The Gentrification Of San Francisco And Oakland By NeighborhoodApril 9, 2014
The Development Without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area report by Causa Justa maps the gentrification of San Francisco and Oakland by zip code and stage.
While the report aims to highlight which neighborhoods in the Bay Area are “vulnerable or at risk to gentrification” and is positioned as “a tool to stop gentrification in your neighborhood,” it’s also a rather good guide as to which Bay Area neighborhoods are ripe for change with rising property values and rents.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
like sisyphus, the people behind these studies want the impossible, that is, to keep things the way they are. Who honestly thinks we can have a booming economy, cheap rents, and no new buildings? Pressure finds an outlet, and its either in outlying neighborhoods, new buildings, or rising rents. Is gentrification a bad thing? Surely increased investment in a community is not detrimental to its character.
is pricing people out of their neighborhoods without any market force offering/providing them enough good paying jobs a bad thing?
Would it be a bad thing for someone to come into a house you had spent years working on with your family, decide they know what’s better for your house, kick you out and move in? Who’s to decide what is better for a neighborhood? People who have lived there their entire lives – sometimes for generations- or people who see it as potential for improvement/change? My vote goes with the people who have built that neighborhood, whether we see it as good or bad, it is theirs.
What if ‘building that neighborhood’ means a legacy of street crime, drug addiction, and virtually insurmountable socio-economic challenges for kids going to school in those neighborhoods. What’s to defend under those circumstances?
History prevails. That was what was build and we should keep it. Doesn’t make sense?
Josh, the people who pay the bills decide. You may like it or not, but that’s how it works. If a neighborhood is not economically sustainable and gentrification makes it so, then that must be a good thing. That’s not saying one couldn’t have dreamt up superior options where the existing residents suddenly become law-abiding, drug-free, non-violent, taxpaying citizens. If you have an idea for how to make that happen in, say, Visitacion Valley, I think you’ll find no shortage of sympathetic ears. But as it is, we have an extremely undesirable status quo which there is absolutely no reason to preserve.
A community is a group of individuals with biological, cultural and geographic relationships to each other. Investment in community would be investment in people, not real estate. That is the problem with attempting to solve poverty by pouring in external capital in the form of market rate housing development. The new residents rarely have any relationship to or with the community they enter. These new residents more than not, will not use existing retail services and will attract new and more expensive retail formats that are unfamiliar and most likely out of financial reach of the existing community. In fact, the large influx of new, more affluent residents inhabiting the new real estate investments will create an all new community displacing the old. Some old residents, who own their homes and have fixed or sustainable incomes will weather the changes and may actually enjoy the newness, but without upward economic mobility they will, for the most part , be observers rather than participants in the transformation.
The key to stability is homeownership. That’s very simple. Any attempt to force housing stability without encouraging homeownership is doomed to fail because someone owns your home and wants money for it. This is so silly I can’t believe we’re repeating the same thing over and over again. Some people are just bad at math. No surprise there…
The city should encourage the massive transformation of rentals into TICs then condominiums. Give tenants the power to purchase their own units (the city could subsidize, give 0% mortgages, whatever).
causa justa- thank you for the map of where I should be investing
hunters point is in middle stage gentrification?
^ and West Oakland too?
@ jh – exactly – god forbid neighborhoods get cleaner and safer, that buildings be better maintained, etc. What about my right to walk down sidewalks littered with discarded mattresses, past buildings covered with graffiti? What’s San Francisco coming to when the corner store is a brightly lit coffee shop, instead of a liquor store with grates over the windows? [that’s sarcasm, BTW…]
Exactly, gentrification is not good for old mattresses. I need a drink. LOL.
That is a great illustration. It’s showing you which neighborhoods are improving and those you should consider investing in.
I still don’t recall when “gentrification” became a dirty word. The opposite is having crime ridden, dangerous, and run-down neighborhoods. Is that what they are trying to save? Because you don’t need those things to have a vibrant and diverse neighborhood.
What a slanted pontificating piece of trash this is.
They are making things worse, but they most probably know it. Instead of trying to push for the “people” to join the boom we are ALL enjoying, they are telling them: “we have a common enemy and it is set to destroy you”.
This reeks of intellectualist communist doctrine, with highly educated activist looking down on “workers” (as if other working groups were sitting on their hands) and making sure they keep this group captive and voting.
These activist liars love their “working” people poor and will make sure poverty is passed from generation to generation. You will never see one give business or software classes, but they sure know how to make a Google Bus Piñata.
Hm, I’m actually strongly considering moving to Bayview. You can get a two bedroom for 2k there. I guess that would fit in with this graphic, I can’t honestly say it is wrong.
On the good side this report attempts to measure and characterize the process of gentrification. On the bad side it seems to fail to capture what exactly going on. Recommended approaches do not seem particularly helpful or likely to be reflected in local laws or ordinances. At least it seems to suggest that providing alternative units for the displaced might be possible and more desirable than forcing them to some other location.
