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.

Liz Pfeffer

California has the largest concentration of homeless veterans in the nation, and in San Francisco, it’s likely that more than 700 homeless vets will sleep on the street or in shelters this Veterans Day. 

According to Bevan Dufty, director of San Francisco’s Housing, Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE) program, housing homeless veterans is a high priority for the city. And the number of homeless veterans has decreased since last year, thanks in part to the opening of a permanent supportive housing facility called Veterans Commons.


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. 

Growing up on International Boulevard

Jun 5, 2013

Chicken salad and tostadas are the first things you smell stepping into the Lopez family apartment. Several people are sitting around a coffee table sharing a meal. Each of the tiny studio apartments houses one family. With 24 families in the building, the space is at full capacity. In the Lopez apartment, food is in the kitchen, on a makeshift table on wheels.

The Lopez family has lived in this studio apartment for thirteen years. The family moved here from Mexico. Edgar Lopez and his two brothers grew up in this apartment. 

Mary Rees

Last fall, I went  to Fifth and King Streets in  San Francisco, just under the on-ramp to I-280. A group of tents inhabited the space then. The ground around the tents was swept, and bicycles stood in neat lines. Residents, such as Jessica Prater, knew one another and felt safe there.

Artist's Rendering of Smartspace Unit Courtesy of Panoramic Interests

We already know San Francisco’s housing market is tight and competition is fierce. A new city regulation hopes to make some more room in the housing market. Soon, current and aspiring San Franciscans will be able to live in “micro-apartments,” just 220 square feet each. City Supervisor Scott Wiener wrote the legislation making these hutches habitable. He talked about them with Crosscurrents Executive Editor, Ben Trefny.

Photo by Mariel Waloff

Many San Francisco veterans remain homeless or in transitional housing. Rudy Nevarez, a 66 year-old Vietnam veteran, has been living in transitional housing on Treasure Island for two years. The program, run by Swords to Plowshares, is intended to last two years. After that participants need to find their own housing. Nevarez applied for a HUD-VASH voucher several months ago but was turned down. Swords to Plowshares is letting him stay in the program for an extra 90 days, but then he needs to find another place to live.


On the next Your Call, we’ll talk about the end of California’s redevelopment agencies.  Governor Brown’s decision to dissolve redevelopment to redirect funds to the state’s budget will go into effect February 1st.  What has redevelopment accomplished in California?  And what, if anything, will take its place? Join us at 10 or email feedback@yourcallradio.org.  How has your local redevelopment agency changed your city?  It’s Your Call with Rose Aguilar, and you.