San Francisco’s Housing Shortage Threatens to Push African Americans Out


San FranciscoFrom NBC Bay Area: 

Tired of paying nearly $4,000 a month for a one-bedroom in San Francisco’s popular South of Market district, two newlyweds last year bought a townhouse in a budding development along the city’s rough-edged southeastern bay-front.

Friends warned Eyitejumade and Jinglin Sogbesan that the historically black Bayview-Hunters Point was a dangerous place. But Eyitejumade Sogbesan, 39, a Nigeria native and former investment banker, ignored them.

A $500,000 two-bedroom with parking seemed a bargain in a city where modest homes fetch $1 million.

As San Francisco rides a massive building boom reminiscent of post-World War II, fueled largely by growth in tech-based jobs, developers are finally wading into a part of the city long plagued by too much poverty and not enough fresh produce markets.

But as modern dwellings crop up, there are fears that the city’s dwindling population of African Americans will not be able to afford the neighborhood that writer James Baldwin once called “the San Francisco America pretends does not exist.”

“I love this place. This is really home,” said Dwight Brown, a jobs activist standing outside his office on Third Street, a rundown commercial strip. “But the writing on the wall was they’re taking it away from us.

“You’re not going to be able to live in San Francisco, unless you stand and fight for it.”

Read more at NBC Bay Area.