On Guard: 8,000 Latinos displaced from Mission, group says 

In San Francisco’s housing and affordability crisis, we’re often left counting who remains.

Now a new study shows a horrible side of the Mission’s story: 8,000 Latinos have left The Mission in the past 10 years.

According to the study, conducted by the Council of Community Housing Organizations and the Mission Economic Development Agency, Latinos comprised half of the Mission’s population in 2000 and now are less than 40 percent of the population.

Under current trends, Latinos will be only a third of the population in the Mission by 2020, the study found.

“The numbers we see are astonishing and heartbreaking,” Edwin Lindo of the Latino Democratic Club told me.

The Latino population in the Mission plummeted since 2000, as the white population rose. This is sad for the district’s Latino families, but also puts to rest a myth.

“Here’s Why Everyone Needs To Stop Bemoaning A Vanishing San Francisco And Move On,” reads a headline to one SFist piece earlier this month. The new fashion from SFist to The Bold Italic is to write articles complaining about San Franciscans who complain about San Francisco’s rapid change.

The allegation is long time San Franciscans need to “embrace change,” and that cities “always change” and therefore the displacement of the Mission is natural.

“When it comes to the laments, and Facebook groups like Vanishing SF that exist solely to spread the news that everything is terrible and tech wealth has ruined the city,” SFist writes, “don’t you just kind of want to shrug and be like, ‘Sorry, friend. She had a change of heart. What are you gonna do? Maybe it’s time to move on.’” As these numbers clearly show, people are not angry simply because their favorite dive bar went bye-bye. People are angry because they’re involuntarily losing their homes.

Latino families aren’t the only ones facing hardship. Families of any ethnicity earning between $50,000-$75,000 made up a quarter of Mission households in 2000. They are now only 13 percent, according to the study.

It’s not a leap to say many of these households may have faced displacement. The study also shows that 6,000 new households earning over $100,000 entered the Mission since 2000, a 700 percent increase in high earners.

The poor left, and the rich flooded in. To keep up with the current trend, The Mission would need to build 240 affordable housing units a year. With construction and loss of affordable housing tallied together, the Mission is actually losing 50 affordable-housing units a year.

“I think this supports the idea that something drastic has to happen,” said David Campos, supervisor of the district. “The status quo is displacing Latino families, and any family that’s not wealthy.”

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each Tuesday. Email him at joe@sfexaminer.com.

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About The Author

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Bio:
Born and raised in San Francisco, Fitzgerald Rodriguez was a staff writer at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and now writes the S.F. Examiner's political column On Guard. He is also a transportation beat reporter covering pedestrians, Muni, BART, bikes, and anything with wheels.
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