145 Leavenworth / 361 Turk Renderings

If the Forge Land Company’s plans are approved at the end of the month, a pair of eight-story buildings, with a total of 238 market-rate “group housing” rooms over 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, could rise on two parking lots fronting Leavenworth and Turk in the Tenderloin.

The 238 apartments would average 250 square feet apiece, each with a private bath and kitchenette.  Shared lounges, a communal kitchen and other common areas allows the development to qualify as Group Housing and avoid including any designated Below Market Rate (BMR) units on-site or elsewhere.

And in fact, in exchange for the development of 145 Leavenworth and 361 Turk, the development team is planning to convert 238 rooms in five existing SRO hotels in the area to tourist use (and rates), a point which hasn’t been touted for the project which is positioned as “workforce” housing for the “middle of the residential market.”

As designed by Collins Woerman, the two new buildings would be constructed of prefabricated modular steel and feature perforated copper skins (“similar to the deYoung Museum exterior”).

And in terms of the expected rents, the development team is targeting an average rent which will be affordable to those earning 150% of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is currently $107,050 for a single person in San Francisco or $122,250 for a household of two.

107 thoughts on “Group Housing For SF’s “Working Class” Making $100K”
  1. Great – throw out current residents of SROs to turn into tourist housing & build new SROs (which is basically what they are) for “workforce’ housing…..uh huh

    1. Except with no income cap. Sounds perfect to me.

      I’d also be fine with simply allowing the current SROs to have income restrictions removed, which would allow them to be fixed up and rented out at market rate. Either way works.

    1. looks like they found a loop-hole since they’re technically creating 238 new rooms and then converting 238 old rooms to tourist-use.

        1. No, it’s disgusting, and so are you for applauding it. The last thing this city needs is to lose 238 units of affordable housing in one of the last working class neighborhoods. I’m all for development, but I hope this gets blocked until they ditch the plan to convert the 5 SROs to tourist use (it’s one of the roughest parts of the city anyways, not exactly tourist friendly)…and the way that they’re trying to exploit a loophole is the exact kind of shadyness that will push NIMBYs to restrict development more.

          1. +1 (to ‘no sro’) I’m embarassed for this city every time I go through the Tenderloin, or see tourists headed in that direction. And Mid-Market will never truly improve until the Tenderloin improves.

          2. I agree. affordable housing is not easy to come by and while I agree that more development needs to happen, I find this especially morally reprehensible.

            I’ve been searching for the past 6 months for housing for my dad that’s somewhat near his job and in all of santa clara county, there was 1 open unit. thank god he got it. the waitlist for section 8 vouchers and public housing has been closed since 2009.

            I know people here think that poor workers should move to vallejo or richmond but not everyone can just move. imagine making $10-12 per hour and paying $23 every day to commute by ferry, or spending hours hours behind the wheel. These are working people and they cannot afford to live in the communities they serve or even in a place where they can at least easily access the communities they serve. I believe there is something wrong with that.

          3. 100s of Millions of people in the world are commuters who spend a lot of time and money in their commute. At some points some commutes are not worth it and it mostly boils down to money first, then time spent.

          4. “want to know what’s more disgusting? the sidewalks of the tenderloin.” -no sro

            I knew that would be your response. You’re so witty! What’s more disgusting is well-off people like you who value your bank account and extra clean sidewalks (what is this, disneyland?) over the well-being of hundreds of less-fortunate people. Many of these people will be seriously screwed if they lose their housing.

          5. No, keeping people mired in terrible housing around other addicts, etc is what’s disgusting. Let’s remove all SROs that require below market rate prices, convert everything to market rate, and then hand out subsidies that can be used anywhere if we need below market rate housing, rather than forcing working class folks to live in ghettos. Shame on you for suggesting that we keep ghettos in place.

          6. @anon

            Except there is no other affordable housing for them to move into (and they’re not all addicts, like you seem to be implying). And rent control isn’t being repealed, so everything is not being converted to market rate. And everything being converted to market rate would not instantly make everything significantly cheaper anyways. Instead it would make 60% of the city’s housing (the amount under rent control, which is the main thing keeping the middle and working class here in SF) get more expensive…because now full market price can be charged. What landlord would pass that up?

            Nice try though. Shame on you for advocating for the removal of one of SF’s remaining working class neighborhoods, when there’s no alternative available for its residents.