I used to have some sympathy for the cause of preserving the traditional character of certain neighborhoods, provided said character was something more positive and unique than simply “working class” or “poor” or “minority”.
I still have sympathy for the unfortunate individuals who find themselves forced to relocate because of circumstances they couldn’t control, but these activists speaking on their behalf are nothing but angry delusional mooks.
Come to the table with something constructive and realistic or prepare to be swept onto the rancid dung heap of all the other failed reactionary movements down through history. Give my disregards to the segregationists and creationists.
I understand the sentiment of a community feeling uprooted from a place, however displacement has been happening forever. What these organizations should really spend their energy on is growing the new communities in the less expensive areas. Helping people become the landlords they so despise. You can’t claim ownership over a place you don’t own, and it the hypocrisy of claiming an unfettered right to a place when someone elso owns it is the reason people are turning against tenant laws.
Isn’t this just the flip side of the increasing diversity of the suburbs? Just reviewing data on suburban migration and one can see that the bay area as a whole is becoming more diverse (see name link).
Thanks for the detailed “where to invest next”/confirmation map, suckah!
The report is ~$100, but they offer it to “poor people” for only $25 clams. I’m thinking of getting it for the $25 just to spite these [people].
Btw, anyone care to comment about the diff between the early type 1 & 2- property shift vs. population shift? Methinks first comes property shift, i.e. fix up rundown props, and then comes population shift, i.e. new (gentrified) peeps movin’ on in. Like Sam’s interest in the bayview. Hang on Sam! I’m closing my new bayview purchase soon and will be renovating it into some sweet flats! But I think $2000 is too low for a nice renov 2/1. More like $2300-2400 these days. El Bayview es muy caliente!
Actually, if you are serious let me know when its done. We have until October on our lease, but considering we are on lower 24th and the rent is massively higher now, I can only imagine how glad my landlord would be if a rescission were on the table.
As for the price, you can maybe get 2400, I guess we’ll see. I’m currently in some basic talks with two landlords, one is at 2100 the other 2000, the sense I get is that there isn’t too much interest in this area yet.
Total bunch of crap.
Why does “gentrification” even have to have the words “vulnerable” and “risk” attached?
Change in society is constant. There were others here before the others who were here before us.
Who does not want to be part of a neighborhood that is become safer, cleaner, free of drugs and gangs and violence?
the south slope of potrero is already gentrified?
the opposite of gentrification is slumification, which is apparently the goal of some
@jh – you’re on to something! There’s the spin we need. It’s not displacement, it is an opportunity! Because I’m sure that even though they can’t afford to rent in the area anymore, they must have a nest egg saved up for a down payment somewhere else. They just need some motivation to leave the area they made their lives in. They can take that nest egg they’ve been saving for their whole lives so they aren’t homeless when they retire and invest in “lower cost” areas which in the real estate biz we all know means higher risk. But we’ll just pitch the potential gains, not the risk. Then, when the next cycle hits and values crash and rents drop they’ll be foreclosed on and hedge fund investors can swoop in and buy the debt from the banks for pennies on the dollar, then bundle up the income streams and sell securities supported by that income to some rookie investors, soveriegn fund, and maybe a public employee retirement fund that doesn’t understand the risk they’re assuming. And when that blows up, well, at least it was other peoples’ money. Thank god for those other people. On to the next gig.
I love this country! Push the risk downstream to the ones that can’t afford it. Oh, and don’t worry about the banks in the scenario above. We know they won’t get hurt. Well, the little ones will. But survival of the fittest right? Captilism! Meritocracy! Whatever.
I can’t spell.
^ Or with less tin foil. Maybe high prices are a signal to producers (i.e. builders) to add more supply. And maybe the process of building also provides employment to people in the building trades.
Adding more supply will NOT mean those people who can no longer afford a neighborhood will thus be able to afford a NEW housing unit.
Are you crazy? Say a family in the Mission has to move out of a house they rented for, say, $1000/month because the owners of that house want to sell it. The house was not under rent control.
So the family who has to move will now have to pay $2800 for a BRAND NEW TWO BEDROOM apartment just constructed.
You’re assuming that builder/developer/owner of the NEW building is going to rent that unit for less than market rate?
@Futurist – you’re right. All the people in areas being gentrified are dirty drug using gang members. Or they must at least support dirt, drug users and gang members and crime or else… why would they live there? I’m sure they have a lot of other choices. And the way their local governments decide to manage and police the city would have no influence on the condition of their neighborhoods. The only cause for good is people with money. Thank god for people with money! The people being displaced can just move to the next crime infested area and wait for the people with money to show up again and clean it up and force them out again.
I’m not saying there’s an easy answer for any of this. And I don’t believe that landlords should be forced into the affordable housing business. But I believe there could be solutions with the right support from all interested parties.
