housing crisis

The reality of subletting in San Francisco

Aug 13, 2015
Thomas Hawk/Flickr Creative Commons

San Francisco is a renter’s worst nightmare. It might seem obvious. You know, your mum knows, your friends know, but me? I did not know. It is hard enough trying to find a room in San Francisco, or Oakland, when you’re an American, armed with a credit rating, proof of income and housing references just a phone-call away.

However, being from New Zealand, via Australia, I can’t tick off any one of those things. I’ve never owned a credit card, I don’t have a steady income and my rental references are asleep when a local landlord might want to call them.

What Facebook's expansion means for East Palo Alto

Jul 7, 2015
Chris Hambrick


When Menlo Park city leaders wanted to add services for residents in their Belle Haven neighborhood, Facebook pitched in to fund a community center.  It’s located in a shopping strip behind the new Facebook west Campus, next to a Japanese restaurant.  


Real estate markets run in cycles, and right now our regional market is soaring. While the national median price for a home is just over $200,000, the median price paid for a home in the nine-county Bay Area last month was just about $600,000.



'When we say “affordable housing” we're actually using a precisely defined concept. "Affordable", in this context, means housing that costs no more than 30 percent of a household’s income.

SF Public Press

San Francisco's housing crisis has been making headlines for a while now. It’s hard to avoid the numerous news reports on skyrocketing rent prices, controversial evictions, or horror stories of terrible housing situations. But, there’s been far less coverage of what actual solutions there might be for these issues.

Under CC license from Flickr user Chris D 2006

Linda Richardson is sitting in her car just outside a huge, fenced off, construction zone. This is where Lennar Urban is slowly building a new development at the site of the abandoned Navy shipyard. 12,000 homes by 2021. Richardson, a long time resident and community activist, wants to show me who will be most affected by the redevelopment.



Ben Trefny

The sharing economy in San Francisco is humming. Companies like Airbnb have figured out how to make a lot of money by using existing housing stock to meet consumer demand, which in Airbnb’s case is coming from tourists. Fast Company magazine declared AirBnB will soon become “the world’s largest hotel chain – without owning a single hotel.”

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.


San Francisco’s latest survey of its homeless children and adults found that 29% of them were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, while only about 15% of the city’s overall population is LGBT. So Monday, the city holds its first-ever LGBTQ Connect, a targeted version of its Project Homeless Connect events that help low-income people find housing and a wide range of services. Tonight on Out in the Bay, Eric Jansen’s guests are Project Homeless Connect program director Emily Cohen and AIDS Housing Alliance SF director Brian Basinger, instrumental in creating LGBTQ Connect. Tune in 7pm Thursday to learn about the services to be offered Monday at LGBTQ Connect and for a discussion about what "homeless" means in today's economy, why LGBT people have a hard time in homeless shelters and a hard time getting services, how evictions are disproportionately affecting LGBT people, and how San Francisco and other cities are addressing these challenges.