          7. Um, no alternative? San Francisco is the most expensive city in the country. They can literally move ANYWHERE ELSE in the country and find cheaper housing. If that isn’t an alternative, I don’t know what is.

          8. cfb,

            First some math.
            1 – SF is 60% tenants, but not all are rent controlled. Maybe a bit more than 1/2? Let’s say 40% of the population is rent controlled.
            2 – Many of these tenants moved in these past 5 years. As a vocal anti-rent-control poster I often get the response “there are not THAT many long term tenants in SF”. This means the heavily subsidized population is not the majority. Maybe 30% have been there since rents were less than today’s market value.

            This means that probably 20% of the SF population is underpaying its rent and would lose out. But many of these tenants would be able to pay the new rent. Take into account the fact that MARKET rents would go down, which would price in some of them.

            Yes, maybe 5 to 10% of the SF population would have to move out to the suburbs, because they were lower class living in middle class dwellings. And they would be replaced with actual middle class who haven’t been able to afford the crazy market rate of today.

          9. @anon you don’t seem to get it. low income people are less mobile. They have less access to high-paying jobs. millions of people may commute long hours but I’m sure they are commuting to a job where the pay makes it worthwhile.

            I’m sure most low income people would love to move somewhere cheaper but cheaper places to live are that way because they lack jobs.

          10. Low income people are less mobile because we’ve locked them into a ghetto, where prices are set artificially low but choice is impossible. I am actually FOR much more extensive subsidies for housing the less fortunate, just very much AGAINST ghettos such as this. Eliminate this kind of squalor and multiply housing subsidies (section 8 type programs) by 20-50x. Let the poor decide where to live instead of locking them into substandard and dangerous buildings/neighborhoods.

          11. @anon that sounds great but in the meantime, we’re losing 280 units of affordable housing and not getting anything in return. while your plans are admirable, I’m not sure they’ll ever happen in the pseudo-“meritocracy” we live in. that’s why people are fighting so hard to preserve the affordable housing we do have.

          12. Um, no. We’re losing 280 extremely substandard housing units and getting 280 modern and nice housing units AND 280 additional tax generating hotel rooms in return. It’s rare to find such an easy positive-all-around situation.

            Preserving ghettos in the name of “affordable” housing is extremely immoral.

          13. The fact that this is “one of the roughest parts of the city anyways” is exactly what developments like these will hopefully help address. This is the core of the city and it should not persist in such squalor. I hope it will soon benefit from the gentrification seen in neighboring areas.

          14. “We’re losing 280 extremely substandard housing units”

            have you been inside?

            “Preserving ghettos in the name of “affordable” housing is extremely immoral.”

            hardly preserving a ghetto. Let them build 280 market rate units but why evict the other units to create a hotel?

            Poor people are not poor because they are “locked into a ghetto” – at least in SF, they’re poor because you can work 40 hours at minimum wage and still be below the poverty line if you have any dependents. The Tenderloin has the highest rate of households with children in the city.

            I also don’t understand why homeless people on the streets have to reflect on the people living in these units. Outside a 1MM condo in the Castro, there are homeless. Does that mean that the homeowner is somehow at fault and their home should be bulldozed to build a 2 MM condo instead?

            The line of reasoning is like, “you’re too poor to deserve to live here. look at what you’ve let the neighborhood become. Let’s move in some young professionals to clean it up because you have surely failed. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” You clearly don’t have a problem with “ghettos” so long as they aren’t in SF so that you don’t have to be embarrassed when you have visitors.

          15. The residents of the Tenderloin with kids are the exact immigrants that I’d like to help but you’d like to keep out.

            Also, there are no 40 hour a week minimum wage folks living in the TL, at least not in any large numbers. It’s immigrants and folks on various types of government support, that’s it.

  2. Attractive facades, nice detailing and materials. Let’s hope they don’t get beat up and watered down by the time they’re built.

  3. They really need to turn more SROs into tourist/ young professional use. They were historically created for people moving to the city who didn’t have anywhere to go, not “affordable housing”. Some are well managed and should stay, but some of them are veritable drug dens with borderline illegal living conditions.

  4. Didn’t realize there was a loophole in the ban on SRO conversion, but if they knew what I didn’t, congratulations to them. Not too sure what tourists will be pleased staying in the heart of the T-loin, though. The new construction is certainly a positive, regardless.

