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Owls and Anarchists by Kim-Mai Cutler: SF’s Housing Crisis Explained

Stashed in: Silicon Valley!, Wealth!, Winner take all., San Francisco!, inequality, Homeless, San Francisco

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Super great historical overview of how San Francisco came to be an unaffordable, highly income-unequal, politically hogtied city... and why tech is taking so much of the blame. Also discusses with frankness and sensitivity San Francisco's longstanding tendency towards Nativism -- "activists" reifying the identity and desires of "the diverse" in the name of awesomeness when in fact a lot of the more "diverse" elements of San Francisco culture in the last half-century died of AIDS and drugs, moved to Oakland, or are very recent immigrants who hope to eventually move to the suburbs.

The true culprit behind our housing problems: let us deflect blame to Mountain View's burrowing owl!The true culprit behind our housing problems: let us deflect blame to Mountain View’s burrowing owl!



Want to see why SF housing is so expensive? This is a map of allowed building height. Yellow = 4 stories max.

Wow, that is very yellow. I wonder why they never changed that law. Earthquakes?

presidio-heights-homeProposition 13′s legacy? Owners of this Presidio Heights home, which just closed at a price of $5,125,000 earlier this week, had been paying around $2,885 in annual property taxes. The home’s new taxes should be around $60,885.

They found that children in San Jose and San Francisco had the highest chances of moving from the bottom income quintile to the top quintile out of all major metropolitan areas in the United States.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 9.23.52 PM

So there's potential for income mobility.

But yeah, as you point out, Prop 13 means fewer people moving, which means less supply.

Couple that with more demand as the business cycle makes more companies want to hire, and...

There's still no good reason why there are so few buildings over 4 stories tall.

Except for the potential for earthquake damage.

And perhaps that the residents don't WANT a more packed urban area.

Okay, I re-read the article and the short answer is: it's complicated.

Many people don't want more people in the area. It's very political.

And the people who own homes and rental units WANT limited supply.

It makes what they have worth more.

This is sad. They're making it hard for most people to afford to be here.

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