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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained 359

An anonymous reader writes "We've heard a few brief accounts recently of the housing situation in San Francisco, and how it's leading to protests, gentrification, and bad blood between long-time residents and the newer tech crowd. It's a complicated issue, and none of the reports so far have really done it justice. Now, TechCrunch has posted a ludicrously long article explaining exactly what's going on, from regulations forbidding Google to move people into Mountain View instead, to the political battle to get more housing built, to the compromises that have already been made. It's a long read, but well-researched and interesting. It concludes: 'The crisis we're seeing is the result of decades of choices, and while the tech industry is a sexy, attention-grabbing target, it cannot shoulder blame for this alone. Unless a new direction emerges, this will keep getting worse until the next economic crash, and then it will re-surface again eight years later. Or it will keep spilling over into Oakland, which is a whole other Pandora's box of gentrification issues. The high housing costs aren't healthy for the city, nor are they healthy for the industry. Both thrive on a constant flow of ideas and people.'"
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San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

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  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @08:04PM (#46762513) Journal
    Back in the Ford administration. Or maybe Nixon.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @08:23PM (#46762633)

    I'm going to go with 1. Limited resources. There just isn't enough space and more importantly WATER in the area. The water problem isn't just in a drought year like now. It's an on-going concern. 2. Regulations are off the chart. I heard it's $500k just for the paperwork to build in some of these areas. 3. Huge demand, duh. Tech and finance have high salaries, everybody wants to live near work, everybody knows these guys have money so they charge accordingly. Compare and contrast with Oakland and the East Bay in general. You're taking a "million dollar ride" across the bridge or through the tube. Yep, you spend a lot of time commuting but you've got to do what you've got to do. 4. Prop 13. Since there are some limits on taxes, the market accounts for that and charges higher prices accordingly. That explains the whole state being expensive. Since most people must finance their purchase, what was once paid out in taxes is now paid out to bankers in the form of interest. The bankers don't use it to build schools. Some people blame illegal immigrants for poor schools; but the decline began with prop 13, and it's not like there were no illegals before it.

  • Re:BS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @08:28PM (#46762677)

    Because, as TFA points out, the problems San Francisco has are entirely self-inflicted. It's amusing to see karma on such a large scale.

  • by Ichijo ( 607641 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @08:56PM (#46762835) Journal

    The only way to fix the Bay Area housing crisis is to build more fucking housing.

    This map [] (which shows the allowed building heights in San Francisco, where yellow is 4 stories. And Mountain View has forbidden Google from building more housing [].

    So as you can see, developers won't build more housing because they aren't being allowed to.

  • by NJRoadfan ( 1254248 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @09:45PM (#46763191)
    For public works projects, it was the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in 1970. That is where the requirement of environmental impact statements and permitting came from.
  • by pete6677 ( 681676 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @11:25PM (#46763821)

    Rent control is the CAUSE of housing shortages. Notice that all American cities with perpetual housing shortages have rent control, and heinous building regulations. What developer in their right mind would build something in this environment? You never hear about Chicago having citywide housing shortages. Why? Because there's no rent control. And rents are a hell of a lot cheaper than "market rent" in cities with a lot of rent controlled apartments.

  • by pete6677 ( 681676 ) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @11:31PM (#46763847)

    Right, all those San Francisco Republicans... Did you eat paint chips as a kid?

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:15AM (#46764269) Journal

    The most racist thing I've ever heard, were the liberals whining about black people's "plight", making excuses for the bad behavior being "cultural". It is clearly the most bigoted viewpoint, and it isn't coming from "Tea Baggers", it is coming from the left. And some of the worst, is coming the black/african left. These people are poverty pimps and race baiters who DO NOT WANT a successful Black (see Ben Carson character assassination).

    When success is rewarded with hateful words like "Uncle Tom", and "Race Traitor" you can squarely call it "racism". There is no greater racist than those that DO NOT believe black people can be smart, intelligent and successful.

    But, instead of taking a close look at the policies that are designed to hold black people captive (slavery??) inside the invisible cages and to be ruled by their plantation masters (voting 80% DNC), we have people calling the wrong side "racist".

    The real Racism are those that insist that black people cannot be successful, without a handout.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson