Bayview residents want to see break in housing construction

Friday, May 22, 2015
Bayview residents want to see break in housing construction
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People in San Francisco's Bayview District are demanding a timeout on housing construction that is driving up their rents.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Next month San Francisco supervisors will vote on a plan to declare a moratorium on some new housing construction in the rapidly-gentrifying Mission District. Supporters say the halt should be extended to the Bayview.

Some residents even want to get this on the November ballot, but first you can expect some passionate debate at city hall.

There's a housing boom in San Francisco, but some residents complain they're priced out. They say market-rate housing developments -- even with a slice of city-mandated affordable units -- are causing evictions and rents to rise.

Earlier this month demonstrators from the Mission District crowded into city hall to support a measure to put a 45-day moratorium on new projects in the pipeline and take a timeout to develop a strategy.

On Thursday, some Bayview residents said they need to hit a pause button in their neighborhood. San Francisco's black population has dropped from about 13 percent in the 1970's to less than 6 percent today.

"People are being displaced in the housing we already have. I can't imagine how building new housing would help that," Bayview resident Rev. Yul Dorn said.

"A moratorium will simply increase the crisis," Mayor Ed Lee said.

Several affordable housing projects in pipeline for SF

Lee is pushing to build or rehab 30,000 units of housing in the next five years, one third being affordable housing.

"I think the time to act is now, and while we're doing it, people can have a discussion and debate," Lee said.

Protesters believe a moratorium would send the strongest message.

"Using this as leverage to force them to pay attention to the residents who live here now," Grace Martinez from the Community Empowerment Alliance said.

The Mission moratorium comes up for a vote June 2.