Affordable Housing and the City, and why I am suddenly miserable here

Image by The Paltry Sum

There is a lot of empty housing in San Francisco – there is plenty of vacant stock, but rental prices are holding firm and have risen slightly, despite the exodus from the city.

I understand that the buy to let scam has encouraged hugely inflated prices, and minimum rentals as dictated by mortgage companies at the height of the SF bubble market, but that does not help the fact that rent prices are too high for ordinary San Franciscans to afford to rent a home. I swear there will be nobody left in the city. It is all 5 Million dollar apartments on 2 cent blocks. You can’t walk outside without sidestepping shit and needles or being harrassed by mentally ill stimulant addicts and smackheads with aggro issues. Seriously people, there is no need to intimidate and bully civilians. It has got immensely dangerous out here, and deteriorated over the last six months. People don’t want to admit it – I didn’t even see it to start with – I was like a frog in water that is slowly heated up until you are boiling alive.

There is no use in families being in shelters while apartments sit empty with ridiculous price tags. There are office buildings that no one is ever going to return to, that could be converted. There is no shortage of housing, just capitalist greed and lack of compassion. People don’t have the money to pay $3600 for a two bed on a dangerous block. There is a huge world wide disaster, and people have lost jobs. People here are slaving away in two, three jobs, just to cover the rent, it is a constant hustle just for people to make rent – people are working just to pour money into shelter, and when the city cannot even provide the basics of safety, when you can’t walk outside safely and comfortably, when it becomes so oppressively dangerous that you toss up between staying safer inside and the risks of going out, then the city has failed.

San Francisco is a failing city. I love this city, I adore it, but it has got ridiculously dangerous. My SF born and bred friend won’t even go shopping near Union Square because it is too dangerous – she doesn’t feel safe to do so. We had a long talk about which Target was the safest to try and visit. I ended up deciding it just wasn’t worth it.

This isn’t living. This isn’t even surviving. It is miserable.

So, how long are these landlords going to sit with empty apartments while families can’t afford to rent? How long is the Asian community going to have to worry about walking the streets. The young father who was beaten badly in an anti Asian hate crime, whilst pushing his baby in a stroller has been given the news that Boudin is moving ahead with hate crime charges against the man who hurt him. Big deal. So many of these attackers have been let free. It cannot be dismissed as “city shit” – these are attacks on a particular racial group because some people are racist against them in a deadly way.

If you wonder just how racist people are here towards the large and active East Asian and Pacific community, just have a google at what was said by a board of Education commissioner about Asian parents, students and children….then wonder why my son will not go to school in this city and instead is home schooled. It was not taken nearly seriously enough in my worthless opinion.

This is such a beautiful city, it should undergo a renaissance, a rebirth, a blossoming, instead I would say if you are a tourist wondering if you can walk the wharf safely, just have a look at the news and think if you want to risk it – I live here and really don’t want to.

I need to look at other options, because this is not living, it’s not living at all. Shame on the people who run this city.

The repeated chasings, threats and attacks of the last month, from my son being threatened by a guy saying he was going to ‘beat him with his shoe” and calling out anti Asian slurs towards him, and the rest of this insane shit, has got me down to the point where I am totally miserable. I love the city, but the lack of law and order and safety makes it unbearable.


      1. The Paltry Sum

        It’s good to meet you, Marcilla. It is kicking off so badly on the street tonight. I haven’t always been so middle aged and …nice…but this is out of control. Are you still in NYC? I haven’t been out there since the ’90s – I lived in Chelsea for a while.

      2. courtleymanor

        I saw your post about NYC… I finally got out but alas the criminal element followed me. Long story but I now live in suburbia. It’s still the NY Metro Area.

      3. The Paltry Sum

        I am glad you discovered surburbia and are finding it safer. Following criminal elements does not sound good at all. Stay safe up there. I did consider returning – I can’t cope with small town America at all, but decided that I am a bit too old and exhausted for the City. I thought this was the fluffier option…hah.

      4. courtleymanor

        Well I must say I’m surprised at SF. I’d heard such good things about it. But that was before the pandemic, and also then again I’ve never been there so I’ve never seen things first hand. It’s also quite different anywhere you go when you’re down and out as I know all too well.

      5. The Paltry Sum

        The entire city has gone insane – gun crime is up 181 percent over the last year. The bad guys are popping off every fucking day, and they don’t care if it is daylight. It is carnage out here. Our DA is an idiot who doesn’t prosecute anyone. I am somewhere to the left of Karl Marx, but this is ridiculous. Someone got shot on Russian hill according to citizen. That shit doesn’t happen out there. I am in the ‘Loin, so of course it’s hotter here, but it has gone markedly downhill in the last six months,

      6. courtleymanor

        That takes me back, and not in a good way. I feel like there should be some sort of exodus from cities movement or something. Like, let’s go homesteading, and build a new sustainable community

      7. The Paltry Sum

        The trouble is I need to be in the city in order to get my legal issues fixed. I find the rural areas a real drag with the attitude towards my half Asian son, and my strange accent. The city has more resources and is more accepting…unfortunately it is fucking insane.

      8. The Paltry Sum

        The tech bros have all exited, and the homeless population has increased dramatically, plus the DA is on some kinda mission not to prosecute anyone for anything. People KNOW they aren’t going to jail.

    1. The Paltry Sum

      Please please dont feel guilty! Please! I am so glad you are living a comfortable life. You have suffered so much, I am glad you are comfortable. BIG HUGS from your friend here in SF.

      1. The Paltry Sum

        You are my friend, darling. That is more than I could hope for! You make me feel like I am acceptable company, instead of trash. Thank you. xxx hug xx

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