A net total of 627 housing units were built within the borders of San Francisco’s Mission District from 2010 through the end of 2014.

Mission District Housing Development 2010-2014

Of those 627 units, roughly 10 percent (60) were designated as Below Market Rate (BMR) units which are to remain affordable to households earning up to 120 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Mission District Affordable Housing Development 2010-2014

And of those 60 units, none were built to serve lower (50-79 percent of the AMI), very low (30-49 percent of the AMI), or extremely low income (less than 30 percent of AMI) households according to the City’s latest Policy Analysis Report for the proposed legislation.

The Area Median Income for an individual in San Francisco is currently $71,350. It’s $81,500 for a couple and $101,900 for a household of four.

San Francisco’s Planning Department has identified 324 potential building sites in the Mission on which five or more units of additional housing could be developed. The 324 sites, which exclude those for which the permitting is already in the works but not those for which a development has been proposed (such as for 1979 Mission Street), could support nearly 4,250 units of housing.

If the current development trend continues, those 324 sites will yield roughly 300 units of affordable housing and 3,950 market-rate units, or up to 366 units of affordable housing and 3,874 market-rate units if all developers were to designate 12 percent of onsite units in all developments with at least 10 units as Below Market Rate, the percentage designated in San Francisco’s affordable housing mandate versus the voter approved but non-binding policy that calls for 33 percent of new development in the City through 2020 to be Below Market Rate.

Mission District Affordable Housing Potential

And with that we’ve set the stage for this afternoon’s Board of Supervisors hearing at which a vote on the proposed legislative moratorium on market rate housing development in the Mission is slated to occur.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Oh Dear

    If the Board votes no, a city wide vote will be yes. As long a two-thirds of the voters are renters they will always vote in their self interest.

    • Posted by sfcommie

      Moratorium is against the interest of the renters, of both the market rate and BMR.

      • Posted by Joel

        And indeed, some renters have realized this: the formation of SFBARF is a prime example. That’s what makes me think the vote will be fairly close.

        • Posted by Ivy

          Even some of us who haven’t joined in the renters’ federation are anti-moratorium. Almost everyone I know plans a no-vote.

    • Posted by pringles

      Renters benefit by having more housing stock to choose from. Not everyone wants to stay in their rent-controlled studio forever.

      • Posted by Greg

        Using public dollars to “buy all the Mission properties” is a complete waste of money. If you really want more BMR units, level Valencia Gardens, level the projects next to Garfield Park, and replace them with 10 story BMR buildings. More units at less cost and $0 wasted on buying up land.

        • Posted by Hunter

          Leveling existing property would make sense in certain cases, but displacing hundreds of tenants to do so is an ignorant suggestion.

          • Posted by Greg

            Actually, what’s ignorant is suggesting that the city can “buy all the Mission property” available for development. Land for 4,250 build-able units at a very conservative $150K per, is $637 million and that’s before you build anything. Factor in another $1.9 billion to build (again, very conservative at $450K per unit) and we’re looking at a total cost of your proposal of $2.5 billion. Ignorant.

          • Posted by san FronziScheme

            It’s not his money. Money is no issue to the progressives. After all they’re living in SF with paychecks from not-for-profits thanks to their rent controlled entitlement. See? Gravity doesn’t exist. The material world does not exist. We can do anything we want to just because we can!

          • Posted by Hunter

            I love the ‘capitalism at all costs’ echo-chamber you’re trying to perpetuate. Money, obviously, matters to everyone involved in this debate – but thanks for trolling.

          • Posted by frog

            If you want to strive for something, a minimum income for every US citizen is a point that makes sense. As does a negative income tax, or raising the top marginal rate to 50%. These are all valid sensible liberal ideas. But figuring out who lives where on a person by person or neighborhood by neighborhood basis is insane. When people talk about communism, this is exactly what they are talking about, and they are right to think it’s evil. What bureaucrat is qualified to decide who lives where?

            I’m sure many of us have very liberal ideas. But your ideas will harm people.

