The following video is brought to you courtesy of the ReasonTV YouTube Channel. Click the video below to watch it now.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel: http://youtube.com/reasontv
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Reason.Magazine/
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/reason
Subscribe to our podcast at Apple Podcasts: https://goo.gl/az3a7a
Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines.
For full text, links, credits, and downloadable versions: https://reason.com/reasontv/2018/12/27/san-francisco-mission-housing-crisis
Bob Tillman has spent nearly five years and $1.4 million on a legal battle to turn his coin-operated laundromat into an apartment building. His saga perfectly encapsulates the political dysfunction that’s turning San Francisco—once a beacon for immigrants and home of the counterculture—into an exclusive playground for the ultra-wealthy.
The median cost of a single-family home in San Francisco is already five times the U.S. average, and the city now has the highest rent per square foot of any municipality in the nation. The explanation for the crisis is simple: As the city’s population has surged, developers have found it nearly impossible to construct more housing. About 80 percent of San Francisco’s existing buildings were already standing in 1980.
Tillman has owned his small laundromat in the Mission District for 20 years. In 2013, with the housing market hitting record highs, he decided to tear it down and build an eight-story, 75-unit apartment building. (Christian Britschgi first covered Tillman’s project for Reason back in February.)
At first, it didn’t seem like a controversial project: Nobody lives above the laundry, the building wouldn’t displace anyone, it qualified for a density bonus and streamlined approval process under state law, and the site was already zoned for housing. While San Francisco passed a comprehensive zoning code in 1978 that restricted the construction of new housing to certain areas, mandated design elements, and limited the height of new structures in some parts of the city to just 40 feet, none of those regulations stood in the way of Tillman’s plans.
“If you can’t build here, you can’t build anywhere,” he told Reason.
Produced, written, and edited by Justin Monticello. Camera by Monticello and Zach Weissmueller. Additional sound by Ian Keyser. Music by Spazz Cardigan, Silent Partner, The 126ers, Topher Mohr and Alex Elena, Gioachino Rossini, StrangeZero, and Riot.
As I Figure – Latinesque by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Back on Track – Latinesque by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)