use their space to open more units. There was a study recently that if we allowed just 1/3 of the single family homes in the Sunset to add a rental unit, not only would we solve the current crisis (because that would bring enough units online), those units would be affordable as well because the Sunset is one of the last somewhat affordable places in this City. Housing needs to be built everywhere – at all price points. But that will never happen as long as you’ve got a group like John is pointing out that is unwilling to even discuss reasonable solutions because they can’t get past their own envy and hypocrisy.

        • zig

          I don’t disagree with you. I am just pointing our that simplistic arguments don’t work.

          The Mission is gone for bluecollar workers

          The failure is the last 30 years not letting other areas densify as they would have naturally

    • The pro luxury development and pro economic displacement crowd should start reading conservative free market theory publications. Both the Economist and Forbes are taking issues head on, and siding with protections against economic displacement. Really? Really.

      Please check out today’s Forbes article on communities of opportunity:
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/citi/2014/01/29/the-secret-to-thriving-city-neighborhoods/

      BTW the argument that all housing is built for profit is false. There are plenty of low income developments in SF, some quite recent. But not enough. And these don’t address the hard working people in the middle who still can’t compete for 3000$/month or 1M$ studios etc. And it is true that all recent and upcoming developments are luxury, sometimes with a small fraction of BMR. This still leaves nothing for the middle …

      Basically SF has no urban planning, it is a for-maximum-profit free for all. I don’t see how developers and landlords could still be aggressively lobbying against any changes in housing policy and are bent on destroying rent control. Not enough profit? You want to guarantee financial security for how many of your future generations?

      Meanwhile we watch as long term affordable establishments of various kinds are replaced daily by 4$ toast, 15$ sandwiches and cocktails. More luxury housing obviously accelerates this …

      • Below market rate housing still has to be profitable for the private developer that builds it, even if the City decides to subsidize it. Otherwise, banks will not finance its construction. Normally, buildings with below market rate units add market rate units in order to make the entire project profitable and get the necessary bank investment to build. And since when was either breaking even or turning a profit a bad thing? I thought this was the US?

      • timtyronus

        it’s great that you are using thoughtful arguments in this otherwise heated discussion, but I respectfully disagree with you on several matters.

        for starters, you seem to suggest that pro luxury development people are also pro-displacement — that is not necessarily the case and frankly, seems to solicit an emotional response. so best not to make accusations that cannot be verified.

        you are correct that there have been low-income developments, but you seem to suggest that all development should be of this type. there are simply not enough resources to build enough bmr/affordable housing developments. the groups who already do that – Eden, Bridge, Mercy, etc, have a very hard time putting the funds together to finance projects. Doubtful that there’s a lot more out there to be found.

        as for market rate with BMR units — those BMR units do not get built without the market-rate units, and market rate units do not pencil out financially unless they can show a profit — and that profit is not as significant as you think it is.

        finally — to say that SF has “no planning” is completely out of touch. There are many professional planners trying very hard to represent many factions of the City to make sure it is built in a way that serves all its residents.

      • zig

        I agree with your first part but the second premise is ludicrous.

        There is not a more planned big city in the US than San Francisco. BMR units will never substitute for the market providing housing for most people and the overplanning in this city has failed us. Real estate speculators built every neighborhood in San Francisco

      • Rickshaw

        I read the Economist in full every week. Please post the article you are referring to.

    • monstro

      People can’t live in proposed housing. How many actual units of housing were built in The Mission in 2013? I know only 1400 were built citywide, so I would be amazed if it was even 100 units.

  2. Mel

    I heard that SFUSD sold the property right across the street from this proposed development – for affordable housing. It’s been sitting vacant for years. It’s the property that Mayor Lee offered to the Occupy movement a couple years back. Mission Local – can you look into this? I heard it from a Marshall Elementary parent – but would be great to get confirmation on whether that blighted lot will be developed into affordable units.

  3. John

    So Christopher Harris is complaining that there are no cheap places to live in SF but admits that he only moved here from LA very recently.

    Did he not do any research on housing costs before he showed up? Why did he move here knowing he could not afford it?

    More generally, this just sounds like the usual mob of NIMBY’s and envy mongers who oppose anything, presumably preferring the squalor that currently pollutes that intersection.

    • landline

      Prove your envy accusation or STFU. You are a classist hater who equates people with garbage. Ronald Reagan said, “Trees pollute.” John the
      Bigot’s message is that poor people are pollution.

      • John

        There is no other possible explanation for someone to oppose the building of a home for affluent people. Because if that home is not built, not one poor person will get a cheap home nor benefit in any way. In fact, the development would provide some BMR homes, rather than none if it is not built.

        So the only other explanation is spite. They simply are saying that if we can’t have cheap homes, then nobody should have any homes. AKA envy.

        Most affordable homes in SF happen because of the set-asides and fees from developments like these, so opposing such developments means you oppose BMR housing too.

        That said, I offered two explanations – the other being NIMBY’ism i.e. the position of opposing all new buildings on principle.

        NIMBYism and envy are the two forces in this city that prevent homes being built at all price levels.

        • landline

          If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound?

          If John says something, is it the only possible explanation?

          Once upon a time, this city opened itself to free thinkers, refugees, artists, non-conformists, iconoclasts, gold diggers and virtually anyone else. Now, only money grubbers need apply. And their most vocal spokesman uses hundreds of words to express his most simplistic of messages: poor people are garbage, money is the only legitimate desire, opposition to luxury housing development is envious NIMBYism.

          • John

            I invited you to give an alternative explanation and you could not. therefore my explanation stands until a better one comes along.

            San Francisco was never open to people who cannot or do not pay their bills. I’m surprised you think otherwise.

            To oppose something just because you personally cannot afford it is a position based on spite and resentment. I prefer more positive and creative postures.

          • You are so busy hating responsible people with more money than you , that you are blinded to the extent of your own monstrous hate

          • John

            Yes, Kevin, it’s ironic that these “advocates” accuse RE developers of “hating” poor people, while all the time spewing vile hatred at people who aren’t poor.

            It’s almost as if they cannot see their own hypocrisy.

            And in fact, I’ve never met a successful person who hated people who weren’t successful.

