3 Reasonable Questions About EBALDC’s Segregated Housing Proposal

servants quarters ebaldc urbancore

In case you missed it,

all the public pressure to ‪#‎SaveE12th‬ from a luxury condo tower appears to have pushed our opponents to a new low.


Thanks to our organizing for ‪#‎PublicLandforPublicGood‬ (which now includes our own community-sourced proposal for 100% affordable housing), the luxury tower team has been forced to include affordable units in their proposal for the land, as well.

And this is how they decided to do it.

Urban Core servants quarters copy

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. Still a luxury tower… plus a small box of affordable units kneeling humbly down below.

It’s New York’s infamous “poor door” — now banned, and rightly so — times a thousand.

In light of this development, I have a few questions.

1. What the Fuck?

I CANNOT MAKE THIS UP. THIS IS A REAL PROPOSAL for the piece of public land at E12th. Look in the SF biz journal if you don’t believe me. There, Joshua Simon, Executive Director of East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), explains:

The affordable and market-rate apartments are in separate buildings for financing reasons, but [EBALDC executive director] Simon said that the design would seek to integrate the affordable and market-rate portions through common spaces.


2. Are You Fucking Serious?

What they call “workforce housing,” I would call “servants’ quarters.”

Urban Core servants quarters


Because it is literally a small box of affordable units tacked on to the luxury tower they are still proposing to build.

And given the trends of gentrification in the Bay Area, this “workforce housing” would likely house people in the service industries — washing dishes, tending bar, nannying kids, fixing Priuses, vacuuming offices, and dry-cleaning clothes, quite possibly for the luxury tower residents who happen to live right next door in $3,200/month 1-bedroom units.


3. What On Earth Are You Thinking?

To justify this segregated housing monstrosity (oh, my bad — “mixed-income proposal”), the luxury tower team UrbanCore + EBALDC just unveiled a laughably astroturf web site (complete with colorful paper cutouts of people instead of actual human supporters) championing the “workforce housing project” (a.k.a. servants’ quarters).

ebaldc web site sign

ebaldc web site colorful cutouts

See their whole web site here.

Funnily enough, there is NO MENTION OF THE LUXURY TOWER THAT WOULD WAVE ITS TOWERLY DICK IN THE FACES OF LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS EVERY DAY. In addition to pushing rents sky-high for the whole neighborhood.

Like, really EBALDC? Really?

I would expect this kind of deceit from UrbanCore, who has bribed workers and misled non-English-speaking seniors in efforts to drum up support for their development. And I’m not shocked that BRIDGE, another affordable housing developer, is proposing a tower even though the community clearly and expressly DOES NOT WANT ONE.

But the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC)? really?

It might be time to rethink your whole entire moral compass. Cuz this is disgusting.

Pull out. Walk away. Work on other projects that you’re good at. Support the People’s Proposal that has been determined by an engaged and transparent community process.

You want good projects on your record, not segregation for fuck’s sake.


Help EBALDC do the right thing:

Sign this much more nicely worded petition

asking them to pull out

and Share this article on social media

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