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San Francisco | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Community Rallies To Stop Condos in SF Mission District
by Michael Steinberg ( blackrainpress [at] hotmail.com )
Saturday Feb 1st, 2014 9:09 PM
People gathered at 16th and Mission streets this afternoon to oppose the development of highrise condos at 1979 Mission Street.
San Francisco-February 1-People gathered at 16th and Mission streets this afternoon to oppose the development of highrise condos at 1979 Mission Street.

The proposed development, by another faceless corporation, Maximus, would construct two 10 story towers of 351 market rate condominiums at $3500 per month each, while displacing low income tenants and small business owners, and further marginalizing homeless people.

The bilingual rally was organized by La Playa 16 Coalition/The Plaza 16 Coalition.

An activist from the local community organization Poder reported that the proposed development has already been negatively affecting the 16th and Mission BART plaza, where the rally took place:

“About a year ago we started to see signs around the plaza reading ‘Keep It Clean.’ We thought there was something funny about it. They were very expensive looking signs. Then last September the police began occupying the plaza.

“This caused the displacement of people who’s been hanging out in the plaza for decades. We started seeing a connection between this and these proposed buildings.”

A sign at the rally read: “First-They Evict Us From Our Homes
Then-The Plaza
STOP
The Push Out of SF

A teacher from nearby Marshall Elementary School, at 15th and Capp streets, said the demolition and construction work would threaten the schoolchildren by causing rodent contamination and aggravating the health of kids who already have asthma.

And she predicted it would force out children whose classmates are already being displaced. “Where are those children now? Oakland, Richmond?
“Our PTA is ready to fight. We’re not going to give up. They’re not going to put up these buildings!”

The condo towers would also shade the school for much of the year.

The development would also displace a number of local businesses currently on the site, the northeast corner of 16th and Mission.
One business owner told the rally, “We have a lot of power, so we’re in a position to negotiate. There’s a real foundation in the community, so the school and small businesses won’t be negatively affected.

“They say the development will be good for business. Not for my business. We’re on a month to month lease. We need to support each other. We need to put pressure on the politicians. This may be the beginning of something in this city. I can feel it.”

A worker from a nearby women’s clinic reported a sharp increase in clients as people are displaced in the community. “And the police are displacing them to the streets, where they become victims of violence.” he said
“What we need is for there to be money for drop-in clinics, not criminalizing women for sitting on the ground. I find this appalling. We need to stand up and use the power we have.”

The Coalition “envisions a16th and Mission that has:

Welcoming streets for grandmothers, kids, tenants, homeless people-streets that reduce hazards and increase pedestrian safety and cultural vibrancy;

Increased open public space;

A local economy of mom and pop entrepreneurship that serves the needs of local residents and workers and supports the creation of good jobs for community residents;

Planning conducted by people who live and work in the neighborhoods;

No more market rate housing development until needs for affordable housing are met."

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Mission resident
Saturday Feb 1st, 2014 11:14 PM
Given that market-rate housing means housing that is absolutely only affordable for yuppies and the rich, you may wish to sharply amend this! No market rate housing under any circumstances for the Mission District is the only non-idiotic way to go here.
by E
Sunday Feb 2nd, 2014 9:10 AM
True- the phrase "market rate" is deceptive. We are constantly told that free markets give us more competition and better prices, but real estate in SF is not a free market, it is deliberately manipulated at all phases of development. "market rate" has nothing to do with a free market, and all it takes is one able renter for predatory tycoons to skew the statistics even further. "market rate" is false advertising from the beginning, "market rate" is "whatever we can get from the richest person around."
by mystery person
Sunday Feb 2nd, 2014 8:53 PM
From a perspective of of working people and renters, there is no such thing as acceptable market rate housing for San Francisco.
by math
Monday Feb 3rd, 2014 8:30 AM
Fairly simple: the fewer buildings we allow them to build, the lower the rent of the ones that are already here. Supply and demand.
by Mission resident
Sunday Feb 23rd, 2014 12:16 AM
Is anything more effective than the usual timid demo being planned here? This stuff isn't getting the job done. How far along is this project, anyway?