    1. You mean SF is a remote island without any means of communication with the outside world? 10s of 1000s of workers are commuting into SF for 2 simple reasons that 1) they get paid more in the city than where they live and 2) the city is too expensive for the life they want to have.

      Keeping people artificially into the city though rent control or SROs or Care Not Cash is what makes the city so expensive for the rest of us.

      1. Actually, it’s not building enough middle income housing that makes it expensive. Despite our building boom, fewer than 500 middle income units have been added to the market in the last few years — the many thousands being built (like these above) are luxury housing for those making above the median income, along with the requisite 12% affordable (only available to people with very small incomes).

        If we flip SRO units to tourist rentals or market rate units, they will still be unaffordable to most people that live here, especially as our population continues to rise. What really needs to happen is more urban infill, such as these buildings above, need to be priced at the median income level—rather just helping those at the top and the bottom of the market.

        1. Building more luxury units makes the luxury units from 10 years ago less desired, hence lower priced and more affordable to middle income folks. This is how it’s always worked, until we decided to outlaw most building. Since we’ve done that, there’s been no hope of keeping up with or exceeding demand at the top end.

          1. Exactly, so for the 20+ years that building certainly won’t alleviate demand, our reliance on luxury (and a tiny bit of BMR) will displace or pre-empt middle income folks from moving here, further exacerbating our increasing inequality. Unless the bubble truly pops. O_o

          2. No bubble needs to pop, the rest of the Bay Area just needs to be building as much as SF is now. If the entire region built a several hundred thousand units things would move back towards a nice supply/demand balance.

        2. The reality is that middle income housing is too expensive to build. When the land and construction costs are added you are not going to sell a 1000sf at 400K or rent it for 2500. The math doesn’t work. Or else you subsidize. And we already have our share of subsidized housing distorting the market. The private sector is fresh out of favors and subsidies with the insane punishment of rent control. No free lunch.

          1. The reality is that middle income is too low to afford housing because the wealthy in America are too expensive and too greedy/needy. When the huge tax cuts and government handouts that have been given to the rich in America are added up it hasn’t left much for income growth for the middle class in the past 40 years.
            Has absolutely nothing at all to do with rent control, as has been pointed out to you many times. Marin and San Mateo counties are among the least affordable housing markets in the US.

          2. I’ll agree that it’s not rent control, but rather overall restrictions on construction (of which rent control is one). If it was all because of federal level tax cuts and government handouts, we wouldn’t see major cost of living differences between metro areas – housing costs would roughly track with incomes, but that isn’t at all the case. The Bay Area is wildly more expensive for housing compared to income when you compare against other metros.

          3. But I should note that I do entirely agree that tax cuts and government handouts to the rich should be stopped.

          4. Jake, all valid arguments. But SF is just a very expensive place to build. Coastal Cali in general for that matter. The middle class in SF earns twice what the middle class earns in the rest of the US. But since housing costs 4 to 5 times more, they are struggling.

            Now following that logic employers in SF should pay their employees more. But only a few industries can afford to provide good pay. The rest would not be competitive on the national market for their industry. This is the source of great frustration among some of my friends who don’t understand how people who look like slackers can be making twice or 3 time what they do.

        3. how do you build “middle income Housing” when the demand from the demand from high income earners is so high. Developers can buid lower cost and quality housing “intended” to be cheaper for middle class, but it will gobbled up at high prices by the demand from high income people. no way to build middle class housing unless either a) its subsidized, and that makes market rate higher for everyone else b) we build enough units to satisy demand, and none of us think that will happen. The sane alternative is that if you make $120K /yr and want to buy, then buy in South SF, San Bruno, Oakland, Vallejo, etc where it is much cheaper but commutes are still short. Thats what most of us would do. why should the city and tzxpayers subsidize people who have good salaries, but not high enough to afford SF prices?

  5. According to figures available on the MOH website, maximum permissible rent and utilities for a SRO unit for affordability at 150% of AMI is $2,007, with a $28 utilities allowance. I would be in favor of places like this if they were about half that price. At monthly rent of $8 per square foot, this is no solution to our housing crisis.

    Possibly, it would make sense as temporary housing for coders or other workers new to San Francisco looking to meet some like-minded people for sharing a real apartment or house.

