You fail to address the underlying cause of homelessness in San Francisco: the many obstacles that San Francisco places on the construction of housing of all kinds. This elevates the value of current housing, a huge boon to property owners, but imposes higher rent upon renters. The obstacles to new construction prevent the market from functioning properly and lead to a transfer of wealth from renters to property owners. Rents in San Francisco are among the highest in the nation. By contrast, Texas has almost no restrictions on construction, so rents in its big city downtowns are roughly half those in San Francisco. I’m certainly not advocating that San Francisco open itself up to property developers to run wild; Houston is probably the ugliest city in the country. But San Francisco would do well to permit more apartment construction; this will lower the price of all rents and open up the bottom of the market to more currently homeless people.

Building housing for the homeless is a band-aid solution.

Master of Science, Physics, 1975. Computer Game Designer. Interactive Storytelling. www.erasmatazz.com

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