Rent control forces poor in SF out of homes

Rent control forces poor in SF out of homes

People use the term “San Francisco values” to refer, proudly or facetiously, to the occasionally oddball politics and culture in the City by the Bay. While many San Francisco debates—i.e., over Happy Meal bans or limits on nude dining—are unique, the latest brouhaha could have implications for the state.

With the area economy rebounding, San Francisco is in the midst of a housing crisis as many residents are evicted from their apartments. “It is a situation rooted in limited housing stock and surge in demand that has pushed the median rent up from $2,968 in 2010 to $3,414 this year…,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

The median home price has soared to nearly $900,000, which helps explain why nearly two-thirds of the city’s residents are renters. So the rent hikes are particularly acute—and have put the city’s tough rent-control laws in the spotlight. As property values have rebounded, an increasing number of San Francisco owners are getting out of the rental business and cashing out their properties to turn them into co-ops.

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