          • landline

            Your commentary is a collection of hatred towards poor people and their advocates and allies. By your own definition, you are unsuccessful.

            How is an explanation of the economic forces at work in this neighborhood, an explanation with which you largely agree, hatred?

          • We do not hate poor people, I hate thieves who steal other peoples property. I HATE PROPERTY THIEVES !

          • John

            I don’t hate anyone based on their membership of a class.

            But your idea that affluence is a problem and that poverty is far more desirable here has no logic to it.

        • I would have RICH property thieves as well….

          • When you name is on the deed the Ellis act is the law and you can use your property as you see fit, thinking it it’s your property just because you had your lazy ass subsidized for years by rent control is theft! Pure and simple…..

          • You just found out about rent control? Did someone beg you to buy the property at a steep discount? Seems like very poor business planning to make investments weighed down by laws which might not be in your favor…

          • John

            B2B, did tenants only just find out that they can be Ellis evicted?

          • There were many more Ellis acts in the 2000’s than now.. But the property thieves can make so much more noise today, using social media that the tech people, they envy and hate created for them to vent on. Isn’t it ironic ?

        • > There is no other possible explanation for someone to oppose the building of a home for affluent people.

          False.

          • John

            I’ve given two reasons – NIMBYism and envy.

            There maybe a third one but nobody has presented it so far.

          • You said there is no other possible explanation, which is laughably false, and ignores the quite common explanation that an increase in luxury housing in a neighborhood often serves to increase property values to the point where all other housing in the neighborhood increases in price as well.

          • John

            That explanation has no evidence supporting it.

          • Neither does your ridiculous and class war inciting assertion that opposition is based on envy.

            Besides, you don’t need to agree with the reason. The mere fact that there are alternative reasons than the two you claimed were the only possible ones proves you wrong quite handily.

          • John

            Sorry but I asked for credible reasons. It’s credible that some might envy the rich and it’s credible that someone might not want a high-rise in their back yard. It isn’t credible that neither apply but that you don’t want it built anyway because of some upside-down theory that less supply means lower prices.

          • Supply isn’t built equal. Increasing the supply of luxury yachts isn’t going to lead to a lot more people getting yachts. Besides, the relationship between higher property values and increased rents is well established and likewise the development of luxury facilities with increased property values is also well known.

            You’re being disingenuous and rejecting reason based arguments that don’t comply to your narrow emotion based worldview.

            Besides, it’s simply not credible that so many people would protest solely out of spite. That’s ridiculous.

          • John

            Wrong, if the Chinese started mass producing luxury yachts, the price would drop. We’ve seen that with many products already.

            If we built more cheaply, e.g. by building higher, then homes would necessarily be cheaper.

            There is no reason to your argument because it’s just theory. there is no evidence or proof to support such a counter-intuitive idea.

          • You are laughably wrong.

            For you to discount the well established correlations between developments and property values, and between property values and rental values as a “theory” that’s counter intuitive is foolishly naive at best.

            You have no evidence to support your emotional, class war inciting arguments, yet you refuse to accept fact based arguments that contradict them. This is the very definition of narrow mindedness (not to mention willful ignorance).

          • John

            You claim your idea is “well established” but you cannot point to any establishment of it.

            You cannot turn the normal supply/demand theory of pricing upside down just by claiming it’s wrong.

          • Are you being purposefully dense?

            I’m saying that building new developments raises property values. This is well studied and established.
            http://www.rasimons.com/documents/articles/the-effect-of-residential%20investment-on-nearby.pdf

            Rents will increase to what the market can bear, where they aren’t limited, so if new rentals are an average of 3,500 to 5000 dollars a month, other landlords can be expected to want to raise their rents to an equivalent amount.

            Therefore it’s perfectly natural for people with low income, paying low rents would be opposed to high rent developments being built in their area.

            Your emotional arguments regarding envy are still ridiculous and you’ve never addressed why someone would organize a protest simply out of spite and not self interest. Your claim that there is no other possible explanation is absurd. You can try to pick apart my rational arguments as much as you want, but it does nothing to mitigate how idiotic sounding your emotional arguments are.

          • John

            Since I don’t accept your premise, it follows that I do not accept your conclusion.

            If you believe otherwise, you should be arguing to remove existing housing, in order to lower the price.

          • Once again, not talking about housing in general. I’m talking about housing for affluent people. If you had a shred of intellectual integrity you wouldn’t go about trying to deflect and change the subject so much.

            > There is no other possible explanation for someone to oppose the building of a home for affluent people.

            That is what you said. You cannot defend it, so you make up ridiculous claims that I want to reduce housing stock instead.

            I’ve provided evidence to support my claim, now come up with your own evidence to back up your own claims or just shut up.

          • John

            Affluent people need homes too. If you do not build them, that obviously creates bidding wars for the existing housing stock, leading to greater displacement.

            If you care about affordable housing, and i’m not convinced that you do, then you want to see new construction of homes at all levels. as long as the finance is in place.

            I’m afraid I just don’t share your class war viewpoint.

          • The only person pushing class warfare here is the commenter who stated “There is no other possible explanation (but envy) for someone to oppose the building of a home for affluent people.”

            Just because you claim something, doesn’t make it true. I have provided evidence to back my claims; the facts are unbiased. You have nothing to support your position but your own stubbornness and a dogmatic, class war inciting world view.

          • John

            You haven’t convinced me and, more importantly, you haven’t convinced the voters of SF who elected a pro-development mayor on a platform to create more jobs and homes.

            There are dozens of cranes on the city skyline and each one signifies that you have lost this debate where it counts, which isn’t here but out on the streets and in the polling stations.

          • Obviously I haven’t convinced you. It’s impossible to convince a dogmatic, narrow minded individual such as yourself.

            But I’ve still proven my case, provided evidence of my position, and refuted your faulty claim that Ed Lee’s election can be credibly inferred to back the position you claim.

            In all rational circles, this would be sufficient. It is only against someone such as yourself who has made his mind up in advance and refuses to accept any evidence that goes against his narrow, class warfare pushing world view that my arguments don’t matter, and I accept that. I only hope others read this and see how empty and ridiculous your arguments become when your lies are so systematically taken apart and destroyed.