          • Posted by Moto mayhem

            Well said. I can only imagine most of us on this blog would be considered liberals on a national level, including me. But being just left of center in SF somehow means you’re a hardened conservative. In reality it just means we are pragmatic and reasoned and not totally outrageous and living in campos bizarro world

          • Posted by Hunter

            These accusations of “Communism!” are not rational, reasoned arguments – there are many levels of social democracy that improve the lives of all citizens, rather than an arbitrary and select few. But you’ve pushed us further and further from the actual topic, which is a 45-day moratorium to discuss potential ways to get affordable housing built faster. Nobody knows if officials can find a potential solution, but allowing the real estate market to continue unabated is not making the city more affordable. For the vast majority of SF renters that cannot afford luxury housing (and who happen to be mostly liberal), something’s gotta give.

          • Posted by Jackson

            Well said my friend.
            I specifically like to state I am a Liberal, since the Progressive movement has become tarnished with the policies of Campos and his gang.

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            It’s not really a “capitalism at all costs” issue. And most of the folks responding to you aren’t trolls, they’re regular contributors to this site. Money matters, however, because there is so obviously NOT ENOUGH OF IT for the City to purchase “all the sites” or anything close to “all the sites”, which calls into fundamental question the dubious policy support for this “moratorium”.

          • Posted by Hunter

            I read this site often, and the comments section is filled with landlord-types shouting comments to each other about how awful everyone who’s making less money than them is. The response is almost always “Let the market decide.” Well, we know that the market will pay people as little as possible, wreck the environment, encourage corruption, etc. etc.

            If this moratorium has the support of the majority of SF voters, then they clearly don’t think they market is helping them out. SF politics has many of its own issues, and I agree that the money would be difficult to source, but why do you think taking 45 days from building in a single neighborhood is going to bring on the apocalypse?

          • Posted by frog

            You have a couple of landlord types, but I rented for 8 years before I purchased a place. And there’s not a chance in hell I’m ever going to rent an apartment to anyone in SF. I’ve got less annoying investments. That’s exactly the problem. People like me, who could make investments in rental real estate, would rather invest in muni bonds in Marin. So no, I don’t feel better than renters, I just don’t want to deal with them.

            This 45 day moratorium is an idiotic idea, but if it were the only one, it wouldn’t be a big deal. The problem is that there are people in this city that think you can legislate away change. If we can just make things more difficult or more expensive, change will go away, is what some people want.

            I leveled the communism accusation not generically, but because when you try to plan where people live on a micro level, that is what you are doing. Many people in this city want centralized planning and that’s silly and counterproductive. You have a situation where a million people want to live in a city designed for 800,000. How would you decide who gets to stay here?

            Also, from my post on the McDonalds thread, gentrification happens when a critical mass of people of a different type move in and businesses change who they cater to. How would you tell businesses who their customers should be?

            If you come up with a solution that answers those questions, I might even join you. I don’t feel great that people are feeling like they are being displaced (and a smaller amount are being displaced.) But I can’t think of a sane solution and many people smarter than me haven’t thought of one either.

          • Posted by Orland

            Nobody is seriously trying to prevent change. But under the current circumstances in this city, it would be idiotic for its citizenry in a democratic society not to revert to government to seek to manage that change in a manner much different than the current trend which is greatly at odds to the interests of a great many.

            It looks like the BOS vote tonight could be 8-3 in favor. Since it requires 9 votes, it will fail. However that represents an awful lot of political clout and virtually assures passage of a ballot initiative in November when it will likely be crowded with other competing development /no-growth issues. Expect something much more draconian than a simple moratorium on market – rate housing in the Mission.

            Time to get serious about workable, broad-based solutions. “Let the Market (all genuflect ) decide” is most decidedly NOT the solution.

          • Posted by Futurist

            No. Letting the market decide is the only rational and honest solution. Cities change and evolve, as they always have and the housing issue is just part of the change. Moratoriums and public votes only add smoke and mirrors to the reality of a growing, intensely desirable modern city.

          • Posted by Orland

            You’re just going to hold your breath and stamp your feet when the voters of this town act in their perceived best interest and take away your shiny toy.

          • Posted by MrTibbs

            You are absolutely correct – and that’s at the heart of the problem. SF refused to let the market decide long ago with rent control and anti-growth policies that have only exacerbated (if not created) the problem. Yet they still haven’t learned anything. This City is governed by a bunch of hopelessly foolish ‘kids’ with ZERO real experience in public policy or simple economics. Voters get what they deserve.

          • Posted by Frog

            What other solution has ever worked to restrict change anywhere? Even if I agreed with you, you are asking for something impossible.