The things some of you are saying are down right ignorant and borderline racist. Quit treating these people’s lives as just some example of capatilism at work and realize that they are real living people just like you with families and friends and connections to their communities and the desire to succeed and the desire to be secure. They should not be treated with the disrespect that some of you are displaying any more than the people moving into these hoods should be demonized for simply being successful. The system has major flaws all around and its so very complicated to come up with ideas that will improve things. But the comments regarding this topic on this site are really sad to read. You’ve got yours so screw the rest. Have a heart. A happier, healthier, more secure public is better for all of us. I think we should be able to invest in that somehow.
@anon2 – how can it be tinfoil hat time for me if everything I described already happened or is happening right now? I’m not smart enough to predict it. I just read the news. If you need me to I can forward articles from reputable periodicals that will describe it in detail with sufficient evidence. Its not like I found it in the deep web or anything. (I learned that from House of Cards) The fact that you don’t pay attention doesn’t mean that those that do are crazy. You just don’t know what you don’t know. I suffer the same condition. Though not about the specific example in my post above.
Of course they’re not all “dirty drug using gang members”. You assumed I assumed that. Your ignorance not mine.
And I don’t think there’s an easy answer either. Short of FULL government subsidy, meaning PUBLIC HOUSING, I see no way that anyone and everyone who chooses and wants to stay in a particular “gentrifying” neighborhood can. It just doesn’t work that way.
I would suggest you stop taking “sides”. I am not on any side. I’m not saying “screw you” to others who don’t have what I have. You’re saying that.
If you want parts of the Bayview, as an example, to remain a dangerous, drug and gang infested neighborhood, then go out and there and live and don’t work to make it better. Keep it the way it is. See how that works out for you.
Gentrification helps everyone. And everyone must adjust to change.
Prices rise when demand increased faster than supply.
After the first dot com bust, demand fell and rents fell sharply. Just a few years ago the economy dipped and prices fell significantly. Maybe demand keeps going up and maybe not. But as long as demand keeps going up that represents people who can and want to live here. Their rights have to be respected.
Adding supply does need to be balanced with quality of life. But with that caveat, high prices is the signal the economy gives to builders to go out and build. If demand keeps rising even faster, then the builders keep building. If demand drops off, prices flatten or drop and building slows.
Keep in mind that that some people in gentrifying areas own their property and will end up with a nice windfall. I do think that some people on this blog are overly harsh towards renters, but fundamentally the US is a very rich country by global standards and having to live outside the 7×7 isn’t a “let them eat cake” situation. I haven’t run the numbers, but I’d guess that the probability of being Ellised is actually lower than the probability of being foreclosed on over the last decade.
according to Futurist, prices never drop no matter what.
One problem is that the developers who would build “affordable’ housing have no incentive. When it takes 5 years of entitlements, CEQA challenges, planning review boards, and endless red tape, all they want to build is something that supports that investment. The city governments need to make it faster and simpler build here.
Of course prices drop. And rise. and level off. and drop again. and rise again. Prices are cyclical, mostly due to actual economic conditions than due to supply/demand factors.
I think long term. Hence my name. From my perspective, real estate does not get cheaper in the long run in San Francisco.
Show me where, anywhere in SF where a house costs less than what it did 20-30-40 years ago. Same thing for rents.
If you don’t believe in supply and demand, then you probably don’t believe in inflation, so conversing with you on an economic level is likely to be pointless.
But even on an architectural level, look at some of the houses in the run down and recently gentrified areas of SF. It’s very clear that many of these homes were grand in their time and built and owned by the higher economic strata at the time. Things obviously took a long term turn for the worse in these areas.
There are many possibilities for the future, but as long as the music keeps playing you’ve got to keep dancing. If people with good incomes keep wanting to move here, we should keep building for them unless it would seriously cause quality of life issues.
One more thing: anti-gentrification activists imply that some people are more vulnerable than others because of their origins. They also state that these people are more “real” than newcomers. This is at the same time patronizing, manipulating and quite a bit disturbing.
Then again, look who fights gentrification: the usual suspects who want to impose their Das Kapital fantasy on the rest of us. They are using the “working class” as a stepping stone for their little war.
During the 20th century many communists have followed grassroots movements then taking the lead if the movement is successful. The discourse is always about social justice, and the end game is pushing the movement ahead.
I agree with anon2. I have heard or read precious little about the windfalls to the “poor” who managed to own a home in rapidly gentrifying areas. There are a lot of old neglected homes that either sit vacant or neglected for years and then get sold for 20 times the original price by an owner who did not maintenance for 50 years. Look at the recent sales of S. Van Ness and Capp street where really bad old home (with good bones) sold for crazy money. Gentrification does benefit some people who are “poor.”
You finally hit upon something that I have been talking about all along, with regards to supply and demand of housing. But I disagree strongly with you on it:
You seem to want to build unlimited here in SF simply because people want to keep moving here. There is a huge cost to that idea.
Quality of life. We have that here. Many other US cities don’t. We are not huge. We don’t have to become huge. We don’t have to build on every piece of land. We don’t have build up and up.
