New survey shows SF residents still concerned about housing, cost of living

San Franciscans like were they live and are generally pleased with their elected leaders, but the cost of living and housing remain paramount in their minds, according to a recent web survey.

The survey, conducted by The San Francisco Survey from Feb. 11 to 17, queried 616 San Francisco voters in English and Chinese on a variety of topics from housing to government and homelessness. The survey was the third by the group in the last six months as a way to look at changing views amongst San Francisco voters.

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Living in San Francisco
Most respondents said San Francisco is a good place to live, but when asked about the future of the City, they were divided; about a third were excited, another third was unhappy or worried and another third was both worried and excited.

Board of Supervisors
Four percent said the board of supervisors is seen as strongly favorable, 40 percent said somewhat favorable and 19 percent not rating them. The remainder said the board of supervisors is seen as unfavorable or strongly so. As for the board of supervisors’ job rating, 1 percent said excellent and 26 percent said good. Conversely, 37 said the board of supervisors was doing a fair job and 17 said poor. Twenty percent didn’t know.

Mayor Ed Lee
Fifty-five percent of respondents said Mayor Ed Lee is seen as strongly favorable to somewhat favorable, which is an improvement from the same questions in late 2013. Still, 34 percent said Lee is seen as somewhat to strongly unfavorable compared to 29 percent in 2013. Lee’s job ratings were more equally divided. About half of the respondents said that Lee’s doing an excellent to good job; the other half said fair or poor. That was only slightly changed from 2013 when slightly more respondents said Lee was doing a good job.

Problems
While cost of living remained the biggest issue in San Francisco, housing increased in importance from 33 percent of respondents saying it was the top issue in Sep. 2013 to 45 percent in February. Near the bottom of the list came worries about the economy and jobs, shrinking to only 9 percent of respondents who said it was a top issue.

Housing
When asked about issues around housing, 46 percent of respondents said building more housing for middle income families is very important: 32 percent said it was merely important. Forty-five percent said protecting existing rent controlled housing was very important and 23 percent said it was important.

Solutions
When asked about what kind of things should be done to alleviate the housing crisis, 28 percent said using publically owned sites to build housing was very important and 31 said it was important. Twenty-seven percent said revitalizing and rebuilding public housing was very important and 31 percent said it was important. Thirty-two percent said building more housing for everyone was very important and 27 percent said it was merely important; raising height and bulk limits was near the bottom of the list.

Below market rate housing
Most respondents thought affordable housing qualifications are too low. Thirty-two percent, the largest group of respondents, thought households making $25,000 to $49,000 qualified for affordable housing. That same percentage thought households making $50,000 to $70,000 should qualify.

Leaving San Francisco
Thirty-four percent of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed they might move out of The City in the next year.

The San Francisco Survey, a project of the Committee on Jobs, was conducted by Fall Line Analytics and EMC Research.

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