Last week the San Francisco Planning department gave us what the Business Times called a "report card" on affordable housing in its "Housing Balance Report," and if it was indeed that, it was the kind you try to hide from from your mom. As the Chronicle notes by way of a followup today, San Francisco is losing rent-controlled apartments nearly as quickly as it produces new affordable units. Building is, it would seem, just half the battle.
Though the City added 6,559 affordable housing units from 2004 to 201, during that same period 5,470 apartments were “removed from protected status” through “no fault” evictions allowed under state law.
“The loss of rent-controlled units is having a much larger impact than I would have thought,” Supervisor Jane Kim admitted. “It shows that our anti-eviction work is every bit as important as our work supporting new housing.”
The report also notes the geographic discrepancies in housing production and loss. As the Chronicle writes,
The housing balance study shows how geographically uneven the production of housing is in the city. In District Four, which includes the Sunset, just 15 affordable units were built in the decade ending in 2014, while 388 formerly rent-controlled units were converted to market-rate homes. District Two, which includes the Marina and Pacific Heights, saw 37 affordable units built and lost 491 rent-controlled units. By contrast, in District Six, which includes high-rise neighborhoods like Rincon Hill, builders developed 3,307 units of new affordable housing and 9,632 market-rate units, while 641 units were removed from protected status.
While the Planning Commission could flex its muscle to invoke emergency interim controls on market rate housing projects, San Franciscans prepare to vote on as many as five ballot measures to do with housing. Those included the contentious moratorium on market rate housing in the Mission District and a now $310 housing bond whose funds would be used on projects like the recently announced all-affordable development at 490 South Van Ness. Still, without reducing evictions and preserving affordable housing, San Francisco is on a sort of housing treadmill.