That’s why I talk about reasonable and responsible growth here. And YES, that will limit the supply and keep the cost high. That’s fine with me because it also supports retaining OUR quality of life here.
How do you think Paris would be today if the neighborhoods were all 20-30 stories instead of the average 4-6? That city would not be what it is today, and it would suffer.
So we CAREFULLY manage our growth. We monitor our density. We don’t just growth for demand only. We remain expensive. We adapt.
And those who can’t afford to live/own/rent here just can’t. And we help retain San Francisco for future generations to enjoy what we have now.
Comparing the density of Paris to SF is pretty amusing, considering its something like 3x denser.
Paris is many times more dense than SF. And seriously, quality of life in Paris? For one decent family size apartment you have 20 overcrowded moldy closets. Plus weak zoning enforcement allows you almost anything, like merging or splitting, at will, vertically, horizontally, even underground. The only real constraints are structural integrity as well the HOA rules and nobody really complains if you’re not messing up with their quality of life.
Paris actually has less people than 70 years ago, mainly because of merges of servant quarters. Sub ~100sfs were outlawed at some point. I merged 2 of these in a really posh area and made a killing at selling the “huge” 170sf studio.
Still the most beautiful city in the world though.
Sorry Sam, but I made no such comparison.
I did mention how different Paris would be today if their neighborhoods were filled with 20-30 story buildings instead of what they, generally, have today: that of 4-6 floors.
Standard floor count in Paris is 7 floors. New buildings will go to 10 or 11 floors. Because they want to increase density. One new neighborhood being build NW of Paris has a couple of dozen buildings where height will range from 120 feet to 200 feet. Due to the addition of 10,000+ people, they’re adding a new Metro line as well as the extension of the circular trolley. New people always means new transportation is saturated Paris.
Oh my lord! It’s the communists! Way to go lol! You went all the way with that one. Pretty popular refrain from Republicans and wealthy businessmen these days. Anyone supporting social justice is just trying to punish you for your success and take your cash and give it to the poor. A well established method to discredit those attempting to change the status quo. Because you don’t want change. Because the status quo works for you.
@Futurist – you’re right. You didn’t say “screw them” or call them all drug dealing dirtbags. But when you say “change in society is constant” as a way to dismiss the concerns of many involved in the process of gentrification it suggests that you don’t really care about how they are affected. It’s just capitalism at work. And later you say preserve “OUR” quality of life? Who is that? Certainly you’re not talking about preserving the quality of life for those displaced in the gentrification process because that’s just the way it goes. But go ahead and preserve what you have, because again, you’ve got yours.
anon2 – you make a good point. Small numbers of Ellis Acted people but large publicity around it. But gentrification also means that a good chunk of the population will not be able to move into the area in the future. So it displaces some now and prohibits many in the future. The result will be a homogenization of the population due to the many inequalities inherent in the current system.
I think the solutions to many of the problems we face as a society lie in the middle ground. But that takes compromise and compromise does not win votes and politicians hate to lose elections. Which is odd, because it seems that they make a TON more money out of office than in it. But I guess they have to secure access to the power before they can sell it.
No, I’m not dismissing the concerns of those affected by gentrification. Plenty of properties in the Mission, for example, are ALSO owned by long time residents there, including the Latino/Hispanic population. Those owners will also benefit from gentrification. Again, there is no inherent “right” to live here.
And massive subsidized public housing is NOT the answer to providing housing for lower income people.
And preserving “our” quality of life refers to the quality of San Francisco urban living that we all enjoy.
You come across angry. Not sure why. Do you have “yours” here in SF? What are your solutions to allowing ANYONE who wishes to live here and cannot or struggles to afford it?
Your voice comes across simply as an “us vs. them” attitude. Why?
Anyone seen details from the report? Wonder if there data and analysis are legit.
Futurist – I never said ANYONE who wishes to live here should have the right to live here. But you’re right. My rather acerbic tone may be too much for this conversation. But I’m not angry, I’m just a bit of a jerk.
Honestly though, I’ve heard so much crap from the folks raging against “techie scum” and hating on the population moving into the gentrifying areas that I guess I’m getting close to being angry. Because I feel like they’re ruining the community even more than the they think the new residents are because they are definitely creating an us vs. them situation and that leads to nothing good. But I’m pretty sure the loud voices with that message don’t represent the majority of long time residents. But I do think a majority of long time residents are concerned and worried about the changes.
I responded to your comments because I felt you were doing the same thing but from the other side. It seemed to me you had no interest in acknowledging that there are real people with feelings on the other end. That at the root of it are people who are afraid that their communities are changing forever, that their current lifestyle is at risk, and that they have no control over it. Instead you and some others were just taking refuge in the idea that it’s just capitalism at work. The cost of progress. Nothing to see here. You even went so far as to say gentrification benefits everyone which is bogus. And yeah, change happens, get used to it. I get it. But I think there should be an effort to manage that change and to lessen the blow on people who are affected. You don’t seem to be concerned with that.