          • Posted by anon

            What do you think will happen during this hypothetical 45 days? Will it even stop one purchase? one build? one entitlement?

            Do you really think the Supes and Planning will all put their collective heads together, and put everything else on the backburner, and come up with a cogent plan?

            Do you really, truly think that these things will happen?

            Or do you understand that the endgame of the 45 days is to make the 45 days indefinite via extension language contained in the proposal?

            Get real dude.

          • Posted by 4th Gen SFer

            I agree with this part of the great Wall Street “Greed is good” speech. it is true, and will always be true. And that is why I and 99% of Americans are capitalists.

            ” The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good.

            Greed is right.

            Greed works.

            Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

            Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind”

          • Posted by Ivy

            People should be fighting for direct income-based rent subsidies. This moratorium would do nothing but make matters more desperate. (Says the low-income renter.)

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            ^ Thank You

        • Posted by Orland

          Sure wouldn’t want ANY of those sites available to fall into any hands other than developers for the financial aggrandizement of the already too wealthy few.

  2. Posted by Ivoryhouse

    Who says a moratorium on construction is in renters best interests?

    • Posted by Serge

      People who don’t understand econ 101.

      • Posted by Hunter

        If a 45-day moratorium allows the city to figure a way to buy all the Mission properties and keep them affordable, then renters will have far more options, versus the production of 90% luxury condos, which are and will be out of reach for most. Even if the market collapses.

        • Posted by Snark17

          Yes, San Francisco should use hundreds of millions of tax dollars to buy premium Mission properties, build nice apartments (no more than 3 stories high), and hand them over to Calle 24 activists so they can enjoy government-subsidized living in perpetuity.

          • Posted by Hunter

            Actually, the current building boom has provided millions in-lieu fees, and they aren’t being used quickly/efficiently enough. The larger issue is that this is contained to the Mission, when those of average income levels are unable to afford rent nearly anywhere in SF. But thanks for the mindless snark.

          • Posted by sfcommie

            So Hunter thinks the market rate moratorium will allow the city to spend millions in the dev funds more quickly/efficiently. And exactly why?

          • Posted by Hunter

            @sfcommie it provides a window for officials to see what they can do before more lots are purchased. It may fail completely, but 45 days is not going to kill anyone one way or the other. Why does this rile you up so much?

          • Posted by san FronziScheme

            They would not pay 100s of Millions. The tradition for activists is the taking of property, compensating owners with pennies on the dollar.

          • Posted by anon

            because they’ll figure it all out in 45 days, right bro? they’ll put everything else on hold. they’ll devote all their time to this issue. And they’ll freakin nail it, right?

            what a joke.

          • Posted by EcceMorons

            In the minds of Idealists, the skies are all filled with pretty unicorns.

          • Posted by sfcommie

            Lol, yeah like they would make up in 45 days what they couldn’t for years. Meanwhile it’ll be fewer housing whether it’s 45 days or 45 years.

            If you are really worried about affordable housing, you’d be better off joining supervisor Kim in temporarilly raising the requirement to 30% till the ratio goes up to 15%. Moratorium just hurts everybody.

          • Posted by SFrentier

            I think they’ll be using the 45 days to muster up political support to extend the moratorium for the full 2 years (that is the legal limit, I believe, under law.)

            Im also doubtful that they will have much success with lot purchases. Think of it from the lot owners POV: city forces a moratorium, so now your lot is worth less to private parties as it can’t be developed. Next, city wants to buy it! Can you say the word entrapment or shake down? Sounds sleazy and manipulative to me.

            Also, most lot owners are probably well off. I know that I wouldn’t cave in to city pressures to let go of a lot like that strictly on principle.

        • Posted by James

          This may be the single stupidest remark I’ve ever seen on SS. You cannot be serious. The city can’t run a bus system, you _really_ think they can manage this?

          • Posted by Hunter

            Nope, but that’s the justification for it. (And they do run a bus system that thousands of people use daily). Whether you like it or not, people here are desperate, and putting a 1.5 month hold on new projects is a desperate move to find some solutions.

          • Posted by Medalist

            1 billion dollar budget this year for muni.

  3. Posted by no thanks

    God I hope they pass this bill- As a property owner, all these tenants are accomplishing is raising my buildings value as they continue to limit supply.

