Families that choose to live in San Francisco add to the character, vibrancy, and diversity of the City and help make San Francisco, in our opinion, one of the best cities in the world in which to live. Unfortunately, there are many factors that make it increasingly difficult for families to build their lives here. One of the biggest contributors to families leaving San Francisco and other urban centers is the lack of housing that meets the needs of families at a variety of income levels.
Safe and sound housing can mean many things to different people. We believe that parents and kids are the safest and most comfortable when their homes have the following features/amenities:
According to the California Earthquake Authority, there is a 76% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake or higher occurring in or near San Francisco within the next 30 years. Many homes are not bolted to their foundations, putting families at risk of harm and of losing their homes.
Free from Harmful Chemicals
80% of San Francisco homes were built prior to 1980. Lead-based paint and asbestos were regularly used in home construction up through the late 1970s, meaning that the vast majority of City homes may still contain these harmful chemicals.
Room to Grow
Younger families with small children are usually comfortable in standard city-sized housing. But as kids grow, the lack of space can take a toll. Families generally look for homes with 3 or 4 bedrooms and at least 2 bathrooms. (If you’ve ever shared a bathroom with a teenager, you’ll understand why.)
Space for Gathering
Whether it’s a central living room, family room or dining room, a welcoming kitchen island, or an outdoor garden or patio, families need space to gather and share the events of their day. Homes with these amenities are facilitate interaction which strengthens family bonds.
Thankfully, there are organizations focusing on upgrading out-of-date homes for our urban families. Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco is a great example. They build family-sized homes for “missing middle” families (those earning between 40-80 percent of area median income) and also work with existing home owners on safety updates and upgrades. Their projects are supported by donations and volunteer labor from other citizens who are also committed to improving the lives of our neighbors.
Join us in supporting the work of Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco by donating your time or making a financial contribution on their website today.