You’re right. i did not propose any solutions because I don’t have one. I wish I was a better man and devoted more time to being involved in finding solutions for this issue and many others in my community. Right now my work and family have all my time and attention. I think that’s the case for a lot of us. There are people out there that manage all that i have on my plate and still find time to make positive change in their communities. When I grow up I want to be like them.
lemme guess, [most of] the commenters so far are white, make more than $75k a year and have moved to the bay area within the last 20 years? the entitlement is sickening.
full disclosure, i’m white, moved to the bay 15 years ago and make more than $75k, but i’m disgusted with the high rates of change in Oakland, SF and beyond. nobody is complaining about investment, safer/cleaner streets. what has people angry is the fact that neighborhoods are changing rapidly and that most of those that move in don’t really care about the neighborhood or the fabric of the culture of that neighborhood. sure, they pay their taxes, maybe even shop locally, but more often than not, these newcomers complain to the police, racial profile neighbors and act with such a strong sense of entitlement.
i’ve been in fruitvale for 10 years. yup, i’m part of the gentrification, but i work with my neighbors, shop (by walking) locally, donate my time to a local non-profit helping an oakland public school and i talk to my neighbors. most of which are just blown away by the amount of young, white hipsters moving into their neighborhood where there family has owned their home for 50 years. there is lots of crime in my neighborhood, but that can be fixed without gentrification.
@Sierrajeff: that liquor store offered a service that starbucks doesn’t. yes, it would be better if it was clean and safe, but are you kidding me, another f*cking coffee shop that serves $4 drinks that the folks in the neighborhood can’t afford or don’t want to buy?
@Serge: gentrification is not the opposite of having crime ridden, dangerous streets and run down neighborhoods.
“i’ve been in fruitvale for 10 years. yup, i’m part of the gentrification”
Oh but wait, the criteria you listed afterwards I guess is what someone needs to do to NOT be part of the problem you speak of. Well thank god you fit the criteria! Or else that would be embarrassing!
Nobody is against change. In fact the folks who live in these areas have been clamoring for positive change for generations. Everyone knows this history, but is afraid to talk about it:
1) A minority group demands their well earned place at the table of full citizenship. They want to partake in all the benefits that living in a city has to offer.
2) The majority says “No” and brings a little heat.
3) Minority group doesn’t give up and is allowed to live in small portions of the city.
4) Majority group says I’m outta here, runs from entire neighborhoods (and sometimes entire cities) and heads to the suburbs.
5) Minority group is perplexed and deeply disappointed but decides to make the best of it with whoever decided to stay.
6) Efforts to make improvements are hampered as beneficial public and private investment is redirected elsewhere (outward)
7) Neighborhoods or (sometimes entire cities) are starved for resources and begin a slow, painful decline.
8) Minority groups demand equal access to political and economic resources.
9) Majority responds with “Boot Straps” lecture.
10) Majority group also informs minority group that new economic conditions mandate that they can no longer live in the given neighborhood or city.
11) Minority group receives last lecture: “Why are you so resistant to change? It’ natural for neighborhoods to get better…who wouldn’t want that!!!?”
VancouverJones, “majority responds with ‘boot straps’ lecture?” What majority in what city provides that lecture? Please provide evidence that a majority is providing that lecture, please provide polling results.
You are painting with a ridiculously broad brush.
In this very flawed capitalist society, to make progress for the disadvantaged, it is incumbent upon the disadvantaged to organize politically and find allies, and agitate through the system for legislative change. Yeah, the system is rigged by terrible campaign finance laws, but that is the game board we have to play on. It sucks, but it’s reality – but there is no progress without education about what the real limitations are – systemic hurdles, not imaginary thoughts about how majorities think.
“Nobody is against change.”
Maybe in Vancouver.
no, that is not the criteria. those are examples of ways in which you can be a contributing community member instead of a whiney comer. there are several other ways, but the point is–contribute and be a part of a community. respect the community that was there before you and don’t bring your entitled white self into a predominately non-white community and demand change.
I understand how some people can be sickened. But compare that with the arrival of poverty and crime 1/2 century ago in the neighborhoods that are gentrified today. Yes large number of working class families were displaced, and no one was defending the displaced. Were they complaining? Nope. They bounced back and their kids or grand kids are coming back.
There are no victims or perpetrators here. Just people doing what they can under circumstances of their time. But activists with an agenda would love to paint the very minor displacement as class/race warfare.
Now THAT is sickening.
Your name is pretty telling. You are full of double-standards. You probably see no problem in displacement through gangs and crime, but if it goes the other way it’s a race war.
Wow, freaking wow. This is 2014. Get a clue.
As a Frenchman with some Italian roots, I am sickened that the French and Italian butchers had to be displaced 70 years ago in the Bayview. NOT.