    And if you’re making less than $107K per year, do you have to live in something smaller than 250 square feet? At some point I think the price of housing here would become a larger concern for employers.

    1. Agreed, and that said employers would be buildings their own units—particularly in development averse Silicon Valley.

  6. If you make less than $100K a year in San Francisco and are not already in a rent controlled or below market rate unit, you live with your parents, a partner or roommates (and even roommate situations are not cheap anymore). You don’t have a market rate studio. And until we build about 100,000 more housing units in the city , that won’t change

    1. Exactly. And as far as “the price of housing here . . . becom[ing] a larger concern for employers” (Dixon Hill), not while there is a plethora of affordable housing available in the East Bay, much of which is a quicker commute to downtown SF than you get from far-flung parts of SF proper.

    2. Mark F – A lot of jobs pay less than $100K per year and it is unreasonable to expect everyone to have roommates or live with their parents into middle age. As to rent-controlled units, there aren’t enough of those to go around and 90% of the commenters here want to do-away with them altogether.

      Building another 100,000 housing units won’t solve the problem either, unless they are the right kind. Nobody wants to build truly affordable units because that isn’t where the money is and city government doesn’t demand enough from developers who want to play here.
      Barristas and Walgreen’s cashiers have to live somewhere and it is unrealistic to expect them to do a long BART ride from Antioch for a job that pays $10 or $14 an hour, or whatever.

      To Shza’s point that some parts of San Francisco proper have terrible commutes, that’s not a strong argument for living outside the city in a place from which the commute is marginally less bad.

      And I know it’s fashionable here to say that lower-income artists and musicians haven’t “earned the right” to live in San Francisco but the Arts are one of the things that makes this a great city.

      This development is a symptom of a seriously unbalanced housing/job market and something’s gotta give. It’s becoming as expensive to live here as it is in London. As much as I like San Francisco, it’s not London.

      1. It is nowhere near as expensive to live here as it is to live in London. Not remotely close.

        And a commute from Oakland (not Antioch) is very quick, and offers a wide array of relatively cheap housing options. If we ever truly got to the point of the only affordable housing for under $100k-salaried (or even minimum wage) SF employees being an hour-plus commute away, then I agree that it would be a problem for employers. But we’re nowhere near that point.

        You dismiss way to easily the idea that barristas, Walgreen’s cashiers, artists and musicians might have to accept roommates in exchange for living IN SF rather than a couple BART stops away in Oakland. I think most people — especially those who lived below their means and also put up with roommate situations for years in order to save — would find that to be a pretty unrealistic and entitled view. And the scene for young artists and musicians has already moved to Oakland anyway.

        1. +1
          Even in Boston or Chicago or D.C., barristas and cashiers aren’t holding down some nice post-war 2-bedroom apartment on their own.

          And 100,000 additional housing units of *any* type will affect the market – even if someone was stupid enough to build 100,000 high-end luxury units, that would simply mean the price of those units would plummet – which would have a ripple effect on housing prices throughout the spectrum. (People in mid-range units would upgrade to the relatively cheap luxury units, freeing up those mid-range units, etc.) It’s the height of irrational pontification to claim that adding 100,000 housing units won’t affect S.F. housing costs.

          1. @ Sierra Jeff–Building lots of expensive units won’t have any measurable effect on housing costs for regular folks. It just won’t. If developers build too many million dollar homes for the market and they decline in price by 50%, they would still be out of reach by many people.

            What it will do is attract lots of high-income people who may or may not need to work (including foreign nationals from certain unstable parts of the world who consider a home in the U.S. as an “asset class” or a form of insurance, and not necessarily a place to live full-time).

            And I’m not advocating a nice “post-war 2-bedroom” for low-paid workers but I do believe the city needs to have a balanced housing stock, affordable by people at all levels of income.

            Bit-by-bit, this community is being transformed into an amusement park.

          2. No one is “building million dollar homes” homes are costing a million no matter the quality of the materials. The high costs have little to do with types of homes being built.

            It has to do with demand for housing by people with high salaries. If we built enough to satisfy that demand, prices would drop. Wealthy people will play a lot for low quality condos in this market. See the Palms. Developers don’t control costs. Demand does.

        2. “And the scene for young artists and musicians has already moved to Oakland anyway.”
          Good point. So much for San Francisco being the cultural vanguard.

