San Francisco’s Affordability Crisis Has Hit the Big Time

5 01 2016

48 Hills CASA playWe had to share this This American Life piece, featuring writer Jon Mooallem on the timely musical recently performed by his daughter’s afterschool program, CASA, about San Francisco’s eviction and affordability crisis.  Yes, that’s right.  A children’s afterschool program did an original musical about the housing crisis.  Add that to the list of “only in San Francisco.”

But beyond the amazing clips of small children trying to hit impossible notes and fantastically thinly veiled references like “Ron Scraper,” this piece and this musical are important because they get to the heart of the housing crisis better than some of our current policy wonks and city leaders.

Though it’s tempting, and important, to acknowledge the role that the influx of tech workers has had on the housing market, the real enemy identified in the play?  Greed and speculation.  If we work from the perspective of needing to regulate that first and foremost, like we attempted with Prop G in 2014 and Prop F this past November, we could slow the displacement and gentrification that are rapidly destroying our communities and are undermining the gains we make building new affordable housing.

Building more affordable housing is only one part of the solution to the housing crisis.  Fighting greed and speculation, like the kids of CASA advocate, is the other.


Photo credit: 48 Hills.