LOL you last post is asinine. Please give it a rest
Those areas marked as “not applicable” have changed a lot, too. Many of those neighborhoods were much more blue collar and working class 20 years ago, now they’re just rich. If you were to include those factors into this map, basically all of the bay has been gentrified, heavily. At the end of the day the rich are running the poor out of town.
^ “now they’re just rich”
You have a very loose definition of rich.
Boo and futurist
Thank you both for elevating this discussion out of the hater gutter it normally resides in. I’m with boo but that’s not really the point.
@vacouverjones – obvioulsy some variations to that timeline exists but it brings important context to the conversation that I had not considered. Valid point.
i am full of double standards? how so? when did i ever say that i see no problem with displacement from gangs and crime? i don’t think that gangs and crime are a sustainable way in which to create community. all i said was that no matter what community, the members of said community should work together. pay taxes, contribute, talk to each other and respect existing cultures. displacement is going to happen no matter what, the problem and tension that prevails is mostly due to the sense of entitlement that the newcomers have. that entitlement can come from “tech bros” or gang members, neither of which is healthy.
as far as me getting a clue, perhaps you’ll have to help because i have no idea what you’re referring to.
Lol, your comments misrepresents what happened to the Italian and French residents of the bayview. “Gangs and crime” did not “displace” them.
twice, the problem is you have your sense of entitlement backwards. If people with greater income move into a neighborhood, of course they can have nicer and more expensive restaurants, stores, bars, coffeehouses, etc., if people decide to open such places to satisfy the demand. And building owners have every right to sell/rent their places for higher amounts, if that is what the market will bear. A landlord has no obligation to keep renting to a cheap eatery if he/she can fetch more by renting to a nice restaurant. And a new resident has no obligation to shop at some older, crummier market if he/she prefers and can afford a newer, nicer place. If you want to shop at those older places in Fruitvale, feel free — nobody is criticizing your choice. But you have no right to criticize those who prefer newer, different establishments.
The sense of “entitlement” that I see comes from older residents who feel entitled to never having anything change or improve, to prevent anything new that they cannot afford.
You can’t mention race and expect to let people just stay quiet.
I am doing airbnb on the corporate relocation segment. So far I have had indian, latino, pakistani, british, australian, african american , almost all tech, all in a good income bracket. And yes, some Googlers. I see gentrification from up close. Very close.
From my (somehow “real”) standpoint, gentrification is NOT about race, but about social class, education, behavior. Using race to describe a part of the population as a victim is simply dishonest. Many of the protesters are of the same race as the displacers. eco just 2 weeks ago I met a central american tech guy who decided to relocate his whole company to Asia. And he was telling me how his rent-controlled mom could have to move out due to gentrification. I stayed very polite at the hypocrisy.
This is a fight between the successful and the less successful, the slowly drifting vs the upwardly moving, not white vs brown. As I have said many times before, what’s happening is what happens in a free society. I do confirm you should get a clue, or at least trying t get out of your political sphere.
Rillion, you are mixing 2 very different posts. Nice strawman though.
i appreciate your thoughtful response. i also agree with a lot of what you said. some of the tension stems from the fact that the new residents demand change or are threatened by their less well off neighbors that have been in their fully paid off homes for generations. i get the fact that property owners have the right to charge whatever they want, as they should. i recognize that that mentality will begin to displace residents. i agree with market rate and i understand that change will happen. i understand that new shops will come in to support demand. again, all good. what bothers me is that many new folks don’t show empathy or respect. i would totally benefit from a great sandwich shop in my ‘hood rather than another taqueria, but as long as i’m sharing this space with a community that has been here much longer than myself, i’m not going to get angry over the fact that another cheap burrito shop opens up. the main point i want to get across is, that no matter where one lives, they should do their best to be a part of the community (established and wealthy or working class poor). most of the people in this thread wouldn’t go to another country and not try to abide by their customs. the ‘hood would just be a happier place if everybody respected one another.
Rillion, I realize you probably missed the irony of my post. Of course I don’t care about what’s in the past. I don’t care about Acadia or Louisiana neither. People get peacefully steamrolled or bought out all the time. Life goes on. Why would we protect anyone based on geography or origin?
twice, okay, I see your point. And you are right that if a newcomer is complaining about a shop/home, etc. that caters generally to the pre-existing residents rather than the newcomers, he or she is an a-hole. And I certainly agree that everyone should respect others — my only point is that this is a two=way street. Personally, I prefer to live in a neighborhood that reflects many walks of life. That’s why we live in our SF neighborhood rather than in Tiburon (the latter is very nice, just not for me).
“This is a fight between the successful and the less successful,”
It’s really not. It’s a supply problem, partly caused by silly laws written by people thinking there’s a fight between rich and poor going on.
Think of all the income/wealth inequality data another way. Instead of looking at the wealth of the 1% (more saliently the 0.1%), think of how few people are in the 0.1%. If there’s so few of them, how are “the rich” going to take over all the housing stock??
