Grow the Richmond was dismayed to read Supervisor Chan’s recent newsletter on December 18, 2023. In that newsletter, she once again repeated the claim that San Francisco has 40,000 empty homes and that the city has 60,000 homes in the pipeline as claims regarding why San Francisco as reasons to push back against allowing for more homes in the Richmond as a part of our process for our current Housing Element, where the city is obligated to build 82,069 homes by 2031.
Both claims are scaremongering tactics that rely on superficial knowledge. Empty homes as a category includes home on the market for rent or for sale as well as homes that are rented and not occupied or sold and not occupied, which account for a large number of the vacancies by any reasonable measure. Parroting a large number to scare people does not do justice to the reasons those homes are empty, nor does it provide homes for the people who need them.
As for the pipeline, San Francisco does have thousands of homes waiting to be built, but many of them are mega projects that have not moved forward for a decade or more, from Candlestick Point to Park Merced to Schlage Lock. Simply repeating that point without introducing any legislation or doing any work to try and get those homes built is a cynical ploy. Additionally, almost all those homes are in other parts of the City. The Richmond has assiduously avoided building homes over the decades, pricing out our neighbors and friends and leaving those of us who live here with fewer opportunities and a diminished neighborhood.
The Richmond has not done its part to address San Francisco’s housing shortage and we are here to say yes to more homes. Our neighborhood only added 49 homes in 2022, mostly by adding a unit here or there to existing homes as only 4 new homes were built from the ground up. It’s time we do our part, and we are here to say yes to that.
The Richmond is a great neighborhood. It can be even better if we make it easier for more people to live here, if we make it easier for longtime residents to age and place, and for new neighbors to become a part of our wonderful community. We cannot do any of that without more housing. Join us in saying YES to more homes. Take SF Planning’s Survey by December 22, 2023 to say yes to new homes in our neighborhood.
Jane Natoli - Volunteer Lead
Brian Quan - Volunteer Lead