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Public Press Weekly: Livin’ in the City, by the Numbers

San Francisco Public Press
 — Jan 22 2018 - 4:05pm

Many city dwellers have a lot to complain about these days: sky-high rents and home prices, housing for the few, sketchy roommates, skimpy parking, hellish traffic, clutter, litter — you name it. And then there’s homelessness. The numbers of San Franciscans living on the streets are increasing, right?

Well, actually, no. 

The numbers are relatively unchanged, but what’s happening is there are more tents and the unhoused population is more visible. Thanks to redevelopment, there are fewer alleys, parking lots and cheap rooms that are far from foot traffic where people can stake out a place to live.  (KALW/Crosscurrents).

The rental scene, however, is still a landscape of diminished expectations and high costs. Renters of all ages are shelling out big bucks for tiny places and many roommates. (The Mercury News). But hey, living in someone’s backyard is an option: granny flats or in-law units, converted basements or garages are all in the mix. (The Mercury News).

The housing crisis has many culprits and Airbnb has been blamed for helping exacerbate it. But the company has had its wings clipped, thanks to a city law that forces Airbnb to purge thousands of illegal short-term rental listings from its website (only short-term rentals registered with the city pass muster). (San Francisco Examiner). The listings have plummeted by half. (San Francisco Chronicle).

But there are still optimists who have ideas on improving city life, like, for example, hatching a plan to halt auto break-ins. (Mission Local). Or, if it’s all just too much, city folks can always line up to buy legal weed and then take a toke or two or three … (BuzzFeed News)

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