SF Pinoys lose fight vs. luxury condo construction

SAN FRANCISCO – After several hours of rallying, deliberation and public testimony San Francisco supervisors failed to get enough votes Tuesday night to temporarily block construction of luxury condos in the city’s Mission District.

The plan would have temporarily halted the construction for 45 days within the Mission District, unless it was for affordable housing.

The Mission District — home to many kababayans — is historically one of the most diverse, working-class neighborhoods in San Francisco.

“One thing that Latinos and Filipinos have in common is that we are very family orientated and we are seeing since 2000s a 25 percent reduction in families,” said Gabriel Medina, policy manager of the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA). “We’re losing children. We have a higher proportion of homeless children and we’re saying take a pause so we can build affordable housing for these families.”

The Mission has seen many evictions of longtime residents due to the booming technology industry that has led to a massive increase in rent.

“I love technology but the fact that these people are kicking everyone out because they’re being greedy and they want our lives it’s just so wrong and messed up,” said Jean Franco Pilas, a Mission district resident since 2007.

Opponents of the moratorium said that the stoppage would only increase the shortage of homes and hurt the workers and companies involved in the construction.

Others say that these same workers and companies are helping push out the diverse people of San Francisco.

“Where are Filipinos concentrated now – like Daly City and the East Bay,” asked Angelica Patricio, an intern of the Eviction Defense Collaborative. “A lot of the jobs we hold center around the City and it’s ridiculous that you have to commute 45 minutes to an hour just because you can’t afford to live in the City where you work.”

Currently the average listing for a one-bedroom flat in the Mission is about $3,300 a month, and two-bedroom condos are listed for nearly $5,000.

Mission residents and their advocates say that while they lost the vote they are happy that more people are now aware of the growing changes in the city.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • kuya
    5 June 2015 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Condo builders have a lot of money to silence city officials. Ask for the SC for help.