Community groups ask the City
to help families stay in San Francisco
By Angela Hokanson, Bay City News Service
March 2, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Low and moderate-income families
gathered on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall Wednesday with
suitcases and bags set up as props to symbolize the pressure they
face to leave an increasingly unaffordable city, and to call on
city officials to help them stay.
Representatives from organizations such as Coleman Advocates
for Children & Youth and Community Leadership Academy Emergency
Response congregated with low and moderate-income parents to release
a report authored by Coleman Advocates that is titled, "Families
Struggle To Stay: Why Families Are Leaving San Francisco and What
Can Be Done.''
The report indicates that the "vast majority" of families
who left San Francisco between 1995 and 2000 were people with
low to moderate incomes, and were also people of color.
The report presents a re-analysis of 2000 census data conducted
by the Public Research Institute at San Francisco State University.
The re-analysis makes distinctions between long-term residents
and people who had moved to San Francisco during the previous
five years, and in this way presents a more detailed picture about
which families are leaving the city, according to the study's
"The fate of low and moderate income families is of special
concern, because they are the least likely to leave by choice,
most likely to be evicted, displaced, or priced out, and most
likely to continue struggling wherever they are forced to settle,"
the report states.
While the policy recommendations put forth in the report touch
on issues such as ensuring quality public education, creating
good jobs for youth, and reducing violence in the city, the "affordable
housing crisis is the number one reason" that low and moderate-income
families are forced to leave San Francisco, according to NTanya
Lee, the executive director of Coleman Advocates.
NTanya Lee, Executive Director of Coleman Advocates
"We are here with our bags packed...to dramatize the urgency
of this issue," Lee said at Wednesday's news conference.
Lee cautioned that San Francisco was losing families with children
due to gentrification and the prioritization of high-profit real
estate over affordable housing.
"San Francisco is fast becoming a city for the very rich
or the very poor," said Evelyn Mack, a parent leader with
Coleman Advocates and a native San Franciscan, at the event.
The study includes policy recommendations and a proposed $10
million budget that its supporters say would help low and moderate-income
residents continue living in San Francisco.
Coleman Advocates suggests that the mayor make affordable housing
for families the city's top housing priority after ending chronic
homelessness, and allocate $2 million for rental assistance and
Lee called on San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board
of Supervisors to support the proposed budget and the policy platform.
A coalition of community groups, including Coleman Advocates,
will hold a rally at City Hall on April 8 to ask the Mayor to
show his support for the budget and policy recommendations.
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