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San Francisco Is So Expensive Even Renters Can Be NIMBYs

February 10, 2017

by Tanvi Misra : citylab – excerpt

Rent anxiety and fears of displacement fuel support for obstructing market-rate housing in pricey cities.

Where new housing gets built—or, more likely, doesn’t get built—is often driven by the obstructionist tendencies of existing residents. NIMBYism is rooted in the fear that an increase in the supply of housing will lower the value of homes and neighborhood amenities. Sometimes, this fear comes disguised as local protectionism, accompanied by cries lamenting the decline in neighborhood aesthetics—blocked light, congestion, and noise. Other times, it’s thinly veiled racism

The fear of being priced out of their homes is at the bottom of renter NIMBYism…

Conventional wisdom might suggest that renters are immune to the temptations of NIMBYism, simply because they stand to gain from lower housing prices and an increase in affordable units. But that doesn’t stop them from joining the obstructionist bandwagon in expensive cities, according to new research by Michael Hankinson at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Via the paper:.. (more)

This is some of the strangest reasoning yet. They have it completely backwards. The NIBYs have seen the result of the market rate housing boom and it has resulted in a lot of evictions, homeless living in tents and cars on the streets, a lot of empty units being held off the market, and has barely reduced high end rents. There is no benefit to renters who can’t afford the high end market
There is no there there or here here any more. The heart and soul of what was the most liberal city in America, are being cut out as the towers rise around us. San Francisco is being sold to the highest bidder, and the longer you stay here and watch the demise, the stronger your opposition becomes to it. People are making decisions based on their observations and experiences dealing with the machine.
As we witness the results of the building boom on both the rents and the congestion in the city, followed by homeless encampments, increased crime, increased cost of living, and everything else that gentrification brings, the citizens of San Francisco are rebelling in larger numbers against the forces at City Hall that are propelling them into a future they don’t want.
There is no mystery behind the anti-growth movement, that is sweeping the nation and is partly to blame for the Clinton’s loss, although no one admits that. The reason for the rebellion is the uncomfortable aftermath. We are seeing record numbers of homeless, crime, congestion of the streets and on public transportation systems, trees being removed and streets being rearranged with no regard for public choice in the matter.


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