San Francisco’s real estate prices, rents and eviction rates are at an all-time high, causing real tension between tenants and landlords. Frequently we hear from renters about the struggles of living in the city, but it’s not often that we hear from the owners of their buildings.
In San Francisco, about one third of the population are property owners. Those who are small-time landlords are struggling to maintain solvency in this explosive housing market.
Rent control has been a way for cities to regulate their housing prices and evictions since World War One, in the wake of a big housing shortage in New York. But that doesn’t mean it’s common. In fact, only a handful of cities in the United States have rent control, like New York City, Los Angeles, a few cities in the Bay Area and San Francisco.
After years working in low-paying-but-rewarding social service jobs, Delynn Parker went back to school to get her Masters in Psychology. She had high hopes for more opportunities and better compensation after she graduated. That is not how it worked out. She is now saddled with a huge student loan and has found it difficult to find full-time work in her chosen field. Parker shared a day in her life – from her morning commute to her early bed time – giving insight into being underemployed in the Bay Area.
A medley of people wait for the San Francisco Public Library to open in the morning. Students on a deadline. People who really need a library book. Retired folks. And people checking email.
As the doors open, patrons stream into the atrium at the main branch near the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco. Some head to their favorite reading nook; others to computers to start surfing the Web.