According to a late February survey of 602 likely voters conducted by David Binder and Associates and reported on by the Examiner, 65 percent favor a time-out on “new project approvals in the Mission District for one year." 26 percent were opposed. Give the people what they want, as they say, but in this case, that might not be entirely clear.
In contrast to that survey, an informal poll of 690 respondents to the Business Times rebuffed the idea of a moratorium on development. 67 percent there said "No" in response to the question "Is a moratorium on market-rate housing development the answer to San Francisco's affordability crisis?" Yes, that is a different question: but "the answer" to the affordability crisis" and a good idea re: the affordability crisis aren't completely separate ideas. Noting the Business Times' leanings in the direction of market-rate development, SFist conducted our own poll, which currently stands at 333 votes for "More housing across the board" and 103 for "Just more affordable housing."
The idea for a moratorium was first voiced last month by Supervisor David Campos of the Mission District. But quickly objecting to the idea was Supervisor Scott Wiener, who put his thoughts in a Medium post titled "Yes, Supply & Demand Apply to Housing, Even in San Francisco". That led Campos to call Wiener "The ghost of Ronald Reagan" in an Examiner editorial titled "It’s still called trickle-down economics, even in San Francisco." SFist covered the spat here.
“People are frustrated, and people are scared,” Campos told the Examiner with regard to the recent poll favoring a moratorium and calling the Mission “ground zero for displacement.” But others, such as executive director of the San Francisco Housing Coalition Tim Colen, strongly disagree. “I just don’t get how [a moratorium] is going to solve anything... We already don’t produce enough housing, so let’s wait a year or two, put a moratorium on new supply, and see if that’ll improve? I wish someone could explain to me how that works, economically.”
SF's population has grown by at least 40,000 people since 2010 and is projected to reach 890,000 by decade's end. With that in mind, Mayor Lee has listed building or rehabilitating 30,000 new units by 2020 among his top priorities. According to the Planning Department, so far about 4,000 units had been built or renovated, with 25 percent permanently affordable.