Nonetheless it is worth reading. From Tim Redmond, here is one bit:
…let’s remember: San Francisco is already by far the densest city West of the Mississippi, and third in the entire country…
Seriously: If you take the city’s own studies, which show that every 100 units of market-rate housing create a demand for 30 units of low-income housing (because new rich residents want people to serve them coffee and fine wines and clean their clothes and their toilets and provide security etc., and those new jobs mean new people who need places to live), then any high-end housing that isn’t 30 percent affordable is making the crisis worse. Got that? When you are in a hole, stop digging. If you’re in a crisis, don’t make it worse. And right now, building luxury housing is a net loser for the city.
The same goes for Muni. It costs the city far more to serve new housing than the new housing pays. Which means every time the rest of us pay higher fares for Muni, we are in effect subsidizing market-rate housing developers.
And yet another:
Please: Show me any evidence, any credible evidence at all, that allowing the private market to build, baby, build in San Francisco today (without demolishing hundreds of thousands of rent-controlled units and creating a city like Manhattan or Hong Kong without the social housing, that none of us want to live in) will actually bring down rents and allow the middle class to stay, and I will listen. But as far as I can tell, that evidence doesn’t exist.
In contrast I would stress that we need to count the welfare of the in-migrants. But I nonetheless hope that market urbanism can do a better job outlining how cheaper housing might be expected to come to San Francisco, and with which complementary regulations if any.
On the limits of restrictive housing policy in San Francisco, this NYT story is also worth reading:
The Chamber of Commerce and the tourist board are calling for harsher measures to improve what is euphemistically called the “condition of the streets,” a term that encompasses the intractable homeless problem, public intravenous drug use, the large population of mentally ill people on the streets and aggressive panhandling. The chamber recently released the results of an opinion poll that showed that homelessness and “street behavior” were the primary concerns of residents here.
It’s funny but also sad how many people attacked me when I predicted this in my book Average is Over:
Visitors come to bask in the Mediterranean climate, stroll through the charming streets and marvel at the sweeping views of the bay and the Pacific. But alongside those views are tent encampments on sidewalks and rag-covered homeless people in front of some of the most expensive real estate in America.
Property crime is up more than sixty percent since 2010.
I say they eventually get cleared out, but to where? Here is my previous post on market urbanism and whether it is overrated.