Surely on a small scale, if some area becomes hip the local effect can be quite dramatic. And those with greater income will be able to displace current residents. But the real question is: Displace to where? From the Inner Mission to Outer Mission?, to the Bayview?, to Oakland?, Fresno?, out of state? Nothing could stop all displacements, but it’s clear that supply constraints can make displacement much much worse.
On a micro level, there can easily be a fight between rich and poor over housing. But as you zoom out there quickly ceases to be enough “rich” people to fill all the housing, let alone the land.
Lol – my apologies for thinking things you say have any relation with each other. Clearly your comments less than fifteen minutes apart from each other, on the same topic, in the same thread have absolutely nothing to do with each other. I was a fool for thinking they were related.
Nationally your assumptions are correct. The 1% (or fraction of 1%) can afford the $2M+ houses that are displayed all the time on SS.
But most of the gentrification is not done by the “1%”, but by families who make double or triple the median SF income.
The places they are buying are not SFHs since SFHs are not rent controlled, but TICs or condos (for 2-unit buildings) where a “bought out” or “evicted” family will be replaced by someone who can afford the 600K to 700K of the typical TIC today.
Looking at income distribution in SF, this is more like the 20%, not 0.1%.
Also, what I meant by “success” was financial success. Some people chose the path of materialism, others chose a less quantifiable path, and quite a few just had no choice.
i don’t expect people to stay quiet. dialogue is good. though gentrification isn’t entirely about race, it’s hard for me to believe that it has nothing to do with race. i agree, social class and education have a lot to do with it, but lets not forget that there is a big difference between being born into a privileged social class and getting educated versus struggling every day to try to make ends meet with social pressures that are unique to poor communities. you can’t tell me that racial profiling, gang violence and quick drug money is an easy thing for a young person to navigate.
you will not see my comments claiming that anybody is a victim and i’m most certainly not saying that a particular race is one.
i wish it was as plain and easy as a “fight between the successful and the less successful.” that argument fails to include the unjust society that the non privileged class lives in. of course there are rich of every race and poor of every race, so i agree, it’s not entirely white vs. brown, but in the bay area and much of california it’s mostly white vs. mostly brown.
you’re right, this type of stuff happens, but “free society” is a tough pill for me to swallow. not everybody has the same advantages as the next person. as far as me getting a clue, all i can say is i bet you were born into the privileged class and mommy and daddy provided the best life they could for you. aren’t you lucky. as far as getting out of my political sphere, what does that even mean? are you suggesting i should be more conservative? it’s all about the money and screw anybody that gets in my way? and we wonder why there are such strong tensions. i’d venture to guess you’re the ass-clown wearing flip flops in my neighborhood sipping his (or her) moca on their cell phone. wake up! there is a world out there.
Funny how when someone says something that questions you you go straight for “you are white and rich therefore what you say doesn’t count”.
Nice fantasy world you are living in. I grew up in a small village. My parents had no money but know the value of education. I went to public school. I fought my way at each and every step. I left quite a lot behind to move to this country. I made sacrifices. I knew that work wasn’t going to make me catch-up on the privileged kid fast enough. I got a parallel path in Real Estate to build the retirement I need and it went better than I thought. And now the lazy kids are whining life’s unfair. LOL.
i was guessing, i wasn’t accusing. i’m not lazy. i work hard, am proud of my life and i have some assets to show for it. i’m just sensitive and frustrated by the lack of compassion that so many people, especially wealthy real estate driven people have.
Compassion in SF is materialized by rent control, social housing, cash-not-care housing. There’s plenty of it to go around. This is what a social safety net is for: people depend on others through the government so that they do not have to go through very biased individuals. A small number of landlords are giving up and similar number of speculators are extracting profit but keeping the places as housing units. Why is that a problem?
you’re answer is exactly what i’m talking about. you equate compassion with rent control, social housing and cash-not-care housing. that’s compassion to you? i’m not talking about inventory, i’m talking about people and culture, the fabric of a community. these aren’t just numbers and dollars, these are lives. all i’m saying is there is a lack of empathy and respect for people that were there before the newcomers. your argument is like saying america was compassionate to native americans because we provided reservation space for them. it doesn’t take into account the atrocities that those people (originally on the land) had to suffer through.
the fact is, you and i will never agree. to me, you’re a cold hearted, dollar-first type of person. i’m more of a community builder and feel like there could and should be a common ground. it doesn’t have to be a winner take all situation.
GWB had a lot of compassion, just like a lot of neocons of his time. His take on compassion was to try and dismantle the social safety net while encouraging compassion among the rich. This leads to a dual society of beggars and givers, where beggars better comply to the social norm the givers are imposing. If your plight is unsexy or “immoral” then you can starve in a ditch.
Compassion I think starts with a strong safety net, precisely because humans are biased and imperfect.You will not want to be compassionate to the person who scares you or inspires you disgust.
