SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Skyrocketing rental prices and forced evictions are triggering a major debate at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting. They're expected to vote on a proposal that would call on the city to temporarily stop building market rate housing in the Mission District and instead focus on the affordability crisis.
A contingent of clergy and others worried about the housing affordability crisis gathered at city hall on Tuesday, attempting to deliver a message to Mayor Ed Lee. The group supports a moratorium on condo construction in the Mission; a once heavily Latino neighborhood that is rapidly gentrifying.
45-day moratorium in Mission District fails before SF Supes
"They're building condos, not for the people of the Mission, but for the techies, the hipsters. That's bull," said Mission District resident Rafael Picazo.
Picazo supports a freeze on market rate housing construction. The 45-day moratorium could expand up to two years. The proposal is sponsored by Supervisor David Campos. He says it would give the city time to come up with a plan to buy land in the Mission for affordable housing.
"If we don't act now, by the time we get around to doing something, the land that's available will be gone," he said. "And then what happens to this neighborhood?"
Supervisor Scott Wiener added, "A moratorium is not going to do a thing to get us more housing, affordable or otherwise in San Francisco."
Wiener is opposed to a building halt. He and Supervisor Mark Farrell spoke at an anti-moratorium rally, saying it would be disastrous for the city.
"The proposed moratorium will not prevent one eviction from taking place," Farrell said. "It will not produce one new affordable housing unit."
The mayor is also opposed, but the crowd at city hall hopes he heard their support loud and clear.