New study shows private market can't and won't create workforce housing in SF

"Building housing for the working class is completely off the table for the private sector"

Even with the most optimistic assumptions -- that the land will be delivered clean of any residual toxics, that no demolition is required, that the state's Density Bonus law will apply, that no CEQA review will be required, and that the city will provide all necessary entitlements at no cost to the developer -- new private-sector housing in the neighborhoods doesn't make financial sense in today's market. It simply doesn't provide enough return on investment for the speculative capital that finances housing. [...]

Sup. Myrna Melgar, a former planning commissioner, told me she read the study and agrees: "It has nothing to do with the process." A year after the state forced the city to upzone everwhere, "nothing is moving," she said. "Not a single project." [...]

The problem isn't CEQA, or neighborhood appeals, or zoning. It's Capitalism, stupid.

Apropos of nothing, the other day I saw a small homeless encampment being "cleared" from my neighborhood -- which means, a bunch of people having all of their possessions, including their tents, tossed into a pickup truck and thrown away. Just another reminder that when Breed and Dorsey talk about being "tough on crime", what they mean by "crime" is "visible homelessness".

I hope all the police overtime protecting Union Square high end retail is going great, though!

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10 Responses:

  1. 6

    Hey, how about giving it a shot and removing all these barriers to new housing development and seeing what happens?

  2. CSL3 says:

    Oh yeah: a full year later and London Greed's Union Square Stormtroopers are still out there guarding "what's really important". As seen this Thanksgiving.

  3. Tom says:

    That article is written by Original NIMBY Tim Redmond.  Editor of The Guardian for years through the 90s and 2000s which he used as his personal mouthpiece to block ANY and ALL development within the city.  There is no single resident of the city more responsible for the housing crisis than this turd.  All while he sits in his multi-million dollar Glen Park home within an easy walk of the muni tunnel.    He is the epitome of "I have mine, fuck everyone else."

  4. davel says:

    We should solve this like Vienna did: build hundreds of thousands of public housing units. Then “market rate” would be controlled by us instead of the invisible hand.

    • jwz says:

      But the YIMBYs assure me that if we let the Invisible Hand build nothing but $1.5M studio condos, the housing that non-techbros can afford will trickle down eventually...

    • Carlos says:

      Great idea!

      Trouble is, in the American political system, you could never possibly get the necessary legal measures passed at the city, state, or federal level.  All political institutions are controlled by money.  People who want to build public housing units don't have (comparably) any.  The commercial landlords and developers with cashflows that are threatened by such a project do have money.

      Match point, I think.


  5. davel says:

    People think of public housing is an expense, but the rental incomes could in fact be our tax base, just like property taxes.

  6. SteveSmith says:

    How is it not a crime to throw someone else's property away?

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