Housing

We support policies that make it easier to build housing in San Francisco so more residents can achieve affordable housing and homeownership. A vibrant housing market with adequate supply helps both tenants and homeowners. Recognizing that San Francisco’s biggest issue is the housing crisis, we reaffirm our intention to endorse policies and programs that increase supply of new homes – especially moderately priced and affordable housing.

February 20, 2016  |  How Requiring Too Much Affordable Housing Kills Housing

Want to know the severe negative unintended consequences of the proposed ordinance to double affordable housing requirements for new housing? Read the letter to the Board of Supervisors signed be a wide cross-section of members of the housing industry in San Francisco.

The measure is being heard by the Board of Supervisors on February 23rd sometime after 2pm would go to the voters in June.

Re: Proposed Affordable Housing Ordinance increasing BMR

February 18, 2016

Dear Supervisors,

As drafted, the proposed ordinance to increase required ... | Read More >

December 14, 2015  |  A Court for the 10th Circle of Hell

By Joel P. Engardio

A man pushed a needle of heroin into his arm as I walked by a Market Street doorway near City Hall. A woman cradling a vodka bottle slept in the next storefront. Another man screamed and spit in an incoherent rage outside the 24-hours Carl’s Jr. I was headed to on a Sunday night.

“Are you sure it’s safe?” my husband asked as I left our westside home to meet David Traylor across town. Two years earlier Traylor ... | Read More >

November 15, 2015  |  From Near Death and Homeless to City Hall

By Joel P. Engardio

When I was looking to hire a coordinator for my 2012 supervisor campaign, one resume stood out for all the wrong reasons: an entry-level job that lasted nine months followed by years of unexplained holes.

It even dared to list Supervisor Scott Wiener as a reference — one of San Francisco’s most well known and hardest-working politicians.

Yet Wiener called to vouch for the applicant: an HIV-positive, formerly homeless and recovering meth addict. He had interned in Wiener’s City ... | Read More >

October 11, 2015  |  Why SF Housing Slips Like Sand Through Our Fingers

By Joel P. Engardio

What do Groundhog Day, the boogeyman, Whack-a-Mole and the phrase “like sand slipping through your fingers” have in common?

They illustrate San Francisco’s perpetual housing crisis.

Groundhog Day: HBO played homage to Bill Murray’s classic movie about life in a time warp with its recent documentary San Francisco 2.0. I thought HBO might say something unexpected and truth-telling about decades of failed housing policy and San Francisco’s refusal to build for the future. But the film was a rehash ... | Read More >

September 13, 2015  |  Victim Wars: Evictors vs. the Evicted

By Joel P. Engardio

At first glance, this is another sad eviction story in the ongoing saga of San Francisco’s overheated housing market: An elderly Latino couple living in the Mission for 50 years versus millennial newcomers seeking a hip neighborhood.

Yet what kind of story is it if the Spanish-speaking grandparents are the ones doing the evicting?

Jose and Maria Cardenas, 73 and 74, are landlords using the only legal tool they have – the dreaded Ellis Act – to reclaim their one rental unit for a recently married granddaughter who needs a place to live.

Jose and Maria are ... | Read More >

July 20, 2015  |  Housing Report Card

True leadership is tested by tough times and San Franciscans need to know which city supervisors are leading with solutions to our housing crisis.

That’s why SF Moderates sent a housing report card to 35,000 San Francisco voters the week of July 19, 2015. We graded how our city Supervisors are helping — or hurting – San Francisco’s housing crisis.

Click here to see the report in detail, including the comprehensive survey on housing policy we sent to every supervisor and their ... | Read More >

July 16, 2015  |  Don’t Let a Small Shadow Block Progress

By Jodie Medeiros

As we enter our third year of an affordability crisis, the SF Housing Action Coalition continues to ask, “How are we doing? How much progress have we made to ending this crisis?” Not enough, we’re afraid! While there’s lots of talk about building more affordable housing, too many projects still routinely encounter hurdles, battles and derailments that delay and impede their ability to support more affordable housing, as we believe they should.

Take the proposed 75 Howard Street project ... | Read More >

June 29, 2015  |  Change the “Radius” Rule Before It Kills More Housing

By Catherine Young

Because of the affordability crisis, there is enormous pressure on market-rate developers to increase production of affordable housing. If, under the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, they built their affordable housing off-site, instead of the standard 12 percent affordable rate, they would deliver 20 percent – a big improvement. However, the off-site option is very rarely used due to the difficulty of finding feasible locations within a radius of 1-mile from the principle development — the rule that exists today.

Since ... | Read More >

May 24, 2015  |  Chinatown’s “House of Cards”

By Joel P. Engardio

If Netflix wants to produce a “House of Cards” based on San Francisco politics, the race to win Chinatown has plenty of plot points.

Mayor Ed Lee is popular in Chinatown and will likely win re-election without challenge in November. But his real opponent is running for supervisor in District 3, which includes Chinatown and North Beach.

Former supervisor Aaron Peskin — nicknamed the “Napoleon of North Beach” — was a polarizing force when he held office from 2001 to 2009. Now he wants his old job back. Supervisors can serve again if they sit out at least one term between two ... | Read More >

April 12, 2015  |  Five Is Magic Number In SF Housing Crisis

By Joel P. Engardio

If San Francisco is able to solve its housing crisis and become a city where middle-income families can survive, we might celebrate the day Eugene Lew, 78, learned how to use a MacBook computer in the Apple store at Stonestown Mall.

Lew, a retired architect trained at Harvard and Berkeley in the Mad Men era, has only drawn by hand. He closed the San Francisco firm he ran for more than two decades so he could travel the world with his wife of 50 years and let his daughter’s design career in New York City shape the future.

Yet Lew couldn’t stop worrying about what would happen to his beloved San Francisco – a place that gave ... | Read More >