          • John

            No, every factor you claimed can easily be classified as either ency or NIMBY’ism.

            Your claim that more supply equals higher prices is the exact opposite of what every economist says but, hey, you know better right?.

          • If you could easily explain my explanation as envy, you would have done so by now. Since you can’t, just admit that you were wrong and there are other “possible explanation(s)” and move on.

            You’re only ridiculing yourself by showcasing your narrow mindedness, obsession with pushing class warfare and lack of intellectual integrity here.

          • John

            That you even classify and stereotype people as being “affluent” or “poor” shows envy.

            Well balanced people can look at others without classifying them.

          • The facts are that some people are affluent and some people are poor.

            Well balanced people rely on facts and not their own personal ideology and dogma. And recognizing facts has nothing to do with your emotional tirades.

            Your premise is absurd and obviously false.

          • John

            Most people are neither and the idea that we should only build homes for people who fit some ideolog’s idea of politically acceptable and correct is repugnant to anyone who claims to care about equity and justice.

            BTW, i’m still waiting for your proof that the less of a product on offer, the cheaper it gets?

          • Since I never argued against supply and demand, wait as long as you want.

            I argued that new developments drove up property values and rents and would price people who couldn’t afford these inflated rents out of the area. And I provided evidence of that.

            Stop trying to deflect and change the subject and provide some evidence that undermines my claim or just admit you are wrong.

            To claim that it’s “envy” to recognize that some can afford all rents going up in areas around luxury housing developments while some cannot is absurd.

          • John

            But that IS the supply and demand issue. Less supply drives up the price – the exact opposite of your claim.

            You haven’t offered evidence – only opinions, which I refuted.

          • Read my evidence again, idiot, and stop lying about what I have already provided.
            http://www.rasimons.com/documents/articles/the-effect-of-residential%20investment-on-nearby.pdf

            You can argue all you want regarding your easily refuted opinions, but you cannot argue with facts.

          • John

            Data from depressed Cleveland is not valid for booming SF.

            Many things affect rents and home values, and it’s impossible to isolate any one and it’s effects.

            But generally if demand stays the same and supply increases, then the price must decline to maintain equilibrium between supply and demand.

          • landline

            Fyodor, two beers and others cite a study that shows that increasing the supply of housing by building housing that costs more than existing housing raises the price of the existing housing. Furthermore, the argument you keep using about destroying units to lower price is a red herring to distract from empirical evidence that contradicts the strict applicability of supply and demand at its most simplistic for a complex, differentiated market like housing.

            The theories of supply and demand are more complicated than “raising the supply lowers prices.”

            In fact, orthodox economics teaches that in free markets, profit equals zero. They missed on that one also.

            Current residents know that building expensive apartment/condo developments will raise property values and rents in the neighborhood (absent a macroeconomic shock). That’s why most property owners and real estate interests are pushing so hard for these developments and why most renters, especially those with lower incomes, oppose them.

            But hey, if you like to type the word “envy” a lot, have at it. You don’t stand behind your words, so who cares?

          • John

            What you are missing is that correlation is not causation. It’s entirely possible that RE values may go up when there is development.

            But it is the rising prices that motivate the development. Nobody wants to build when RE prices are declining as 5 years ago.

            You note the correlation but infer the correlation in totally the wrong way.

            If I could magically create 100,000 new condos in the Mission and adjoining areas tomorrow, RE prices would decline substamntially. Guaranteed.

          • Thank you landline, for so masterfully explaining and summing it up what I was trying to explain to our bufoonish friend here.

            John, you are once again ignoring all evidence that contradicts your dogmatic ideology and class warfare inciting narrative. If any of us could “magically” create 100,000 new condos in the Mission, we might not be having this conversation, but the rest of us live in the land of reality and deal in facts. Since you are so clearly divorced from reality I totally get why you cannot understand the complexity of markets when it comes to housing.

          • John

            His point was perfectly refuted above. You ignore that because it doesn’t suit your bias.

            Anyway, who cares? Those market-rate condos are going up and you are powerless to prevent them. Suck it up.

          • Refute. You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means. ;)

            Sorry that the truth doesn’t conform to your ideological bias.

          • John

            Refutation was given in full above.

          • Sorry, no. You’re delusional.

    • Have not you heard, Everyone who shows up in SF has a right to free or steeply discounted housing. Blame rent control for fostering a generation of leeches on the city.

      • John

        We have set up entitlements and expectations that can no longer be met, and the journey from where we are to where we must go will be painful for many.

        The fact that some people might need to relocate a few miles is as unavoidable as it is necessary. That number will be mitigated if we aggressively build new homes with a sufficient density and volume.

        The housing advocates are a big part of the reason why we have a housing problem, as their policies inhibit new construction and deter property owners from renting out their units.

  4. Zig

    I’m skeptical that kid in the plaid shirt has lived in SF more than 4-5 years. That is no Mission native

  5. Charlie the Guy Who Likes SF

    They don’t seem to realize that they lost this war in the 1990s. All that’s left are the people who were able to stay on as long as they have – but they will be out soon enough.

    Also, there are other neighborhoods that one can afford in SF that are nice and sunny too. Justy sayin’.

    • John

      Yes, not only are there other parts of SF that are considerably cheaper, like Sunset, Bayview and Excelsior, but there are also the neighboring cities and counties, which are significantly more affordable and only a few miles and minutes away.

      Not everyone has to live in the more expensive parts of the more expensive cities. That’s why we have BART.

      • zig

        The problem is these areas is the housing mix is all wrong and not what the market wants or needs

        • John

          I agree to some extent, but that can be addressing by building higher densities in those areas, which are currently typified by single-floor and two-floor single family homes.

          If SF is not going to build real high density in it’s core, then it needs to build higher densities further out and along major road and transit corridors.

          A second BART tunnel and line would also enable the outward migration of those who find the core of the city too expensive for them.

          • zig

            A second BART tunnel is not happening in the next 40 years.

            We build current BART stations next to Costcos and Malls

          • John

            I saw some design ideas for a new BART tunnel just a few weeks ago. It could be done in a decade or so if the political will was there.

