San Francisco NIMBYism is alive and thriving – The San Francisco Standard

2 minutes, 3 seconds Read

Since the 1980s, the city has been focused on developing new homes on the east side of San Francisco, which is why our unanimously approved citywide housing plan concentrates on building more homes throughout the wealthier neighborhoods in the north and west sides of San Francisco, where development has been shut out for decades. But if we can’t add housing density on the Northeast Waterfront, or the Richmond, or the Marina, or Cow Hollow or Pacific Heights, or the Outer Sunset, where exactly are we supposed to build new homes? 

It’s time to stop giving credulity to people who reflexively say no to all new housing. The fact is they don’t want new housing in San Francisco. They want to throw up a giant “no vacancy” sign atop Telegraph Hill, and let everyone scramble for whatever houses remain. We have seen the disastrous effects of their policy preferences play out over decades: spiraling rents, unaffordable homes and massive displacement. 

There will always be tradeoffs. But we should not be equally weighing homeowners’ beautiful bay views against the needs of hundreds of future San Franciscans who could live in a newly erected building near the bay. Those two things are not equal. People deserve priority.

Change is hard, and NIMBYs by definition are change-averse, but change is occurring whether they participate in it or not. That change, for decades, has been to displace anyone who can’t afford to live here, anyone who doesn’t have the security of locking in a good mortgage a long time ago or anyone who’s just fed up with the inequitable tax burden placed on new residents despite reviling newcomers rhetorically. 

Thankfully, the tide has turned because of the YIMBY movement. We have written better laws. We are holding our politicians accountable when they make these decisions and rendering the constant NIMBYing of projects moot because we have a legal obligation to build homes. But that all takes time. 

There is a compounding cost to the housing not being built now, to the housing being delayed because we enable naysayers. We need to stop enabling politicians like Peskin, who embody this kind of behavior. We’ve seen what kind of city the NIMBYs have built—we are all living in it. Let’s see what kind of city we can build if we say yes to more homes. 

Jane Natoli is the San Francisco organizing director for YIMBY Action. She lives in Inner Richmond.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts

Compare Listings