The first affordable housing development for the Mission District in a decade — at 1950 Mission St. — just held its first meeting last week and will break ground at the end of 2017. Why has so little affordable housing been built in the neighborhood in the midst of a housing crisis?

Respuestas en español aquí

Iswari España, Training Officer with the San Francisco Human Services Agency

I have attended dozens of community meetings and have spoken with residents, business owners, labor workers, general contractors and community based developers, in the district and everyone concurs that city policies and procedures in developing RFPs [requests for proposal] and processing construction permits are the core of the problem. In addition, our city government continues to rely on trickle-down economics using a hands-off approach for regulations. We need to expedite and reform that process, we need to realistically allocate funding to increase staff capacity to deal with the situation and always hold our representatives accountable.

Darcel Jackson, caterer and formerly homeless app maker

I think there is not enough political will. I would support mixed use development. Having been without housing in the city I love I feel so much passion for those that suffer for lack of. We are a strong and vibrant community if we work together we can create a more inclusive community maintain the old residents and welcome the newcomers and take care of our underserved. If we continue to do thing the same way we will get the same results. We are the Mission we can do better!

Edwin Lindo, Vice-President of External Affairs at the Latino Democratic Club

There is no excuse for why it has taken so long to build affordable housing in the Mission. Our community has needed it, the funds have been there, but political will and fire from our representatives has been lacking. It wasn’t until our community organized that we saw movement from those in City Hall to address the affordability crisis, and thankfully this organizing spread across the city. I am proud to stand with organizations like Our Mission No Eviction and others throughout the neighborhood that demand more to address this crisis.

We deserve a Supervisor that unequivocally stands with the community and is proactive of the neighborhood’s needs.

Hillary Ronen, Chief of Staff for Supervisor David Campos

The affordability crisis was denied by the Mayor, the conservative majority on the Board of Supervisor, and the Chronicle until 2013 when Supervisor Campos, the Tenants Union, and Mission Housing activists released a study by the Budget and Legislative Analyst showing irrefutable numbers that we were in a crisis.

In the 2 years and 6 month since that time Campos and the District 9 community have worked at a fevered pace to push affordable housing projects through our lengthy planning process. The result has been 480 units of affordable housing in the pipeline with hundreds more on the way.

As Supervisor I will continue this work and have pledged to build 5,000 units of affordable housing in the next 10 years.

Melissa San Miguel, education advocate

We need to build more affordable housing in San Francisco. Unfortunately, this important issue gets wrapped up in today’s petty politics and we’re unable to make any progress. We need to develop a comprehensive approach to solving this problem, and not depend on one off negotiations and variances.

I grew up in the Mission. My family lives here. My friends live here. I am dedicated to making sure people can find an affordable place to live here. Let’s eliminate the pervasive income inequality, horrible housing situation, and clear lack of will by our electeds to get things done. It’s time for homegrown leadership that can get things done.

Joshua Arce, civil rights attorney and Community Liaison for Laborers Local 261

The status quo has failed. A lack of leadership in our District has seen the community alienated. To get serious about this crisis, the community must have a seat at the table. We must work cooperatively with all parties to resolve the ongoing conflicts.

As Secretary of the Board for the nonprofit spearheading this project, I’m proud we’re finally building more affordable housing (160 units) in the Mission than has been built in the last 8 years. I’ve worked hard with many others to move this project forward despite years of inactivity by our City Hall representatives.

This is the sort of leadership our community deserves from their next Supervisor.

43 Questions is a weekly series — started 43 weeks before Election Day — to question the candidates running for District 9 supervisor. Send us questions to and let us know in comments or in an email if you think candidates have answered as asked.