    • Posted by EcceMorons

      Yes, and please stop broadcasting this! Let’s just keep it our little secret, ok?

    • Posted by 4th Gen SFer

      I would probably evict the lower paying tenants, but I’m not a building owner. Yet.

  4. Posted by BTinSF

    If the citizens of San Francisco are convinced that building less housing of any type will improve the housing shortage/rent escalation they are nuttier than even I have always believed. And the people supporting it deserve to be priced out of the city . . . in fact, the sooner they have to go the better so that sane policies can be brought back.

    If the Board really wants to do something about the situation, mandating a higher percentage of “affordable” housing, preferably “off-site” (at least in condo as opposed to rental buildings), would be a better solution.

    • Posted by Orland

      I’ve pushing that against great resistance here since I realized this is a serious movement and not without merit.

      About time some are starting to wizened up. Like him/them or not, Campos and the moratorium crowd are being heard and their point considered. Good for San Francisco!

    • Posted by 4th Gen SFer

      They will be priced out faster than you think with this kind of shenanigans. Can not wait. And then the board is going to change, it’s going to change anyway with Mar, Campos & Avalos all out soon enough.

  5. Posted by san FronziScheme

    How many new workers did we add during the same period? 10s of 1000s!!! No wonder rents have almost doubled!

  6. Posted by ProDev

    I just don’t get why we are looking at the Mission in a vacuum. SF is way too focused on districts. We should be taking into consideration the BMR units that can be built around the entire city.

  7. Posted by ProDev

    Does anyone know the history behind how SF selected the locations for BART stops? You would think they planned on building significant density around the stops but as we see, this has not happened in the Mission.

    • Posted by BuildHighAndDense

      The 16th and 24th stops were zoned for development when they were built in the 70’s, but there was a similar anti-development battle that killed those projects. That’s why there is so much low rise next door to them.

    • Posted by Mark

      Not just the Mission, can you imagine if anyone tried to build densely in Glen Park, ha I can’t even fathom disrupting those peoples lives. Balboa Park was placed in an awful spot so I can’t really see density springing up around there

    • Posted by Hunter

      Agreed, it was/is a bizarre and wasted opportunity.

  8. Posted by SF Developer

    If the mission district includes 15th and mission, we built 40 units serving 55% AMI at Vara alone, perplexed that the city is saying none serves lower income.

  9. Posted by Moto mayhem

    Mission should add 10k units as fast as possible. It is better served by public transit than anywhere in city. It is the place where the most units should be added in the entire city. The people who would benefit most are the middle to upper middle class, but it ultimately helps everyone and takes pressure off evicting. Never ceases to amaze me to see people who are protesting against their own interests

  10. Posted by Hunter

    I don’t doubt they would ever succeed at buying all these properties, but I assume that’s the goal. And I suspect that the supervisors would help draft a housing bond to pay for some of it.

  11. Posted by Hunter

    I won’t argue with you about those points, but in a world where inequality/opportunity has much to do with where people live, maintaining mixed income neighborhoods is a decidedly good thing. At this moment, the almighty dollar is deciding who lives where—and I assume you think that’s a better? Particularly in an era when the people making the most simply inherit wealth and provide no productive value to our communities.

    As the Atlantic asks: “Where Should Poor People Live?

    And for further context: The Rise of the Working Poor and the Non-Working Rich.

    • Posted by 4th Gen SFer

      The poor should live where they can afford. Period. And have roommates. It’s been done for a long time now.

  12. Posted by EcceMorons

    More government regulation ALWAYS does the trick. Just check out Caracas, Venezuela, where new rent and eviction controls have resulted in a city of 5 million people having exactly…5 apartments available for rent.

    • Posted by Hunter

      Awesome crackpot weblink there – any legitimate news sources concur? Regardless, I hardly think a comparison with Venezuela is worth the effort.

      • Posted by 4th Gen SFer

        It’s not a “crackpot weblink” it’s from Libre Mercado and that’s published in Venezuela. Perhaps you need to learn to read the original link, and the original source. Here’s the original link, published IN Venezuela.

  13. Posted by Amewsed

    I am a hardened conservative, right of center. I appeal mainly to those from the mid-west and east coast. And probably the rest of the world.

