A new poll conducted using a "demographically representative" group of 630 San Francisco voters found that a vast majority, 68 percent, feel that more housing development is the solution to the city's current affordability problem.
Much as was discussed earlier this week, the issue of "middle income housing" was of prime concern to those polled, distinguishing from the more luxury rentals and condos that are coming to market by the thousands and the below-market-rate (BMR) units that developers are required to build a percentage of under current local practice. Respondents blamed both developers and a general underinvestment in housing for the current crisis, and most named housing and cost of living as their prime concerns ahead of crime and safety.
66 percent of those polled said that building more "family housing" would bring down the cost of living.
It's unclear to us how respondents were chosen for this web-based poll, but the Examiner reports that the same group conducted an earlier poll in September regarding affordability of city living, and this was a follow-up, conducted between November 4 and November 7.
So! Everyone who insists that voters in San Francisco are still anti-development may be off. And perhaps the solution here may be to require developers to create a third, middle tier in their pricing and design, so that you have these elusive "middle income units" built in every new development along with luxury-priced, and income-qualified BMR units.
But we're not sure how realistic that concept is unless you create the same income qualification standards for the middle tier, and you require property managers to maintain those units for those income levels in perpetuity. Otherwise you would see all of them return to market rate after their first round of tenants moved out.