SF City Hall Claims - We need more housing? But residents are moving out of San Francisco and the State in
droves. They say there is a housing shortage. But there are plenty available vacant units & options to create
new housing (e.g. retrofit & convert vacant office buildings & condo's) throughout city especially Downtown.
Housing Shortage - NO, Vacancies - YES:
As of October 20, 2022 - Updated SF Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office Residential Vacancies Report:
"A 52 percent increase in vacant units in San Francisco between 2019 and 2021"
"The total number of housing units in San Francisco increased by 5,870 units from 406,399 to 412,269 between 2019 and 2021, an increase of 1.4 percent, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-year estimates for those years. The number of vacant units in San Francisco increased significantly during the same time, from 40,548 in 2019 to 61,473 in 2021, an increase of 20,925 units or 51.6 percent. In 2021, 14.9 percent of all San Francisco housing units were vacant, up from 10 percent in 2019. Further, the number of vacant units is at its highest level since at least 2010."
City Planners are looking to put 80,000-82,000 new housing units in San Francisco with a strong focus on the western side. That is more than the entire population of District 4 (Sunset and Parkside).
With additional large scale developments already approved for nearby areas - Stonestown Mall and Parkmerced, which will add around 5000 new units to the area, and with a condo complex next door to the site that is still half vacant after 6 years - what will happen with 400+ poorly built units at 2700 Sloat?
Pro-development argues that there's a housing shortage in SF. There isn't. There is an affordable pricing & rental housing shortage because city planners have let numerous luxury high rises go up, pricing out many San Franciscans. Their solution? Build more luxury condo high rises. This is the wrong solution. Our affordable housing need will not be solved by increasing high density, high cost housing developments.
Housing Shortage - NO, Vacancies - YES
HOME-SF is a density bonus program, intended to create affordable housing. However, it is undermining affordable housing construction by allowing developers to build bigger market rate developments, increasing density and height limits if a percentage of units are deemed affordable housing. But that percentage is determined by the total number of units built, and as a result developers claim they have to build bigger to be able to include affordable units otherwise it's not profitable for them.
So what does that produce? Oversized high-density developments, with most units predominantly at market value = high cost, and towering buildings in neighborhoods with small single family homes. 2700 Sloat was approved as a HOME-SF project.
Pro-development says that the Sunset needs to absorb its share of new housing construction. Many high rises throughout the city remain predominantly vacant due to high costs and urban flight of business and people. How will building more high rises in the western part of the city help?
The Sunset and Outer Parkside have been single-family home neighborhoods since the early 1900s. Many families have lived here for generations. Diverse new families attracted by the laid-back, safe environment, proximity to public and private schools, community focused businesses and culture have also made the neighborhood their home. Constructing high density, high cost condo towers will detract from the appeal of the Sunset and turn families away.
The developers of 2700 Sloat say they're building for families and first time homeowners. But will the 2 and 3 bedroom condos be affordable for families and first time buyers? Or will just the studios and one bedrooms be priced at lower cost? With one bedrooms under 500 square feet, who will want this as a family home? There is no requirement regarding which units are priced "affordable".
The Westerly sits in the 2800 block of Sloat Blvd and is a glaring example of what a mistake condo development is for the area. Also an approved HOME- SF project, since 2018 the building remains mostly vacant, with just over half of units sold and has no retail in the ground floor commercial spaces. It's attracting graffiti, homeless camping, shows signs of surface deterioration, and is plastered with WARNING: NO TRESPASSING signs.
Is this the vision city planners have for western SF?
Been There, Done That - Good Idea, Gone Bad - Do we want another GENEVA TOWERS situation?
THE ISSUES IN THE NEWS:
We've complied a series of articles that discuss the climate and various issues with current direction for city planning. Such as the high rate of housing vacancies in the city (2022), increasing gentrification in working-class neighborhoods, decreasing overall population of SF, and more.
We hope that this project is seen for what it is: a terrible choice for city planning, an insult to Outer Parkside and Outer Sunset, and a warning for our community that city planners and developers don't care about the culture of our neighborhood.
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