Mission Action Plan in San Francisco Seeks to Curb Displacement of Residents and Businesses

San Francisco Mission Latino Cultural District Mission Action Plan 2020 UC Berkeley Urban Displacement Project Dolores Street Community Services

San Francisco Mission Latino Cultural District Mission Action Plan 2020 UC Berkeley Urban Displacement Project Dolores Street Community Services

By Jacob Bourne

On March 2 the San Francisco Planning Commission voted unanimously to endorse the draft Mission Action Plan 2020, which first emerged in the planning process nearly two years ago. The Plan is a collaboration between several City departments and community organizations to put in place a legislative framework to address the “stage of late gentrification” or high displacement of low to moderate income residents, community-serving businesses, artists and nonprofits from the Mission neighborhood. The initiative acknowledges the unique cultural fabric of the Mission built by various immigrant communities throughout San Francisco’s history, and the pressures created by the unanticipated amount of economic growth that has occurred in the city following the 2010 recovery from the Great Recession.

The affordability crisis that has gripped much of the Bay Area has been especially pronounced in the Mission. According to data compiled for the Plan from sources such as the UC Berkeley Urban Displacement Project and San Francisco Budget and Legislative Analyst, 72-percent of families in the Mission are renters, and 42 percent spend more than 30 percent of household income on rent. Between 2009 and 2014, Ellis Act evictions in the Mission increased by 1,500 percent, peaking in 2013 when 78 notices were filed for neighborhood rentals. The Plan states that the Mission continues to have the highest eviction rate in the city as well as a large amount of tenant buy-outs.

[contextly_sidebar id=”GYWcIowZAvNS9LOiTbRW1HIz95m6Ka2z”]“We are encouraged by the City’s effort to work with the community on the crisis of displacement and gentrification in San Francisco,” said Diana Martinez, representative of Dolores Street Community Services. “We will stay engaged to ensure implementation is informed by and includes community input.”

Working in conjunction with other City programs to bolster tenant protections, create and preserve affordable housing, and support small businesses in the Mission’s Latino Cultural District, the Plan strives to serve as a cohesive portfolio of strategies that can be implemented to improve overall affordability. One of the strategies is to pursue changes to the zoning code, such as increasing height and density limits to accommodate the creation of more designated affordable housing units. The Plan also identified the Production, Distribution and Repair business sector in the neighborhood as being vital to the security of working class employment.

“One of the primary objectives of MAP 2020 is to help retain and promote Production, Distribution and Repair uses in the Mission,” explained John Francis, community planner. “PDR uses and businesses in the Mission and throughout the city help to maintain the economic vitality and diversity of San Francisco, while also providing needed goods and services to the community.”

The amendments related to MAP 2020 focus on reducing competition between PDR and non-PDR uses for space in the neighborhood and aim to enhance opportunities to develop new PDR spaces in both mixed-use and PDR zoning districts. One of the PDR areas targeted for preservation efforts is the auto repair corridor along South Van Ness Avenue. Planners emphasized that the goal of the plan is not to freeze the neighborhood in time or exclude certain groups of people or uses, but to empower residents and business owners so that they have the choice about whether they stay in the community.

“We hope to go to the Board of Supervisors for endorsement of the Plan,” said Claudia Flores, lead planner. “We have an implementation team that includes city and community representatives who will monitor and evaluate the progress on the targets that we set in the Plan as well as the strategies. We will continue our community and city dialogues through quarterly meetings with key stakeholders.”

Legislation related to MAP 2020 will be introduced and decided upon this summer. A progress report for the Plan will be issued in July followed by another report in 2018.

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