Do you believe the Mission District must build much more housing — both affordable and market-rate — during your tenure as supervisor? If so, where specifically will that housing go in the neighborhood and how tall/dense should it be? If not, how will we address the affordability and displacement crisis?
Respuestas en español aquí.
Iswari España, Training Officer with the Human Services Agency
Yes. There is no question that here in the Mission District we must build more housing — both affordable and market-rate, but the problem goes beyond the question. The question is why don’t we have a fair process to build for everyone that lives in the community. As a supervisor, I will create a fair bidding system in which developers and contractors must showcase their proposals to the community prior to sending them to the planning commission. In these proposals it will be mandatory to highlight the benefits to the community. The density will be determined by the area’s height and environmental studies. We have to respect our community. I am not a fan of high density structures but in areas where there is no environmental harm I would compromise, if guidelines are met.
The city needs to do its part as well; we can not let private developers build only. The city needs to invest in their citizens and it’s not fair that only those developers that are close with Hillary Ronen get a free pass to play here.
Since my campaign does not have ties with any lobbyists, developers, or evicting Landlords, I feel like I am the most suited candidate to execute this plan since I only have to answer to the community. I would suggest building on 2755 16th Street, at the Flynn Muni Yard. We should relocate the bus yard to Pier 80 or nearby ports. In addition, I would suggest the 2733 16th St. parking lot.
These sites will be in addition to the “soft sites” identified by the Planning Department.
Hillary Ronen, Chief of Staff to Supervisor David Campos
I believe that if our children our going to be San Franciscans then our only choice is to build housing. And that means building tall, building dense, and building affordable.
Campos’ office has negotiated over 850 units of affordable housing in the last 4 years, one of the highest amounts of any supervisorial district. I want to take that success and build even more. And that’s why I’ve set the ambitious but achievable goal of building 5000 units of affordable housing in the next 10 years.
My number one priority will be building affordable units in the Mission to offset displacement. There are dozens of sites in the Mission where large scale affordable projects can be built and I am currently in talks with non-profit developers, and state and city leaders to begin that work.
It’s all about fiercely negotiating and making sure we get the resources we deserve. And that exactly what I plan to do.
Joshua Arce, Civil Rights Attorney
We need to prioritize all housing. Under our current supervisor, it’s been very difficult for anyone to create more housing in District 9. Having said that, affordability is the top priority, and I’m the only candidate with hands-on experience building affordable housing.
Our District 9 representatives’ failure to build any affordable housing for ten years has led to skyrocketing rents, increasing evictions, and a homelessness epidemic. The next District 9 Supervisor must be independent and push to maximize the number of affordable units that get built. That is why my campaign has not taken money from developers and lobbyists, while Hillary Ronen has taken thousands and thousands of dollars from lobbyists for projects that she supported when she ran the District 9 office.
I put forth a plan that would create a new BART Station at 30th and Mission Streets and build up to 1900 new units of housing by building on the many underutilized parking lots in the neighborhood. We are going to build thousands more units affordable for all of us on similar parcels in the Mission.
Given the limited resources for 100 percent affordable housing, we also need to encourage private sector investment that maximizes on-site affordable housing, including moderate and middle income affordability as well. That way, we get more affordable housing at no cost to San Francisco taxpayers.
With regard to height and density, I believe that denser, taller buildings should be located along busier, transit corridors to help balance the neighborhood character of other areas of our district.
Melissa San Miguel, Education Advocate
I grew up in the Mission and saw the neighborhood change in my lifetime. I saw my friends and their families pushed out of the neighborhood because of the expensive rents and lack of affordable housing. The lack of a plan and the lack of leadership in building affordable housing in the district and citywide has contributed to our crisis. We must develop housing people who are low-income, lower-middle income and fixed income can afford. Our city’s work must be twofold – we must develop fully affordable housing sites in the Mission and fight for as much affordable housing units in market-rate development projects in the district. There are lots, some vacant, in the Mission we can develop for housing, especially in our former industrial sector. Our city has nearly a million residents and we need to build up to accommodate everyone. This doesn’t mean that we will or should have towering skyscrapers like downtown, but we do need buildings that are taller than the two-to-three story buildings that make up most of the Mission. Our city – and its people – are in a housing crisis, and we must tackle this challenge with energy and a willingness for change.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know in comments or in an email if you think candidates have answered as asked.