  6. This is not “luxury” housing. It’s just regular housing…

  7. mission King

    I think all the affordable housing around mission and 16th is what causes it to be a shithole, we need this area cleaned up pronto. This would be a welcome improvement in this area, making it safer

  8. mission King

    this will do nothing but improve the area, stop whining, affordable housin at 16th and mission is what the problem is, its a nasty place right now

  9. I live on 24th

    I support building there but only if it is 500 units and at least 100 of them are for low income families.

  10. Mario

    The Mission district was home to mostly Hispanic low and middle class hard working people that make the community rich in culture..To build $3500 a month apartments on 16th and mission is saying directly…”HEY POOR PEOPLE, LEAVE, THE RICHER PEOPLE ARE COMING AND YOUR NOT INVITED…Gentrification at its best

    • pete

      Exactly what part of the culture at 16th nd mission do you consider ‘rich?’ The drug dealing? Mugging? Stealing? Or, perhaps the lovely stench of human feces?

    • John

      So hispanics make an area “rich in culture” but white people do not?

    • So the Germans and irish originally in the Mission before so many Illegal aliens swarmed in, had no culture? At least the Tech people are mostly all real citizens…

  11. ThatGuy

    Clowns being clowns. I hope he goes back to LA or Bakersfield.

  12. Market Forces

    There is a fundamental supply/demand issue happening in SF.

    Adding to the housing stock will help. 300 new market rate units being rented/sold to people who can afford it means that those 300 do not have to displace existing units.

    Undoubtedly those who can afford market rate and want to live here, WILL live here. Only a question of where. A new development or via displacement?

    • nutrisystem

      Manhattan tried to build its way to affordability.

      A century ago, it was of a similar density as SF now, and people who believed in market forces said “Build! Build more and the prices will come down!”.

      Well, guess what? … They built to the point where the island is a cold, ugly forest of skyscrapers, and IT’S MORE EXPENSIVE THAN EVER!

      Building won’t work – it will just create more demand for corporate drone housing.

      The solution is to remove the welcome mat from big tech. In other words, do the exact opposite to what tax-break tech-whore Ed Lee has done: tax big tech MORE than other sectors. Tax them until they leave.

      Good riddance in advance.

      The ultra-creepy surveillance/advertising/social-control industry is antithetical to the values of SF and does not belong here.

      • John

        So if only NYC had built nothing, it would now be a cheap place to live?

        • nutrisystem

          If NYC had stopped building, it probably WOULD be cheaper, because the corporate HQs would have dispersed to other cities instead of all being clustered there.

          • John

            OK, so all we have to do is destroy entire corporations, reverse a lot of economic growth, and demolish buildings that provide millions of jobs?

            And the reward will be cheaper rents? Well, that certainly seems worth it. And in fact Detroit is living proof that your idea would work.

            Good luck convincing the voters with that one.

          • nutrisystem

            So John, you consider exploding costs and stagnant wages “economic growth? That’s some fucked up logic.

          • John

            Economic growth is measured by statistics and not by someone’s preferences for the kind of person who lives in a given city.

            Advancing policies that harm economic growth will not get you very far in this country, nor even in this most left-wing of cities, as Avalos discovered in the last mayoral election.

      • zig

        you know what though

        I know people who live in Hobboken and Brooklyn that have much better access to Manhattan than anyone outside of like 1/2 of SF has and way cheaper rents

        • John

          Yes, access needs to be improved too. It’s fairly good along BART lines and not otherwise.

          I’d personally like to see a new BART tunnel, an alternate BART line from east to the south, and the planned extensions to BART built to the east and south.

          The Bay Area is probably 5,000 square miles. We have the space.

          • zig

            even the existing BART stations outside of some in Oakland and Berkeley are park and rise commuter rail stations and not urban stations

            A lot could be done with the current stations

          • John

            A BART station drives development in that area. Build it and they will come.

            But the main purpose is surely to get workers into SF for work.

            That said, if BART is extended to San Jose and allowed to run back up the peninsula to Milbrae, we’d have a significantly better networked system allowing for populations to be diversified across a much larger area.

            The professional center of the Bay Area is already somewhere south of SF.

      • NFS

        LOL! You are sadly misinformed. Harlem was developed at the turn of the previous century. It was dramatically overbuilt and thus the prices dropped below what developers had paid to build it. Consequently the target market of the development; WASPs, did not move in. Rather, East Harlem became one of the largest Italian neighbourhoods outside of Italy, and West Harlem became the 3rd largest concentration of Jewish people in the world after Warsaw and the Lower East Side. These communities started leaving by the 1930s, and now there are only churches in west Harlem that sport Stars of David as a reflection that they used to by Synagogues, and a minuscule Italian community in East Harlem. The prices came WAY down, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and African Americans moved in, and those that strove, bought brownstones for a fraction of what they are now worth. Oddly, the Italian & Jewish demographic communities are reviving, including in Washington Heights to the north.

        • nutrisystem

          Here’s a listing for a single family Harlem house, on sale for $3.4 million.

          http://harlembespoke.blogspot.com/2010/06/dwell-30-west-120th-street-brownstone.html

          Is this your idea of an affordable home?

          • nutrisystem

            Looks like the WASPS moved in, just a little late.

          • John

            At nearly 4,700 square feet, it works out about $720 per square foot.

            You may not think that is affordable but it’s cheaper per square foot than the average SF home.

            It’s affordable if it sells and not if it doesn’t sell, so we will find out soon enough.

          • NFS

            There are literally tens of thousands of subsidized housing units in Harlem. That is affordable housing that is well below market value. The example you site, though extremely expensive is a ten minute walk from an Ivy League institution (Columbia University). The average price for a Brownstone is about 1.2 million. The majority of these were long ago cut up into apartments though they were originally built as single family dwellings when Harlem was radically over-built. Many of these were bought by members of the community many years ago (African Americans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans) when they were much less expensive and they are now rented out at very high prices to anyone arriving more recently.

          • NFS

            Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find some things are much cheaper: http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/New_York,NY/0-100000_price/
            The first two listings are both under 100k and in Harlem.