          1. Who cares if it is? I just want a nice urban place to live, of which there are far too few in the US. We don’t have to be a “cultural vanguard”, and it’s a little ridiculous to assume that that should be a city goal.

          2. A “nice urban place to live” without the urbanity?

            Universal Studios has a nice set for you in Burbank.

          3. Nah, I’ll take a nice 6-8 story streetwall with lots of foot traffic and numerous places to eat/shop/work within walking distance. You know, like all of the great urban cities of the world aside from SF (Paris, Tokyo, London, New York, etc). In SF we reserve the best bones of the city as a ghetto.

        3. You totally nailed it. My mother back in Canada has taken the subway for 40 years of her life 45 minutes to get to work. People here have a huge sense of entitlement when they can just live 15 minutes away by Bart from work.

      2. BART works great. Many use it and have low or medium paying jobs. This is the way it works in most big healthy cities.

      3. Baristas and Walgreen’s employees in this city are overwhelmingly students. And these students have roommates.

  7. Fantastic news — the Tenderloin is located in one of the most convenient places in SF: walking distance to Market Street, Union Square, City Hall. Big buildings with plenty of retail below. The only thing separating the Tenderloin from being the ideal place for living and working is the crime and drug use, a lot of which happens in the SROs, per police reports. Get rid of the problem and the Tenderloin makes a nice alternative to the Mission.

  8. My partner and I are fortunate that we live in an affordable housing situation out in one of the “far-flung parts of SF proper.” But, SF needs to get over itself as some kind of mecca. It’s horribly expensive, dirty, has a grotesque homeless problem, crumbling infrastructure, and pathetic transit…to name a few.

    1. You can always leave! The country is huge, and the world is even bigger. I certainly would not stay in a place I thought was “horribly expensive, dirty, has a grotesque homeless problem, crumbling infrastructure, and pathetic transit.” There are literally thousands of people moving to this awful, awful place every month who would gladly take over your affordable housing. I’ve moved away from places that I thought were undesirable – it is very easy.

      1. I’m unclear on your comment – are you trying to say the City is *not* horribly expensive, dirty, with crumbling infrastructure, etc.? Or are you admitting those things, but saying no one should complain about them, and anyone who’s not happy with those facts should just leave, rather than work for betterment?

        1. Right – I do not think that SF is “horribly expensive, dirty, has a grotesque homeless problem, crumbling infrastructure, and pathetic transit.” If I did, I would be out of here in 30 seconds (none of those things could be remedied quickly, so working for betterment to no end for years in this one, short life is not practical, although I certainly work quite hard to better a number of things that I think need it).

          To the contrary, I think this a great and beautiful city that is fun and interesting, and given the hordes of well-heeled newcomers who are flocking here — and the even bigger hordes who visit from all over the world — and the many $1300/sf home sales, I think that my view is fairly common. Yeah, it is expensive here, but my income is about 2X here what it would be just about anywhere else in the U.S. except New York, so even that leans in favor of SF for me (i.e. SF is not “horribly” expensive).

          Some people just like to complain no matter what their situation is. Maybe that was where Mark was coming from. But if one thought that one’s locale was MORE grotesque, crumbling etc. than the many readily available alternatives, seems just crazy to me to stay.

    2. Spend some time in places like Fort Funston, the Presidio, Lands End, and Golden Gate Park, and I think you’ll wind up with a more balanced view of San Francisco.

      1. Exactly. And 100 other places. Heck, the view out my office window every day is something that people pay serious money to take vacations to see.

  9. This is a total sh*t pile for the current SRO residents. They get kicked out in favor of tourists, but can’t afford the rents in the new “group housing” places. It’s not clear from the description whether the SROs they want to convert are currently managed under the City’s master lease program. If they are, they are reserved for homeless/very low income singles and adult couples without children. If they are allowed to convert these, those people will have no where to go. And I’m sure they will make tons of money on the hotels even in the T’loi given the really low vacancy rates. I’m sure they are counting on that income to offset the relatively low rents for the new places. Not sure what the loophole is, but I would bet the Supes will close it if they hear about this plan.

    1. Those people have the entire rest of the world to go to. You’d be very surprised at how much housing you can get for much less in other places. No reason they have to try and remain in the most expensive city in the country.

