Thursday, March 20, 2014

How San Francisco Betrayed Us

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/yes-san-francisco-made-gold

The sidewalks are still free — until a cop cites you with "Sit/Lie".

By Andrew Lam March 14, 2014

I recently said goodbye to another friend who left San Francisco for greener pastures. Joanne and I have been friends for many years and it was sad to see her go. But like many of my friends who love the city, the bay with its beautiful hills and blue sky, she felt it had somehow betrayed her.

Once home to bohemians, artists and poets, San Francisco has become a city for the mega-rich and up-and-coming high-tech workers. The tension between the haves and have-nots, in fact, is rising fast where those with extraordinary wealth are buying up real estate in droves and leaving those in the middle class floundering.

“I’d love to stay if I can afford something,” Joanne said. “But if you want to raise a family, you have to go elsewhere.”

Besides, where can she find a house with a backyard garden in San Francisco on her middle class income?

According to a new study by the real estate website, Trulia, San Francisco ranks second in the nation among cities with the highest income gap. And, my hometown also tops the list of cities with the most expensive price for homes per square feet. Business Insider reports that a million dollars will buy about a 1,500-sq-foot home in San Francisco. That amount in Boston, which ranked second, would fetch a 2,092-sq-foot home.

This has become a common complaint. San Francisco — indeed, the whole Bay Area — is now facing an enormous dilemma: the economy is booming once again after a long recession, but there's no affordable space left.

A small, 700-sq-foot, one-bedroom apartment in downtown with a view is now renting for nearly $4000. People are renting out their walk-in closets for over $1,000 a month. San Francisco, in fact, has become the city with the highest rent in the United States this year.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/economy/yes-san-francisco-made-gold

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