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When you consider that it costs over $3000/month for a single bedroom apartment, the local government prevents the building of high-rise buildings, and the climate is comfortable outdoors year-round, it makes sense. It will continue to be this way as long as high density low income apartment high rises are not allowed to be built in large numbers in west SF.



I don't think this is a hot take, but if the market wants to build fancy apartments, let them build fancy apartments.

The reason there aren't less fancy, affordable apartments is people weren't allowed to build new apartments 20 years ago, which would have aged into affordable housing this decade.


Sounds good to me. Just let developers build.


I'm not sure I follow this line of thinking. The price is what it is, and everyone knows what it is. How can I feel sorry for folks that live there and just shrug and say "can't afford it". It's one of the most expensive cities on Earth. There is so much land in the US, so many cities with reasonable cost of living, etc etc. It feels like instead of doing the logical thing, we're building some class of caviar homeless. We can't just dictate that because people want to live there, we must provide them cheap or free housing in popular coastal cities.

Though the above does touch on what I think is really missing - a social safety net. I can see how high cost of living could lead to homelessness when you're trying to cling on after losing a job and can't find something to replace it right away. I fully believe we should help such folks, give them a safety net, just -not- in SF. There's tons of inland cities that are begging for people, let's solve two things at once. After they are back on their feet, if they want to move back - so be it.


The price is what it is because of excessive governmental regulations that have artificially driven up the cost of housing to astronomical levels.

At the end of the day, the homelessness problem in SF and other west coast cities is the result of the government looking the other way (i.e. not enforcing the law) combined with the fact that you can live outside most of the year.


> There is so much land in the US

The bay area isn't close to capacity. Even SF has 10,000 fewer people per square mile than NYC.


You're slightly misunderstanding me. I'm not saying we must provide people with cheap housing. I'm saying developers should be allowed to build it. For a profit. The government is preventing the free market from building more housing in SF, and it is making the problem much worse than it would be otherwise.

SF doesn't have to be a city just for the top 1%. But that is what it is becoming, directly because of restrictions on building too much housing.


But SF hasn't always had these prices, what if someone was born there and has their "social network"? Do they have to fuck off when that VC-funded Node.js programmer show up? So they move to a cheaper place, try to rebuild their life, but what if that's the next hot town for Porsche-driving Saudi-funded bros? "Sorry poor man, you need to leave yet again!".


It sounds harsh, but I'm not sure what the answer is. Think of it, if housing were completely free everywhere in the US, for everyone, most people would flock to the west coast. It has the best weather in the US, and San Diego in particular even the best in the world perhaps. You have an ocean nearby, rarely gets too hot or too cold, etc. The only way to prevent the absolute cluster-f that would be is with scarcity and thereby pricing. I don't live there, so I'm not being elitist...I'm being realistic. A major factor in why I don't live there is the cost. A rational person deals with such things, instead of shouting from the a tent in the street.

Edit to add - I don't think the situation of 'keep moving' is realistic. Of all the thousands of cities in the US, only a handful have really had a price explosion, and the reasons are obvious - coastal, nice weather, and limited space. I can't see that ever happening in say, Olathe, or Tuscaloosa, etc. Austin for example has had an explosion, but generally has the room to grow outwards in a reasonable way in my opinion.


So by your thinking, a lot of people when faced with the choice of 'Would I rather be homeless in San Francisco, or have a house but have to get on a train for an hour to see my friends' would choose the former?


Where did I write that. In the ideal world, they wouldn't have to be confronted with that stupid choice. And not just for social life, for their jobs too. Yet there are now low wage workers who have to commute many hours to their jobs and many hours home, and it's been said every 10 minutes more of commute is 10% less social life.

Not that I have the answers... Rent control would be interesting, but well, this isn't socialism, it's cut-throat capitalism, and landlords are out to make maximum profits, your homeless ass be damned!


Yes.

But guess what, it works the other way too.

I grew up poor. Lucky to have a roof over my head. In a town where the local pasttime is hanging out in the Walmart parking lot and doing heroin.

Then I got a job at a big tech company. I had to beg and borrow just to move out here because it's so expensive to relocate. If I didn't have a friend out here, I would have had to sleep in the office until my first pay check (yeah it's fucked up).

Now my life and family are in a massively better place.

So what's the solution to homelessness? Relocate and/or retrain. It takes a lot of effort, but it's the only thing that works in a capitalistic country.




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