For the past couple of years, the San Francisco real estate market has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons. Analysts point to a low supply of available housing and an increase in tech jobs as two of the biggest causes of the city’s real estate woes. Two groups who are hurt the most by the rising cost of rent are millennials and the elderly. Keep reading to learn more about how these two groups fare in the current housing situation.
Millennials Want to Move
A recent poll revealed that millennials increasingly feel like continuing to live in San Francisco isn’t sustainable. In fact, the Bay Area Council’s survey found that “46 percent of millennials saying they are looking to leave” (Truong). Cost of living was another factor that millennials cited as a reason for wanting to leave the city. In a previous blog post, I discussed how more millennials are thinking about purchasing homes and starting families—something that’s difficult to achieve in San Francisco due to the price.
If leaders want to keep millennials from fleeing the city, they have to take the housing crisis seriously. This means introducing legislation that will help rectify the current situation. Explosive job growth in the region won’t last forever. If the majority of millennials leave and don’t return, it doesn’t bode well for the future of San Francisco.
The Elderly are Forced to Move
The elderly are one of San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations. Unlike millennials, elderly residents aren’t clamoring to leave. Instead, they are being pushed out of their homes due to rising housing costs. Some elderly residents fall victim to predatory loans that they have difficulty paying. As a result, they must give up their homes and move on. Other elderly residents are pushed out of their apartments when the owners decide to convert them to condominiums.
Eviction, no matter what the circumstances are, is difficult for elderly residents to deal with. There are many stories of older residents dying or falling ill soon after being evicted due to the stress of the situation. One of the most recent examples is that of Iris Canada who suffered a stroke and died after her eviction. Again, city leaders have a responsibility to address the housing crisis in order to protect elderly residents.
Relief In Sight?
In September of 2016, Governor Jerry Brown approved a law that will allow property owners to build rental properties on their land. Also, housing advocates have teamed up with banks in order to create loans for these projects or “granny flats.” Take a look at this article to learn more about the law.