Moratorium Plan Galvanizes Debate Over Affordable Housing
- May 29, 2015
The Mission District faces a pivotal moment as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors prepares to consider a controversial plan to halt the development of market-rate housing. Although most analysts predict that the measure will not win approval from the supervisors, the proposal is likely to return as an initiative on the November ballot.
Broadly speaking, there are two schools of thought for addressing the Mission District’s housing problems. Leading backers of a moratorium, including Supervisor David Campos and the Mission Economic Development Agency, want to suspend market-rate projects larger than 10 units in order to promote development of affordable housing. Supporters also say a moratorium would stem the tide of evictions and relocations, which have been hitting the Mission District’s Latino residents especially hard, and help preserve the neighborhood’s character.
Critics of a moratorium, such as the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, contend that shutting down the market-rate pipeline would further increase prices while also cutting contributions to the city’s affordable housing fund. Opponents also warn that a moratorium would encourage landlords to try to push out struggling residents and capitalize on rising demand.