  14. Posted by Greg

    Hunter — here are a few responses to your statements:
    1. The 45 day moratorium will be extended and extended and extended.
    2. The politicians / government can’t do anything during the moratorium that they can’t do without it and that they couldn’t have done in the decades leading up to this crisis. This is political theater so Campos etc. can claim to be doing something.
    3. The moratorium, or even the possibility of a moratorium increases risk to developers. Risk gets priced into development. So even Campos putting this forward or folks putting it on the ballot will increase risk which increases prices even if it fails. If it passes, prices will skyrocket and the only folks left in the mission will be very rich or the lucky few who win a BMR lottery.
    4. I am an owner-occupier in the mission. The moratorium will drive up prices. This is in my economics self interest. My comments here are not driven by my economic self interest. I want the mission to stay a vibrant and diverse neighborhood and I believe a moratorium will drive prices up in the mission even faster and lead to a less vibrant and diverse neighborhood.

    • Posted by Hunter

      1 & 2. I don’t think it will pass, honestly, and I don’t think that it would be extended if it did pass—because at that point people would want to see action and results on how affordable housing will be built more quickly.

      3. Agreed, putting this on the ballot is a bad idea. But prices are already skyrocketing, so I don’t think drawing a distinction between rents rising 18% versus 19% year over year will help anyone.

      4. How would you propose to keep the Mission vibrant and diverse—without regulating the production of housing?

      • Posted by Greg

        4. That’s a biggie! By my initial thoughts would be:

        –Eliminate rent control
        –Set up a rental assistance program permanently funded by x% of city tax revenue that provides help to whoever we decide to help — my votes would be for low income: elderly, parents of young kids, teachers, nurses, police, fireman, etc.
        –Rental assistance program should also encourage home ownership, e.g. Pays the mortgage insurance for first time buyers with as little as 3.5% down
        –Up zone the entire city by 10 feet and one unit, e.g., any 40 foot 2 unit building becomes a 50 foot 3 unit building.
        –Significant up zoning available to developers in transit corridors in exchange for contribution to the rental assistance program.
        –Complete overhaul of the planning and permitting functions of SF city government. All of it. Start from scratch. One of the main reasons housing is so expensive in SF is that it takes years to get something approved; even things that are 100% within existing zoning.

      • Posted by El-D

        For your Items 1 and 2, I doubt it.

        I listened to a couple of hours of the public comments tonight, and the pro-moratorium speakers didn’t have much to say that would make you think that they are seeking action beyond the moratorium. For many of them, it seems that the moratorium itself *is* the result that they desire.

  15. Posted by unlivable city

    I feel like we’re all the parents of a teenage child who’s completely run off the rails. Except we keep arguing about him like he’s still pre-teen. The simple fact of the matter is that we have witnessed in this most recent boom a sea change in San Francisco on par with what happened to New York between 1910 and 1920. Or LA after the riots. Its just a vastly different city and we are all collectively still in a state of shock, and the city we loved is still in our memory.

    BTW I’m anti moratorium because its just another BS play by one non-profit cabal (that bankrolls Campos) to seize control of affordable housing in the Mission, which thanks largely to Chris Daly and some shady practices they pretty much lost 15 years ago.

    • Posted by 4th Gen SFer

      Interesting thoughts. One thing about SF, it has always changed. I’m on the fence about the moratorium (mostly against it for the reasons you stated).

  16. Posted by Folder Pete

    While its billed as a “45 Day” endeavor, its really a 2 year measure. Its called getting the camels nose under the tent.

    So, what can happen in 45 days, er, 2 yrs? Well, all of the money in the MOH ‘affordable’ housing fund could be used to bid/purchase the 13 sites. But then where does the money come from for the actual development? So, essentially, this measure or the likely one on the ballot MAY isolate a few parcels – but those parcels will likely remain vacant and blighted past the next recession and into the next boom, when most of them will be sold off to finance construction on the remaining lots as BMR.

    Do you really see the City stepping up a a month or two and do what hasn’t been done in the last 45 years? Like ‘business ethics’ and ‘military intelligence’, ‘Govmint efficiency’ is a non-sequetor.

    So, go ahead, knock yourself out. If you’d like a forecast of what it will be like in 10 years, I’ve got four initials for you: SFHA.

  17. Posted by SFrentier

    It failed. Serious clown show on though

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