Mission Community Takes BIG Next Step in Standing up to Luxury-Housing Tidal Wave

Mission Community Takes BIG Next Step in Standing up to Luxury-Housing Tidal Wave

BlogChristopher Gil, Senior Content Marketing Manager
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
cgil@medasf.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2015

Mission Community Takes BIG Next Step in Standing up to Luxury-Housing Tidal Wave
Broad-based coalition qualifies moratorium, now has chance for real community-stabilization plan

San Francisco, CA – The City of San Francisco Department of Elections today verified the 15,006 signatures garnered for a ballot measure on an 18-month pause on luxury housing in the Mission District. The signatures were gathered in under three weeks when a broad coalition of groups from working-class communities came together to call for local control of housing and land-use decisions to counter the luxury-housing lobby that controls City Hall.

The measure calls for the creation of a Neighborhood Stabilization Plan by 2017, with the goal to preserve and develop affordable housing in the Mission. Currently, without such a plan, only 34 (seven percent) of the 478 units in the pipeline are below-market rate units. The proposed plan would be for 50 percent of units to be affordable as a means to stem neighborhood displacement of low-, moderate- and middle-class households. Also, there is currently no plan to preserve production, distribution and repair (PDR) sites, an issue the Neighborhood Stabilization Plan would also address.

There has been a glut of luxury developments in the Mission. In the past eight years, the Mission has gained 1,327 units total—with only 165 of these (12.4 percent) being affordable. Last week, the San Francisco Planning Department reinforced the failure of the City to address the affordable-housing crisis when it released its first housing dashboard report, as required by Prop K; the report showed how far the city has failed to create affordable housing, building too much housing for the affluent, and only about a third of what it needs for everyone else.

Tenants’ rights lawyer Scott Weaver, who authored the petition’s language, noted the victory as follows: “People from all over the City have raised their voices to support the effort to save the Mission.”

Luis Granados, executive director of the Mission Economic Development Agency, part of the coalition that helped gather signatures over the past three weeks, stated, “This pause on luxury development will help the community come up with a plan that will serve as a model for all San Francisco neighborhoods. I am confident that San Franciscans who value our City’s diversity will vote ‘yes’ on this measure.”

Echoing Granados’ assertion that voters from all over the City will support the measure, Bayview ACCE Leader Vivian Richardson stated, “Many of the other remaining working-class communities of color, such as the Bayview, cannot rely on City Hall to stand up for our interests when all they have done is focus on luxury housing. This is a powerful example of what other neighborhoods can do, and our Bayview community is standing in support of this bold initiative that the Mission community has qualified to make its voice heard.”

Tracy Rosenberg of Media Alliance was similarly pleased that the measure will be on the ballot, explaining, “Pacific Felt Factory, a new, affordable studios and arts complex in the Mission, welcomes the ballot initiative as a long-needed opportunity for all of San Francisco to weigh in on development priorities that preserve San Francisco’s reputation as a global hub for the arts and cultural expression.”

The coalition comprises ACCE, Calle 24, Casa Sanchez, Centro de Independencia Económica de Mujeres y Jovenes, Cultural Action Network, HOMEY, Latino Voter Project SF, Living Wage Coalition, MEDA, Mission Neighborhood Centers, Mission SRO Collaborative, Our Mission NO Eviction, Pacific Felt Factory, Plaza 16 Coalition, PODER, SF Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, SF Latino Democratic Club, SF Green Party, SF Low Rider Council, TODCO Group, United Educators of San Francisco and The Women’s Building.

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Since 1973, MEDA has worked to improve economic and social conditions in the Mission District by stimulating investment, enhancing the business environment and creating jobs for area residents.
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