  13. Pamela

    16th & Mission Streets has been a slum for years. Before it was a great mix of people, lots of good mom-pop businesses, wonderful movie houses. Now it is the dump of SF; there is no culture, unless you consider crime, filth as it! The area is never safe to go around there, even in the day time. This project is the perfect way to clean up the area, make it safe for everyone, plus bring new housing & businesses to that stretch of the Mission.

    • Rickshaw

      Hate to break it to you but no new development will clean up the area unless it demolishes the SRO hotels along this strip (which the non profits will never allow) Until then, it remains the first stop for newly released convicts and parolees and one of thier few options for housing that does not require a job, a FICO and a security deposit.

  14. Steven C

    There is a housing shortage in SF. BUILD IT!

    • two beers

      There isn’t a housing shortage. There’s an *affordable* housing shortage. Building luxury condos not only does not abate the skyrocketing housing costs, it actually contributes to the price escalation.

      The only way to make housing affordable is to provide affordable housing.

      • John

        But building subsidized homes costs money that we don’t have. We build market-rate units because there is the money to build them and, as a byproduct, at least some affordable units are created.

        Refusing to build market-rate homes will not help a single poor person.

        • two beers

          Refusing to build luxury lofts will prevent many people from being evicted, because without the property value bubble caused by the building of the luxury lofts, landlords wouldn’t be trying to Ellis their tenants to capitalize on the boom. i.e. the price escalation effect the luxury loft development is causing is the current lure to landlords to empty their properties out; The eviction rampage will subside when this multi-asset bubble collapses.

          • John

            All the evidence indicates the exact opposite. If the affluent newcomers cannot find a new build condo to buy, their frustrated demand for homes will increase the incentive to Ellis, TIC and condo.

            If your theory was correct, then we can have affordable housing simply by demolishing lots of homes. That’s totally illogical and counter-intuitive.

            The bigger problem is pushing the cost of subsidizing peoples’ homes onto property owners, as rent control does. The result is that landlords look for any opportunity to take their untis off the market, if not by Ellis then by any other means possible.

            I’m fairly typical in that I have largely moved away from long-term rentals. I either convert and see the units, or do short-term corporate or tourist lets. It’s just not worthwhile to take the risk of being stuck with a low rent tenant for life.

            We have a housing crisis because of the city’s land use policies.

          • two beers

            We have a housing crisis because of QE2.

          • John

            So you want to go back to 2009 and a collapsing economy and markets?

            Just so a few people getting subsidized rents and handouts can keep getting them?

          • two beers

            In 2009 there was an opportunity tom address the causes of the collapse. Instead, Obama created moral hazard by refusing to prosecute any of the Wall St banksters for committing the greatest financial heist in history, and Bernanke kicked the can down the road by suppressing interest rates far longer than healthy, and by buying up hundreds of billions of dollars of cratered mortgage-backed securities at 100% on the dollar.

            The result of this is that we now are in an even bigger bubble than the previous one, which means we are headed for another epic collapse.

            Why should the working tax-payers have to bail out Chase, Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Wells? In the real economy, their is real risk, because businesses are allowed to fail. Why are banks above the law, and exempt from the market forces that would destroy business that would fail if they didn’t control government policy?

            Wall St is not allowed to fail, which is an implicit guarantee that your property values will be artificially inflated..This is property as theft, and the beneficiaries of this policy are thieves.

          • landline

            The walls of the bubble seem near their breaking point.

          • John

            TwoBeers, I agree to some extent. I certainly think that GM should have been allowed to fail, and probably at least a couple of the major banks could have failed rather than be backstopped.

            But QE has allowed an orderly situation to manifest. and while we may see a further crash (stocks are only down 5% from their peak so it is way too soon to predict that) the entire situation feels much more manageable now.

            Moreover anyone with healthy gains in stocks and RE can cash them in, and that will be real money.

            But I am all in favor of pain, as long as that pain is shared, and that doesn’t mean that Mission district tenants get spared either.

          • two beers

            Right, I see, the “pain”, i.e. the consequences of the crimes of Wall St banksters should be “shared” by everyone, i.e the workers and your tenants.

            Unfortunately, the workers and your tenants have borne all the pain. The Wall St crooks and the beneficiaries of their bail-out –eg landlords — get off scot-free, with their assets artificially propped up at worker expense.

            How generous of you to endorse letting manufacturing companies that provide jobs to the 99% should be let to fail.

          • John

            Ah, so when you said you opposed the bailouts, you conveniently omitted from that GM, which was bailed out at the exact same time as the banks?

            The blame for the 2007-2009 market decline was very broadly based and you cannot just pin that on the specific groups that you just happen to be politically opposed to.

            But I will say this – but for QE many Mission tenants would now have no job, and therefore no home either.

          • two beers

            The banks __caused__ the collapse.

            I’m no big fan of GM, but it had little to nothing to do with the bubble or its collapse, and even though some jobs were saved, the restructuring hosed the unions, which should have you swooning with joy.

            In place of QE2 blowing a bigger bubble QE2, there should have been an orderly restructuring of the finance racket, and the revocation of Gramm-Leach-Bliley and the commodities Modernization Act of 2000.

            For a fraction of the hundreds of billions of dollars paid directly to bankrupt AIG and Wall St banks, the economy could have been reorganized and made stable and productive once again,. Instead, we doubled-down on the unstable and extractive Ponzi financialized economy of the 1%, with the absolute guarantee of another bigger collapse in the near term.

            Once again, our wall St overlords and their suckerfish beneficiaries will have to bailed out at great and extractive expanse to society.

          • John

            But didn’t a majority of Americans vote for exactly that type of policy?

            And if so, then even if you were right, so what? The majority get to decide what kind of nation they want.

        • landline

          There is plenty of money for affordable, social housing. It is a question of priorities. At least half the federal budget goes to war making, weapons systems and servicing the associated debt. In fact, the US government builds affordable housing without mortgages all the time when it builds housing for military personnel stationed in the United States and in over 150 other countries.

          The private sector will not build affordable housing because too many players have to take their cut of the action, most notably the banking sector which makes the cost of housing about twice the actual construction costs.

