Limited land supply drives Mission housing moratorium 

Supervisor David Campos speaks to a supporter of his housing moratorium proposal for the Mission, which Campos represents, during a May 8 demonstration inside City Hall. - MIKE KOOZMIN/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Supervisor David Campos speaks to a supporter of his housing moratorium proposal for the Mission, which Campos represents, during a May 8 demonstration inside City Hall.

There is a lot of buildup over the Board of Supervisors vote Tuesday on whether to enact a moratorium on market-rate housing construction in the Mission.

A new report released Friday shows just how limited the land is in the neighborhood and what is likely to occur if development is not “paused,” helping to explain why Mission community leaders are fighting for the proposal.

There are currently 13 sites located in the Mission on which 40 or more units of additional housing could be developed, the report from The City’s budget analyst found. These are considered the key parcels for nonprofit below-market-rate developers who can receive federal funding for developments of that size.

Supporters of the moratorium want The City to buy these parcels. These sites could generate a total of 851 below-market-rate units. But if developed by private developers, just 102 of the 851 units would be offered at below market rate. And that’s only if the builders elect to meet The City’s housing construction requirement that 12 percent of the units on site are offered at below market rate. Developers can also pay fees to skirt that requirement.

There are also 324 sites in the neighborhood on which five or more units of additional housing could be developed. If all of these sites were developed, that’s 4,240 new housing units. Looking at historical trends, just 293 of the more than 4,000 units would be offered at below market rate.

In the past five years, 60, or just 9.6 percent, of the 627 units constructed in developments of all sizes in the Mission were offered at below market rate, the report said. The report also found that of the below-market-rate units built in the Mission between 2010 and 2014, none were for those of the lowest income levels, but instead lower and moderate incomes.

There are currently 90 developments comprising 1,227 new units planned for the Mission, of which 1,060 are covered by city development requirements. If developers include 12 percent of those 1,060 units at below market rate, that would be about 127 homes.

It is this sort of data that has supporters of the moratorium saying The City’s housing policies are failed and if development continues without a better plan it will only lead to further displacement of existing residents. The median sales price of homes in the Mission has risen to $1.3 million, up from $700,111 in 2010.

The report’s release adds to the flurry of activity leading up to Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors vote on the 45-day moratorium, which is proposed by Mission representative Supervisor David Campos. It takes nine votes to approve it.

Supervisors Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener are opposed to it. Supervisors London Breed, Malia Cohen, Julie Christensen and Katy Tang have not stated a position. Five are supporting it: Campos and supervisors Norman Yee, Jane Kim, John Avalos and Eric Mar.

If the 45-day moratorium passes, it would take another vote to extend it for 10 months. State law caps the total length of the measure at two years.

The local Democratic Party narrowly voted against the proposal Wednesday night.

Supporters are meeting this week with the four undecided supervisors to try to win them over. Campos squared off against staunch moratorium opponent Wiener Friday morning on KQED’s Forum program.

The proposal is resonating with residents in other San Francisco neighborhoods. A “Unity Meeting” was held Friday morning at New Providence Baptist Church in the Bayview. It was hosted by the “rank and file leadership” of the black community, such as the Rev. Amos Brown of the Third Baptist Church, “to strategize for a nonviolent and civil protest movement in collaboration with the Latino community in the Mission.”

The meeting is intended to “launch a movement to stop the domination of African Americans and other marginalized groups who have lost wealth, housing, quality education and public safety because of the evil fallout of gentrification,” an event announcement stated.

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