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San Francisco Has Only Approved 16 New Housing Permits In 2024

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Back in 2022, it came to my attention that San Francisco had been ordered by the State of California to build roughly 80,000 new housing units by 2031 in order to make rents more affordable, home ownership more attainable and homelessness less prevalent in the City by the Bay.

So, you’re probably wondering how that’s been going? 

The short answer is: not fucking well. 

The long answer is this: They’ve only approved 16 new permits for housing in the City so far this year, and 7 of those were for single family homes. That’s right. Not affordable housing. Not  dense apartment complexes. No. Nearly half of them were for single fucking family homes. Like individual houses. What the fuck? 

This is a major problem, and more evidence of the incompetence or corruption in San Francisco City Hall. San Francisco has the third highest per capita rate of homelessness in the United States. It is only surpassed nationally by its neighbor to the East, Oakland, and its only real West Coast rival, Los Angeles. 

And don’t give me that shit about “homeless people come here from other states because the weather is better.” That’s fucking garbage. The San Francisco Standard did some awesome reporting where they illustrated in a nice graph that only 4% of San Francisco’s homeless come from outside of California. And a whopping 71% were San Francisco residents. Another 24% came from counties either directly near San Francisco or from elsewhere in California. 

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I know it’s cool and somewhat glamorous to think of ourselves as the dopest place to be homeless, but that’s honestly not the case. People are on the streets here because of shitty policy decisions, not superior weather. Also I love San Francisco’s signature fog, but I sincerely doubt America’s homeless population is looking at San Francisco’s moist ass weather and say to themselves “wouldn’t it be great to be vaguely wet all the time?” I somewhat get the logic when it comes to Southern California cities like Los Angeles or San Diego, but San Francisco is not a warm, sunny city. It’s a misty monstrosity filled with millionaires. That does not make a homeless utopia. 

No one is expecting San Francisco to be a utopia, but its residents should expect it to be a semi-functional city. The city’s inability to meet its housing goals isn’t okay and it’s a direct contradiction to the values that San Francisco proclaims to have. 

San Francisco should be a city for everyone in reality, not only in rhetoric. And that means actually working to solve the problems that are preventing San Francisco from achieving its true potential. San Francisco can be a place for everyone. This isn’t some anti-rich article. The wealthy have always had their slice of the fog, but the city’s policies didn’t always suggest an unending appetite to remove the poor. When I was a child there were legitimately working class areas in the city where normal people lived. And that should be allowed to exist besides the tech titans and A.I. agents of change that seem to dictate the city today. 






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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is an Oakland-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!