          The White House is public housing. 35 years of funding cuts for public and subsidized housing have decimated their production. Only a sea change in funding priorities will begin to alleviate this deficit and help stem the crisis.

          • John

            Or you could take some responsibility yourself and start up a non-profit, secure funding, and then buy up every building that is being Ellis’ed, rescind the eviction notices and run those buildings as going concerns.

            Or you could form a housing trust or co-op and run it as a non-profit.

            All valid idea that do not require the wholesale demolition of our federal government priorities.

            At any rate, we have no control over federal priorities and can only do what the state allows us to do, with money raised in taxes from willing local voters.

            So again, what are you waiting for? Get started with these funding ideas and provide a housing alternative.

          • landline

            All local non-profit housing developers need government funds to develop affordable housing. The model exists, the sufficient funding does not.

            You can’t pass up an opportunity to take a meaningful comment like mine and turn it into a personal attack, can you?

          • John

            No personal comment at all. I was simply pointing out that the legal infrastructure already exists to do what you suggest. You do not need any changes to law.

            If the voters do not support it enough to ensure public funds then that is another matter, implying that you have not yet won that debate.

            Why not talk to banks, float revenue bonds or offer public subscriptions? If your idea is good, success will follow. I am aware of two buildings run as co-ops – it’s entirely viable if the will is there. Heck, i’d even consider selling you a building if I thought you could make a success of it, at a market price though of course.

      • Rickshaw

        Please define affordable housing for us. Is it like the Eddy Rock projects?

  15. two beers

    yes, notice the international panic as the Fed scales back from $85/billion per month to “only” $65 billion. The cratering of stocks is Wall St holding a gun to Yellen and Obama,, threatening “blood in the streets” if the Masters of them Universe aren’t allowed to create as much phony paper as possible, and then sell it back to the American taxpayer.

    This is what capitalism has become: a kleptocracy run by a bank-mafia elite. producing nothing, capable only of extortion, and extracting all value out of the economy for itself and a few suckerfish parasites.

    And we are supposed to be “grateful” that the economy didn’t completely collapse in 2009? This is the only solution, to re-up and give the addict and even bigger dose of what nearly killed him?

    Madness.

    • two beers

      ^^ in response to landline at 2:36^^

    • John

      A 5% decline in stocks is “cratering” two beers?

      If and when it’s a 25% decline, you get to use that phrase. So far it has been a small and orderly decline.

      • two beers

        Okay, you don’t like “crater,” how about :”emerging market turmoil”, “contagion”, “rout” — all pulled from today’s headllines.

        You can nitpick definitions, but I notice you don’t refute the substance of what I say.

        • John

          I was the one providing substance in the form of actual statistics rather than emotive terms like 2turmoil” and “rout” which are little more than attempts to sensationalize normal market volatility to sell stories.

          The S&P 500 is down a little under 6% this year. Emerging Markets (known for their volatility) are down about 18% from their high.

          Both are still at more than double the level of their 2009 lows.

          Enough “substance” for you?

          • nutrisystem

            That means stocks are still 2x overvalued.

            The lows were determined by hard-nosed analysts who used actual business data to assess the value of companies.

            The highs are determined by PR hype and the gullibility of Joe Sixpack.

          • nutrisystem

            And, based on PE ratios, many tech stocks are 10x overvalued.

            Buy, douchebags, then borrow and buy more.

          • John

            The great thing about the markets is that there is no BS. You place your bets and we discover who was right and wrong in terms of who ends up with more money.

            No need to debate the issue. Just count the money.

          • nutrisystem

            Yes, it’s a lot like musical chairs. When the music stops you can see who doesn’t get a chair.

            But what you don’t see is that mini-earphone one guy has, giving him advance warning of the music stoppage.

          • John

            It’s a myth that anyone knows when the music will stop. Some of the biggest best-connected investors got killed in 2008.

            I didn’t because I hedged – something that anyone can do unless they are careless.

            The markets reward smartness and ability to manage risk.

  16. two beers

    The markets have only begun to “correct,” and there will be probably be several deadcat bounces on this roller coaster.

    The point is, without the Fed bailout via suppressed interest rates and direct purchase of extremely over-valued paper, the DOW would be around 8,000-9,000 (where it would be if it had followed its historic rate of growth w/ solid P/E ratios), and the associated spin-off asset bubbles — eg and especially property — would be toast.

    Without QE2, loose money speculative babies like Groupon, Zynga, Twitter, Yelp, et al, would have to turn a profit or go away, and so would their employees, and upward pressure on rents in SF — artificially propped up via QE2 — would return to normal.

    QE2 is the best thing that ever happened to you, John. Without it, you’re hosed. Instead of begrudging workers, taxpayers, and your tenants, you should thank those who have sacrificed so that you can enjoy the.benefits of QE2.

    • John

      TwoBeers, if you truly knew how to predict markets, you’d become a billionaire very quickly. Since I’m fairly sure you are not, I think we can safely throw your stock market predictions in with in various tipsters, pundits, prognosticators and charlatans all who have been wrong far more times about the market than been right.

      If I have made money out of QE2 it is because I predicted it and so was able to profit from it. Others could not and did not.

      You appear to wish financial doom on the nation just so you can continue to enjoy the cheap rents that would ensue from that.

      It won’t happen, of course, but I do have some good news for you. If you really want to live in a financially ruined city so that you can enjoy cheap housing then there is a way.

      It’s called Detroit, it’s already bankrupt, you can buy a home for a dollar, and I think you’d be much happier there.

      • two beers

        You have it exactly backwards. The status quo is financial doom for the 99% of the nation. A properly restructured financial sector would be great for Main St and the 99%, but not as profitable for Wall St and Landlord Lane. Things are great for you, and in your sociopathy, you don’t see that the policies that benefit you are disastrous for most Americans. You’re conflating your own pocketbook with the pocket book of the 99%. What you think is “financial doom” would actually be the possibility of a hopeful future for working people.

        • John

          So wait, your critical theory is that 99% of Americans would be better off if the government had done nothing about the sub-prime collapse?

          And the fact that Obama has been re-elected since QE2, indicating large support for that policy among Americans, is totally misleading?