      1. What an incredibly callous comment! On a practical level, most of the people living in the SROs have almost no income – they are formerly homeless and very low income by definition. Where are they going to get money to relocate – bus/train fare, first-last rent, etc? Plus many of them are dealing with health and mental health issues. Morally, why shouldn’t there be a place in the city of Saint Francisco for them to live? We live in one of the wealthiest cities in the world. So your idea is that they should magically ship themselves to Bakersfield where they have limited resources to help them? Reminds me of Scrooge’s lines “Are there no prisons?… Are there no Union workhouses?…. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there….If they would rather die…they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

        Humbug indeed.

        1. They’ll get bus/train fare, first-last rent from the buyout that they’ll get from the building being converted. I have no problem with coming up with some program to help people, but there’s no reason that they should be entitled to a San Francisco address simply because they’ve lived here in the past. How about the morality of locking out the millions of people that would also like to live here? The potential immigrants living in squalor in Africa and Asia? Why are we not morally obliged to help them over someone already here, who could much more easily adjust to any other US city?

          1. In other words “I’ll never agree with anon” so no point in talking to anyone who won’t agree with me….

            Yeah, that’s how we learn, huh…..

  10. Affordable to people making $100k to $122k is $3000 to $4000. In Tenderloin at that. This is like BMRs at EVA, affordable in name only.

    1. These aren’t below market rate. They’re simply market rate units, where they will hope to price them as affordable for folks making 150% of AMI, but ultimately the price will be determined by the market.

    1. Coders are of working class, an a hard-working working class without a union and a pension. Without a job, they will be homeless.

  11. This is a stroke of genius. I hope it’s approved and is a model for developments all over the city (but especially in the Tenderloin which is a prime location and gentrification is badly needed).

  12. Avalos is proposing legislation to close loopholes this project intends to exploit. Today’s SF Biz Times has a story on it. Avalos and Kim cosponsored it at the April 7th BOS meeting.

    “Ordinance 150348: Ordinance amending the Planning Code to clarify that the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program applies to housing projects, as defined, including group housing projects…”

  13. Whatever cleans up the TL is fine by me. Some people equate drug addicts with working class. As someone from a working class upbringing, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Seems like people with money are the bigger drug abusers, but I digress.

  14. The developers are saying if you earn $107,050 -$122,250 for one or two household you too can afford to rent a 250 sf micro unit in the Tenderloin! This is insane.
    Seems to be a smoke screen under the guise of affordable housing.

    1. its a lifestyle choice. personally i would prefer to live in oakland in a 1200sq ft place with <30min bart ride. but some people must prefer to live in the TL in a 250sq ft place. no one is forcing people's hand. we all have choices.

  15. Why is only SF responsible for housing all the poors in the Bay Area? Why can’t other cities who have all those big employers in their boundaries build housing so people don’t commute from a small, 7×7 city to places in the ‘burbs? oh right, because to anyone south of the SF border “multi unit housing” means “housing people whose skin color I don’t like!”

  16. Poverty rate is much higher in Oakland than in SF. It is also higher in California than in SF.
    The poverty rate in SF is somewhat higher than the Bay Area average, but that is mostly because Marin and San Mateo Counties have much lower rates.

    1. Poverty rate is a bit different than homeless rate or “rate provided housing assistance”.

      That said, I don’t really think that SF is asked too much, but I do think that the other counties allowing more construction would help everyone (including SF, including poor households in all counties, etc).

      1. SF is not ” responsible for housing all the poors in the Bay Area”. As a percentage of the population, Oakland has more poor than SF.
        Homeless counts vary. Some show more homeless as a percentage of population in SF than Oakland and some show more in Oakland than in SF. Way too many by all counts IMHO.
        By far the most expensive “housing assistance” government program is the home mortgage interest deduction. It costs the taxpayers much more and distorts the ‘free’ market far more than all the other housing programs combined. Most residents of SF are renters and do not receive this very very generous government handout.

        1. Definitely agreed on the last point.

          Do you disagree that restrictions on the building of new housing (Bay Area wide, not just SF) has contributed to the housing as a percentage of income being more out of whack in the Bay Area compared to other metros?

