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Indybay Feature

What Do More Condos Mean for the Mission?

by Emma Gerould (info [at]
At a time when affordable family housing is on the political agenda, Seven Hills Properties is pushing a condo development through the planning process for 60 new condos and another Walgreen’s Drug Store. The site in questions is 3400 Cesar Chavez Street (at Mission), now a empty parking lot where day laborers wait for work daily.
Mission Anti-Displacement Coalition (MAC) and others from the Mission and Bernal Heights are opposing the condos because the project does not reflect the community’s needs – affordable family housing and mitigating rising land costs.

The proposal is not an isolated development. Condos are being built throughout the Mission. Recently, condos went up on Mission and 29th Street and many more, like 700 Valencia Street, are in the pipeline.

Based on the projected cost of the proposed condos, less than 10 percent of the neighborhood earns enough to move into one. What does it mean when over 90 percent of residents cannot afford to buy these new condos? It means that residents of this traditionally low-income neighborhood will be priced out of their own community by sky-rocketing land values. The Mission, along with the Castro and the Haight, has one of the highest levels of Ellis Act and owner-move in evictions in San Francisco.

Seven Hills Properties claim that the 3400 Cesar Chavez condos will be available for local families. Nothing could be further from the truth. To be able to afford such a condo, a family or individual must make a median annual income of $203,000. The median income in the area stands at $44,000. The majority of the condos would be one bedroom apartments. The few affordable housing units proposed in the development are not a gesture of goodwill, but the 15 percent minimum required by law. Only four units would be for family housing. Despite the developer’s claims, these units are not affordable. In fact, they cost too much to qualify for assistance through the city’s Downpayment Assistance Loan Program.

Mission residents and community groups have simultaneously been creating an alternative plan for the site that would prioritize the community’s needs and includes affordable housing and community services.

More condos for the Mission mean higher eviction rates and pricing families out of their homes. Testify at the Board of Supervisors to stop the Cesar Chavez Condos: affordable family housing not market rate condos. To stay informed email

For more info, call (415) 206 2140 ext. 155.
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Tony Ramirez
Mon, Jul 2, 2007 11:09PM
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