Housing frist: If you Build it thay will comeisn`t Just a Slogan
HOUSING FIRST: IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME ISN'T JUST A SLOGAN
PNNscholar1 - Posted on 08 August 2010
By Bruce Allison and Thornton Kimes
San Francisco has a “Housing First” policy. The (very extended) Patel family, which owns the vast majority of SRO hotel (Single Room Occupancy: a.k.a. Poor People Housing) properties in the city, is spitting in our faces by leaving SRO’s vacant for years. There is one in the Mission (22nd and Mission, above the Ritmo music store, with 40 units), and one in SOMA—the already earthquake code-improved 100-200 unit four-story Chronicle Hotel (across the street from the newspaper!) and the retail space under it.
Housing in the city translates into money spent in the city, including jobs for people staffing SRO hotels; of course, getting the empty Patel spaces clean and useable as living spaces would also generate those oh-so-wonderful short-term (a.k.a. temporary) jobs the “job creators” love to talk about (contractor stuff, construction…) too.
The SRO in the Mission only needs $500,000 (current costs) to be returned to service. The electrical wiring is up to code. Sinks and bathrooms would need to be installed. The SOMA space, abandoned for 20 years, used to have a blood plasma donation center on the ground floor. Bruce and Thornton remember it well. A lot more money would need to be sunk into it to make it liveable.
City services, funded by local, state, and federal taxes, would not be strained by an effort made to maximize housing for poor people, the tax base would be improved by it. This modest proposal would take approximately 200 people off the streets. More would be better.