With gentrification on the rise, Bay Area official anticipates shortage of cemetery space

COLMA, CA  —  While longtime residents of San Francisco continue to fight against gentrification, or end up leaving because they cannot afford the city’s soaring housing costs, the dilemma of having a place to stay has now affected the dead.

According to a report from K-PIX, cemeteries will start running out of room within 10-to-40 years.

While this is not an immediate crisis, some elected officials are making this a priority.

“Make no mistake about it. We have an affordable housing crisis and we have a cemetery crisis,” says San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa.


Canepa represents 160,000 people, which also includes 1.5 million dead in the city of Colma alone.

75 percent of the city of Colma is made up of cemeteries.

Canepa agrees that it all comes down to land.

“Cost of land is astronomical in the Bay Area. In fact, if you want to live in San Mateo County, to own a home it’s $1.4 million.”

The district 5 Supervisor has begun talks with developers and landowners to see if they can fix the issue before it becomes too late.

K-PIX reports that a possible solution will be the conversion of a former nine-hole golf course into a cemetery — however, residents are still fighting for more affordable housing units.

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