          1. Anon–There are some geographic constraints on building in the Bay Area. First-off, San Francisco is a 7×7 area surrounded by water on 3 sides. While not all parts of San Francisco are as dense as they might be, we don’t really have the transportation infrastructure to support all the new units that people seem to want to build.
            Second, development is constrained in Marin County (about 90% of the development is along the 101 corridor). Most of the land area within the county is undevelopable ag land, state parks, and national parklands. Some dedicated people in the 60s and 70s (namelink) saw to this and there is no political desire to undo their work. Someone upthread mentioned their affinity for Land’s End and Fort Funston; these are the people we can thank.
            Sonoma County has a fair amount of undeveloped land but the road system up there really isn’t designed to accommodate a much larger population…and 101 south through Marin is already overtaxed (unclear at this point how effective SMART will be). Similar constraints exist in San Mateo County…look at an aerial photo and you’ll see that most development is along 101 and east of 280. Mostly open space to the west.
            Third, we have a large body of water smack in the middle of our region, which reduces the amount of land close-in to the financial center.
            Our natural geography and built infrastructure may be insufficient to accommodate everyone who would like to live here. Additionally, we may not have enough water for all the homes that already exist. I haven’t seen any discussion of that on this blog.
            I travel to Denver from time-to-time and am always appalled by the mess that developers and “planners” have made of that metropolitan area. Some of us believe that a cautious approach to development is the better path because mistakes of this sort can take decades to fix (if ever).

        2. + 100 on Jake’s final paragraph. Why should wealthy homeowners be getting a government handout? It’s the biggest market distortion of them all.

          1. Absolutely it is. But it’s a national distortion that affects the entire US, not just SF. I’d hope that we can get rid of both national distortions, state distortions, and local distortions that benefit the wealthy dis-proportionally.

  17. My family has lived in San Francisco since 1848. I’m the 8th generation born and raised here. I’m working class, a taxi driver for 25 uears. My grandpa helped to build the GG and Bay Bridges. I’m being priced out of my ancestral home. SHAME ON YOU FOR YOUR ENTITLED ATTITUDES! !

      1. No kidding. In that case she should feel shame and we should put the native Indian population here pointing fingers at her “my ancestors where here before you Europeans moved here! Shame on you!”

    1. Oh god I am so sick of reading internet comments like “I’m an “X” generation San Franciscan” – guess what, that doesn’t guarantee you anything, nor does it make your opinions or point of view more relevant.

      Cynthia, pray tell, how exactly are you being “priced out of your ancestral home”? I’d be fascinated to hear the details.

    2. Crap! How much did homes cost back in 1848? Your family could have owned half the city in eight generations no? Or someone could have gone to college and graduate school. My parents were immigrants (as am I), grandparents were illiterate, and in two generations, we managed to attend graduate school, become professionals, and own properties.

      The recent best quote I’ve heard, “if you are gonna cry, cry on the inside like a winner.” Cameron Diaz, in the horrible movie The Other Woman.

      1. Oh, one more thing Cynthia. I’ll make a deal with you since your ancestral history is an interesting one. We’ll give ourselves two years from today to write a book about our family, get an agent, and crack the NY Times Top Ten Best-sellers list.

    3. why are you more entitled to live here than someone who arrive yesterday from Kansas.? same country. we dont have walls and a moat around SF

      1. I say welcome to people from Kansas and wherever else. We look forward to having you as neighbors and getting to know you better.
        Just settle-in and take some time to learn about your new home before deciding what needs to be fixed and how you intend to do that, without regard to the people who are already here. Those who came before us put a lot of effort into building cultural institutions, preserving our heritage and environment, and otherwise making this the destination that attracted you in the first place. We welcome new ideas and hope that you will show some respect for some of the older ideas that have been developed over the past 165+ years. 20 years from now, if you haven’t left town for somewhere else, you may have a different point of view about newcomers who think they know how to fix everything about your community.
        Entitlement is not the point. It’s just a matter of courtesy. And making friends.

        1. I’ll learn the things that you helped build as soon as you treat me the same way. That means getting rid fo rewarding longevity with things like rent control and prop 13, that actively financially discriminate against newcomers.

    4. It is your home only if you own it. This is how longevity is ensured. Otherwise we would have birthrights and other niceties like nobelty and a class system.
      Many immigrants will fight very hard in the first 2 generations to ensure the future of their family. Then the next ones will either deserve this effort or not. This is a meritocracy but it is often put back on the table again and again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *