Who is moving into and out of SF?

By Peter Cohen, Fernando Marti, and Max Arnell : 48hills – excerpt

Shocking data shows 10,000 existing residents replaced every year

Everywhere in San Francisco today, people are talking about the housing crisis. You can’t turn on the radio or read the news or see the rental listings without being reminded of the lack of affordability. Many of these stories focus on the prices themselves or on the growing influx of eager transplants to the City. Often overlooked is the story of the exodus of families and households from San Francisco.

It is, of course, natural for residents to occasionally move to a different city or state, but this should be a choice, not retreat brought on by economic or social coercion. Alarmist statements about the number of people moving in to San Francisco each year, as well as the urgent calls to build, build, build in order to meet the demand of that population growth, mask the true effects of population “churn.” A whopping 12% of the city’s population turns over every year—so while the news has focused on all the people moving in to the city, the other side of the equation is that approximately 50,000 residents have been leaving San Francisco annually over the last five years. The City Economist crunched some data for the Planning Department earlier this year, and showed the astounding annual magnitude of this migration in and out of the city…

We have today not just a growing population but more significantly a replacement population. That’s 50,000 new residents a year in, and 50,000 existing residents out…

City policy may not be able to entirely reverse these winds, but it can make a difference…

As San Franciscans, we have a lot at stake. We must stick together and fight back against out-migration and population replacement masquerading as benign population growth. We can and should work to ensure San Francisco remains an affordable city truly for all.

Peter Cohen, Fernando Marti and Max Arnell work with the Council of Community Housing Organizations(more)

If we in fact have an equal number of people moving in and moving out, the population is not growing and the housing crisis is contrived to raise land values. In order to know what we really need we need to find out how many empty housing units there are an figure out how to make them affordable to the population before we destroy the city by turning it into bank vaults in the sky.

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