  17. two beers

    Quit being disingenuous, John. I never said the government should have done nothing; I specifically said that there should have been a restructuring of the financial system, instead of making it whole at taxpayer expense and with the massive moral hazard of no prosecutions.

    • John

      The financial system was restructured. Lehman went bust, Fannie/Freddie were effectively nationalized as was AIG and Citi. Wells bought Wachovia, BofA bought Merrill and JPMorgan bought Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.

      Letting all the financial institutions fail would have been a disaster but nationalizing all banks would have been even more expensive.

      Iceland let all it’s banks fail and that wasn’t a riotous success either.

      The Bush/Obama solution (there wasn’t much difference between them) was a compromise between doing nothing and doing too much.

      We cannot control what governments do. We can only control how we invest to profit from what they do do.

      • two beers

        Nonsense. AIG bailed out 100% on the dollar to cover Goldman Sach’s busted derivative bets.

        None of the crooked bankers lost their jobs.In fact, they all got bonuses. Fannie and Freddie were incidental, marginal players.

        The main players were the Big Five Banks. No one was fired, let alone prosecuted, for the biggest financial crime in history.

        Bush and Obama’s policies were identical (if anything, Bush was harder on financial crime, viz Enron: he prosecuted his personal friend!)

        You’re right that we have no control over the government: the banks and the 1% have all the control. You know which side your bread is buttered on, buddy boy.

        • John

          How can you claim no bankers lost their jobs? Many at Lehman did for a start, and all the other banks did many layoffs.

  18. mission resident

    $800 2 bedroom in SF close to public transportation. affordable housing does exist in this city.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/apa/4317704809.html

    • backtotheburbs

      Nope … you wish.

      This posting has been flagged for removal. [?]

      • John

        So someone snapped up a unit of affordable housing? Sounds like the system is working.

        That said, sometimes it can work to list a place cheaply and then get the many applicants to bid against each other on the place. Happens for sales all the time, so why not for rentals?

  19. mission resident

    craigslist has many entries. Do a search and you’ll see. Here’s the first 9 from this morning. You are correct, the other one I posted went fast. here’s more affordable housing to go after. They do exist. You just have to be willing to live outside of the best area in the city.

    Feb 3 Bright upstair unit for rent 樓上光猛單位 $1100 / 1br – (excelsior / outer mission) pic map

    Feb 3 Studio $1150. $1150 (ingleside / SFSU / CCSF) pic

    Feb 3 Apt Newly Remodel-590 Naple St. S.F. $1500 / 2br – (excelsior / outer mission) pic map

    Feb 3 Brand new In-law Unit – 800 Naples St S.F. $1350 / 1br – (excelsior / outer mission) pic map

    Feb 2 Cute Small Room Available $650 (ingleside / SFSU / CCSF) map

    Feb 2 Inlaw Furnished Studio, Walk to SFSU-CCSF $1300 / 1br – 560ft² – (ingleside / SFSU / CCSF) map

    Feb 1 One large room w/ kitchen, dining and backyard $1450 / 1br – 300ft² – (excelsior / outer mission) map

    Feb 1 Inlaw Furnished Cozy Studio, Walk to SFSU-CCSF $1300 / 560ft² – (ingleside / SFSU / CCSF) map

    Feb 1 Your Sunny Bedroom in Houseshare / $1300 2br – (excelsior / outer mission) pic map

    Jan 31 Near CCSF 1 bedroom in-law apartment for rent $1500 / 1br – (ingleside / SFSU / CCSF) map

    • John

      But no self-respecting white liberal hipster would ever want to live in Bayview, Excelsior or Ingleside.

      No, not only do they demand the right to live in the world’s favorite city even though they cannot afford it, but they demand the right to live in an achingly hip neighborhood with cool, non-chain stores, bars and restaurants nearby, and with great people watching of self-important inhabitants from their sun-drenched deck.

      Everyone in the country should have the right to a heavily subsidized lifetime-lease on a bijou apartment steps from humming Valencia Street. don’t worry – somebody else will be happy to subsidize you.

      • landline

        You keep bringing up alternative neighborhoods to the Mission that are much smaller in population and have a different housing mix. The Mission District has many privately owned apartment buildings. The Excelsior, Bayview and Ingleside districts have few such buildings. The housing stock in the outer neighborhoods is predominately single and two family housing with perhaps an illegal in-law apartment in a garage or backyard shed.

        But I wouldn’t want reality to interfere with your resentments towards “white liberal hipsters,’ whatever that means.

        • mission resident

          What does “type of housing” got to do with it? a one-bedroom place to live is a place to live. Does it matter if it’s a condo or apartment?

          • John

            The subtext of landline’s comment is that he doesn’t want to rent a SFH or condo because there is no rent control there, so he might have to pay all of the cost of his housing services rather than just part of them.

            But I’m equally sure that he has an idea of the kind of neighbors that he would like to have, and those outlying areas do not have his favored type.

            Of course, the city should be building higher densities out in the cheaper neighborhoods as well.

          • landline

            Commenters suggest moving into neighborhoods that have very few units compared to the Mission District. Your above list includes a $1300 room in a 2BR apartment as affordable? Last time, we needed an apartment in 2005, the “affordable” choices were grim–converted basements and garages, flats with unlevel “hardwood” floors actually made of plastic. Through great effort, we were able to find a nice place at an affordable (to us) rent, probably because the street was considered dangerous, and the only listing was a “For Rent” sign on the building. In just eight and a half years, our then market rent is probably half of today’s market rent while wages are hardly increasing.

            I shudder to think about the present rental market. Young people share SRO rooms in bunk beds with strangers. $800 to split a bedroom with another single person in a multi-bedroom shared apartment. $1400 for an insecure Tenderloin studio. The horror stories I hear are startling.

            Households with incomes under $100,000 struggle to find apartments.

          • landline

            @John, as usual, you are misrepresenting my comment in order to make a personal attack. I described the housing stock in your alternative neighborhoods because the difference means that there aren’t many available rental units, end of story.

          • John

            Incoming kids today may indeed struggle to find a cheap flat if they restrict themselves to the hipper neighborhoods.

