An undercurrent of class angst has been bubbling through the city for the last year, as Google and Facebook buses continue to roll through San Francisco neighborhoods and as storefronts give way to sleek coffee shops and bean-to-bar chocolatiers. The concern is how much the influx of tech workers and wealth are changing the fabric of the city — for better and for worse.
Today at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, Mayor Ed Lee gave some numbers that quantify the impact of the industry’s growth on the city.
He said that there are 1,892 tech companies within San Francisco, up 3.6 percent from a year ago, and that the city has added about 45,493 tech jobs.
For a city of a little more than 800,000 people, this is a lot to stomach. San Francisco rents rose the most out of any other U.S. urban area in the second quarter of this year, growing by an average of 7.8 percent, according to MPF research.
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington pressed Lee on what he was doing to manage the change for middle- and lower-income San Francisco residents.
Lee said that the city has done what it can to plan around the industry’s growth by setting aside a $1.2 billion housing trust fund to support more affordable housing units.
“Our job is to accommodate 100% of everybody who wants to be here,” he said. “We are trying to protect as many of the rent-controlled housing as we can.”
They’ve also been trying to address the transportation issue by adding a bike-sharing program.