In an existing social safety net I included rent control, but it is currently tremendously unjust since there is no means testing of the subsidy! A millionaire can keep his bachelor pad for a miser as long as he technically residing in his place. This is very wasteful when we need every dollar we can get to subsidize the people that need it. But the government cannot sell rent subsidy and will use the landlord’s accessible pockets instead.
I really wish someone would do a statistically valid study and find what percentage of tenants in S.F. rent controlled units are millionaires. That is such a tired cliche among bellyaching landlords that it’s turning into the equivalent of the notorious chicago welfare queen that Ronald Reagan used to go on and on about.
I know at least 2. Also a few friends who could afford market rent but then would not sacrifice their great lifestyle for a few extra square feet. Many do airbnb in addition during their vacations.
Well, this is admittedly a tangent from the subject of gentrification of S.F. and Oakland…but those people are crazy. As in: irrational.
Anyone who can afford to buy (and most millionaires can, even if “The Real SF”) and plans to be around more than five years and who isn’t taking advantage of the mortgage interest tax deduction in exchange for saving on rent needs to have their head examined or perhaps needs a refresher course in personal finance.
That’s just to say that I don’t dispute such people exist (just like Reagan’s chicago welfare queen existed), but I am sure they are a small minority of S.F. tenants.
Brahma, people who enjoy low rent thanks to rent control and can afford to buy are probably doing it. But maybe not in SF.
The “it reminds me of the welfare queen” line is showing its age. Not many people will fit in the boxes that we try to create for them.
I know I fit in your greedy landlord box and have been for a while now, yet I am renting a cheap house with a pool in LV. I also rent out to 3 artists in Paris (kinda cheap). And I am currently living 1/3 of the time in a summer home on the mediterranean. I also work in tech full time. Am I a landlord, a retiree, a tenant or a techie? LOL.
Got a box for me Brahma?
“I really wish someone would do a statistically valid study and find what percentage of tenants in S.F. rent controlled units are millionaires.”
Im sure there are a few millionaires, but the bigger issue is that there are plenty of people who have greater than $100K househould income who are beneficiaries of rent control. IF we could limit rent control to only households making below the median ($55K for the household), then it would lower market rents and keep rent control for those who truly need it
Although I would personally benefit from means testing (my tenant is a multi-millionaire, with a vacation home), I understand the rationale for not doing so. Means testing would create the worst sort of discrimination. Now, if we are talking about a general rent subsidy paid for by taxpayers at large, then by all means apply some sort of income and wealth criteria.
Why not have means testing? Set the threshold high. $250k/year in income. Dot he same for Prop. 13. Some basic fairness is in order.
At April 9th, 3:36 PM, Futurist wrote:
Emphasis added, obviously.
There’s multiple principled objections one could make to this attitude, but for Boo at 12:18 PM and all the others reading this thread who find Futurist’s point of view mildly reprehensible, allow me to point them to a third party that can explain the motivation behind it.
I read this yesterday. From How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained), I found this ‘graph pretty much nails it:
Now, to his credit, Futurist isn’t taking exactly the same line as the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, but the effect is the same as the NIMBYism that gets derided on the regular basis on socketsite.
And I can completely understand how someone reading the section of the comment I called out up top can read that as a coded “Hey, let’s keep those people out because they’re socially undesirable. A lot of the foreigners who arrived in the U.S. fairly recently to make money perhaps don’t understand that for historical reasons, race and class in the U.S. are intertwined.
hi brahma, i read that article yesterday too and its a very good read
I often disagree with futurist on his views about growth in SF. I think it’s ludicrous to freeze the number of SF dwellers. It started off with a few 100s and everyone who came at every wave brought an extra touch of personality.
We agree on other things, like the concept that SF should not be a given.
Rent control transforms people into activist hogs who will fight harder to keep a low rent than to make sure they qualify for a market rent. This is not helping society as a whole since it sets a precedent that all it takes to make it is not consistent hard work, but a one time strike of luck.
The current “Gentrification” is simply a pretty small correction in an otherwise giant anomaly. Yes some people are affected negatively. But this was going to happen. Rent control is the infamous band-aid that we are pulling way too slowly.
from the article posted by Brahma,
35% of housing in SF is owner occupied
45% is rent controlled rentals
only 20% is market rate rentals
This makes it very clear why the market rate of rentals is so artificially high. This also makes it clear that building new market rate housing will help either slow the escalating prices or help them to correct (in conjunction with an economic event)
I’m shocked by this map. I live in the Excelsior and it doesn’t feel one tiny bit gentrified. Seriously, there are more cool businesses in the outer Sunset than there are in the Excelsior.
The problem is that we need a living wage, not a minimum wage. Life is the Bay Area is expensive and people who work should be able to earn a living wage. There needs to be work-life balance: 40 hours of work and a living wage. People, no matter your race, need to spend time with spouses and kids. With living wages, more people will be able to afford the rents and mortgages.
One person’s income is another person’s expense.
Driving up wages also drives up prices, which would require increasing the living wage, which further drives up prices, which requires increasing the living wage,…
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