            But there clearly are cheaper opportunities to the south of the city, not to mention of course the vast hinterland beyond SF, including Oakland that ahs many under-utilized houses and buildings, and rents at about half the SF level.

            So you can find an affordable home but only if you aren’t too snobbish about where you live and are willing to invest a little effort into commuting.

            Of course, the bigger question is why people like that are moving to SF in the first place. If it’s not for a job that pays enough to live in a cool neighborhood, then maybe they should not come in the first place?

            not everyone can afford to live in the world’s favorite city and, personally, I have more compassion for those raised here than those who aspire to live here because it is cool.

          • John

            Sure, there may be less homes in less densely populated areas, but that does not mean there are none, and you only need one.

            CraigsList appears to have a lot of listings for those areas.

          • landline

            You use the word “cool” a lot. Were you labeled a square, or a L7, by the “cool” kids when you were growing up? Most people let that kind of shit go by the time they are 25 at the latest.

          • John

            Since I was talking mostly about 25 year olds, the term seemed appropriate as a parody.

            If you focused on the substance of my ideas more, I feel sure you’d understand the points better.

        • Market Forces

          I like you.

  20. mission resident

    Landline, you need to do your homework. Go search the mission district for housing at $1500 or less. The mission hasn’t had a posting since January. If you do the same search in Excellsior or Bayview, many available units are showing up each and every day. MORE units are available in these areas than the mission even though the mission has more housing in general. People are just being snobs, plain and simple. Either they got their nose buried in their smartphone or it’s stuck up in the air above everyone else.

    • Wrong, search SF for max 1500$ and look at the map. The southern part of the city has < 10 listings, many of which are a room for 1000+. The bulk of the 283 listings in this category are in the tenderloin, and anyone who has lived here long enough knows that is not an option for normal working people. 59 are listed for anza heights but that looks bogus.

      Can you imagine the competition for these few places at the low end?

      SF has a student population in the tens of thousands, and there is not much student housing. SF needs to shut down all schools and universities since young people are not welcome here.

      As for all the district 9 owners, good for you. I suggest you post your addresses so all your lovely neighbors can personally congratulate you on your piggy back rise to affluence. And don't forget to cash in on airbnb, free money!

      • John

        West Oakland is closer to downtown SF than District 9, and quicker with BART as well. There are several places under $1500 each day on CL:

        http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/apa/eby?zoomToPosting=&catAbb=apa&query=&minAsk=&maxAsk=1500&bedrooms=&housing_type=&nh=64&excats=

        The Tenderloin is getting better all the time, especially the so-called TenderNob to the north and east. sure it’s a little gritty but then how could a cheap area not be?

        • That’s great for techies working downtown but fails for students at SFSU, CCSF, UCSF, USF and so on.

          A little gritty? Cheap? These are highly subjective terms, more like realtor spin-speak.

          Plus what parent would knowingly house their young students in west Oakland? On top of that where are the displaced from Oakland supposed to go, do you have suggestions there as well? Let’s move the whole country to make room for the new wealth elites!

          • John

            I’ve rented to a lot of students and they are very happy to make commutes. I know a few in SF who commute to Berkeley each day so clearly the reverse commute is entirely feasible.

            But yes, I was thinking mostly of downtown and SOMA which is where employment is concentrated.

            My “gritty” reference was to an earlier comment that the TL was not desirable and rough. Well, hey, that’s why it’s cheap.

          • landline

            $1400 for a studio ain’t cheap. Citing the exceptional relatively reasonably priced rental listing doesn’t change the reality of a very expensive rental market. Besides, the focus of this article is the efforts of existing residents who already afford the neighborhood banding together to maintain their residencies, not the plight of newcomers moving to the area.

            I challenge anyone to walk from West Oakland to downtown San Francisco in the same time that I can walk from the southern part of the Mission district to the same spot.

          • John

            The West Oakland idea was cited as being preferable to the far southern and western parts of SF that some here had been recommending as affordable. And of course West Oakland has BART and the bridge. (You cannot walk from West Oakland to SF in ant event).

            $1,400 a month is $16,800 a year or about 20% of the median gross SF family income, and so is as affordable as anywhere in SF.

  21. Bob

    These protesters are nuts. We desperately need the housing, and this building would help transform one of the slummiest and most dangerous corners of the neighborhood. We need 10 more of these in the Mission– build it now please.

  22. GentrifySF

    If people are so gung-ho for low-income housing, go live in the Sunnydale or Potrero Hill public housing projects. Market-rate apartment buildings are not going anywhere, so either get a better job and pay up or move to Oakland.

    • nutrisystem

      It’s bullshit to assert that the only 2 choices are
      a) war zone public housing
      b) rich-only neighborhoods.

  23. Only speculators build desperately needed housing. Every apartment in San Francisco was built by speculators ! Rent control leeches build nothing….

    • landline

      Neither do TIC/Condo converters.

      • John

        If a property owner has a vacant unit, his choice is to rent it out at a market rent, or create an affordable home ownership opportunity for someone who is probably currently a SF tenant.

        If the current laws favor the latter, does that means people who make that choice are evil?

        Or does it mean that our laws are not working because they deter the provision of rental housing?

    • marcos

      San Franciscans pay taxes that go in part to fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. We all pay to build housing.

      • John

        That fund on;y builds a tiny amount of housing. It has little overall impact on housing affordability. It’s more like a lottery that benefits a few lucky winners.

        The vast amount of homes in SF were and are built by developers who risk their own capital. That supply is inadequate because of the obstacles and costs imposed by land use rules and the prevalence of NIMBYism.

        • marcos

          This is not true: “Only speculators build desperately needed housing.”

          • John

            Semantics. Only developers build housing in amounts that have any material impact on housing affordability.

            I’d be willing to bet that every home you’ve had in SF was built by a speculator and owner by a private owner or landlord. Feel free to express your gratitude for speculators making your SF dream possible.

          • marcos

            So you admit you just lied.

          • John

            No lie – Kevin made the comment you were responding to. I just clarified the situation by pointing out that the vast majority of SF homes were and are provided by the for-profit sector.

          • marcos

            Did anyone ask your opinion?

          • John

            The funny thing about comments sections is that you don’t have to be invited.

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