Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The housing crisis #2

“There aren’t enough roofs for all the people who want to live in San Francisco,” said Christine Johnson, 35, who directs the local office of the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) and also serves as a planning commissioner at City Hall. “Unless we make dramatic changes to how we think about and produce housing, we risk losing everything that makes our city special.”

SPUR is famous in SF for being pro-development (see this, this, and this).

More from Engardio: 

...But he[George Wooding] is skeptical that 17 acres of open space at Balboa Reservoir can become a mini-Mission Bay on the Westside. There is a plan for 1,100 new homes at the site. Johnson would like to see 2,000 units. Wooding said 500 should be the limit. “What good is 2,000 houses if it takes 40 minutes to get on a train?” Wooding asked. “I like the idea of transit villages, but transportation has to come first. I hate it when we build things half-assed and then end up chasing mistakes.”

This is the thing about pro-development advocates in San Francisco: they never met a highrise they didn't like or a housing proposal they didn't want to make bigger. 

Unlike Calvin Welch, they apparently think we can build our way to affordable housing here in San Francisco. That assumption ignores the demand side of the housing equation: San Francisco has long been a jobs center for the Bay Area but gentrification is making it increasingly impossible for working people to live here. 

That is, the demand for housing is distorting the housing market so much that the supply part of the equation is less relevant.

But folks like Johnson---and the Chronicle's editorial board---insist that Brisbane, a town of 4,282, must allow a housing development for 4,400!

From a Chronicle editorial:

But the proposed development would bring big changes to Brisbane. The plan would more than triple the city’s population over the next 30 years. Change is hard, and Brisbane residents don’t want it. Just 16 percent of Brisbane residents wanted to see the Baylands parcel developed as housing, in a recent city-commissioned study.

Gee, I wonder why the people of Brisbane don't want to triple the size of their town? The Chronicle and SPUR aren't asking Brisbane to do something that's merely "hard"; they're asking that town to essentially commit suicide.

Would it be okay with the Chronicle's editorial board if the population of San Francisco is tripled? This is nuts.

See also Joel Engardio: Man in a bubble and Tunnel visions.

More on the housing issue tomorrow.

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Evangelicals, the Nashville Statement, and gay rights

Andrew Sullivan on the Nashville Statement by evangelicals: 

...But their intransigence on this question is killing them. It’s particularly damning when so many of these leaders just endorsed, voted for, and threw their weight behind a man who has married several times, claimed that avoiding STDs was his own version of Vietnam, has humiliated successive wives, has bragged about sexual assault, who talks of his own daughter as a sexual object, and touted the size of his dick in a presidential debate. On all of this, most of these same Evangelicals looked the other way. But gay and transgender Christians? We are living rebukes to God’s natural order...

The reason so many minds have changed on this question is because we know more about our nature than we ever have before. You don’t have to junk all of Christianity to acknowledge that. Gay people, for example, will be the first to insist that male and female exist: It’s just that we are attracted to our own sex and not the other. Transgender people — by seeking to conform their outward appearance with what they feel is their true gender — are also indirectly paying a compliment to the male-female natural structure and want to fit into it. 

For a few generations now, gays and lesbians and transgender people, by coming out, have been telling our stories, and those with open minds and big hearts have heard us. It is one of the great tragedies of many Evangelical and orthodox Christians that they are not interested in listening...

I believe that for an entire generation, this question is a litmus test for whether Christianity really is about love, and whether the Gospels (which have nothing to say about homosexuality) should even get a hearing. I can date my own niece’s and nephew’s rejection of Christianity to the day the priest urged them to oppose equal rights for their uncle. That’s why Evangelicalism is dying so quickly among the young. 

The latest PRRI survey shows that only one in ten Evangelicals are now under 30. It is no accident that the generation that has come to know gay and transgender people as people also finds it hard to dehumanize us in the way the Nashville Statement does, and see a church leadership that still treats us in this fashion as inimical to their own, yes, Christian values...

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