By Calvin Welch : 48hills – excerpt
Unpacking the failed news media narrative of Nimbys in SF — and how it applies to the D5 supervisor race.
A story is unfolding in the District Five supervisor race, ignored by the news media, that illustrates the contradiction between narrative and fact that underlies so much of current politics in San Francisco.
The media, both local and national, is fixed on a discussion of San Francisco that has as it center an explanation of our outrageous housing costs that might be called “The Narrative:” A titanic struggle between Nimbys (Not in My Back Yard), usually defined as residents in existing neighborhoods who oppose new housing development and thus reduce “supply” resulting in high housing costs and Yimbys (Yes In My Backyard), pro-development “market urbanists” who want to remove all regulations by eliminating local approval requirements of major developments — thus, goes the narrative, increasing supply and lower housing costs…
48 Hills has been almost alone in the media countering this factually bogus narrative by publishing pieces that show a huge “housing development pipeline” of some 73,000 housing units existing in San Francisco (pipeline snapshot), that transit investment lags far behind currently approved housing development — making the assertion that these high density market priced developments are “transit friendly” dangerously wrong (transit funding deficit) — and that over-production of tech office space is far more responsible for the housing crisis than concerns of current residents (jobs housing linkage)…
There are Nimby’s in San Francisco. That’s a fact. But they are the exact opposite of the fictitious folks of The Narrative. They oppose only housing and services for poor people, willing to support market rate housing if it shifts the “demography.” Time and again, these Nimbys are assisted by city departments, especially the SFPD.
Now the voters of D5 have a chance to weigh in… (more)