Affordable housing advocates arrested
in San Francisco
Affordable Housing advocates were arrested yesterday for demonstrating
proposal to build market rate luxury condos at 3400 Cesar Chavez
Photo(s) by John
July 12, 2007
Ten affordable housing advocates were arrested on Wednesday during
a takeover at 3400 Cesar Chavez St. Demonstrators pitched tents
on the property to show resistance to an approved plan for market
rate condominiums. The advocates included members of the Mission
Anti-Displacement Coalition (MAC), La Raza, the LGBT community,
and other local allies.
"This community does not need more luxury condos, and it
doesn't need more Walgreens stores." said Renee Saucedo,
who is with the San Francisco Day Labor Center and MAC "We
want to buy the property, we have the ability to do that in order
to build low income housing and a day labor center for the day
The site is owned by a real estate company called Seven Hills
Properties and is the former location of a Kelly Moore Paint Store.
On April 19, 2006 the City's Planning Commission approved a proposal
by Seven Hills to build a four-story condominium complex with
60 units and 67 residential parking spaces. Of the 60 units, nine
would be Below Market Rate, which is the minimum allowed. The
rest would be market rate. Residents fear that the market rate
condos would drive out poorer communities.
Nick Pagoulatos of MAC opposes the plan, "People care about
the kind of housing that's being built in our neighborhood. They
care about families leaving the neighborhood... and what we have
behind us right now is yet another example of how the city doesn't
care about how the Mission is being developed."
The condos would be built above 16,000 sq. ft. of retail space
which would lease a 24-hour Walgreens store. Residents note that
four other Walgreens stores already exists within one mile of
the site. Thirty-six extra parking spaces would be added as well
for customer and employee parking and one space for a car share.
MAC has appealed the plan to the Board of Supervisors, "The
city's strategy right now for creating affordable housing is inclusionary
housing, which is basically ownership housing for folks that are
making between one hundred percent and one hundred twenty percent
of the median income." said Pagoulatos. "Which is great.
We need housing at all different levels. But the real need in
our community, the overwhelming need is housing for people that
make below that. That's the vast majority of the people that live
in this neighborhood."
Pagoulatos said that San Francisco's work force isn't just composed
of people that work for dot com or bio-tech. He said the workforce
is composed of people who work as restaurant servers as well,
teachers and non-profit workers, and people who have no hope of
buying a condominium in San Francisco. "We need to start
thinking of affordable housing not just as affordable ownership,
but as affordable rental."
The Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center (BHNC), a non-profit developer,
and MAC teamed up to develop a proposal, which they say would
provide one hundred percent affordable low income housing. Under
their proposal, BHNC would build 60-70 affordable units as well
as a Day Labor Program, which would provide services to day laborers.
Karl Kramer is a member of the Labor Council for Latin American
Advancement AFL-CIO who supports the proposal, " The San
Francisco Labor Council at its Monday Labor Council meeting endorsed
the alternative project that's been presented by the Mission Anti-Displacement
Coalition." Kramer was also one of the members arrested at
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will hold a meeting on
July 17th to consider MAC's appeal.