SF Stories: Laura Fraser - Page 2

To keep San Francisco weird

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GUARDIAN ILLUSTRATION BY LISA CONGDON

Recently, a talented young novelist visited my flat and was amazed at how spacious it is. He's struggling to keep on living in San Francisco, and I don't know how he and his wife manage writing and running an international creative nonprofit while paying our city's rents, especially with a child. I do know that unless San Francisco makes room for people like him, as it made room for me, with rent control, we will lose the distinctive character of our city—or what remains of it. Rent control made it possible for me to be a writer, but 25 years later, it's a lot harder for him.

Rent control is essential to keeping San Francisco's creative character. But it isn't sufficient if the city wants to help young people who are trying to embark on creative careers outside of the tech sector in San Francisco today. We need affordable housing; we need rent controls to extend to vacant apartments; mainly, we need to want to keep San Francisco weird.

Laura Fraser is the author of the New York Times bestseller An Italian Affair, among other books.

Comments

If you want to support the arts, why are you not giving your large apt. to the struggling family of the novelist so he can live here too and move yourself into a smaller apt or something a little more up to date now that you are making a living (NY Times best seller)?? Rent control is not the answer, it is the problem. People like you think you are doing something good for the city, while you covet space that is more than you truly need. If there was no rent control, the rents would stabilize via supply and demand and maybe landlords could maintain the buildings better and not jack up the rents so high, making it impossible for people who aren't rich or "been here since '84" to actually make a life here.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 20, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

I love how the techies comment on every media story like this one, telling artists who managed to brave living in neighborhoods that only they would have the guts to live in, in the 80s and 90s that now they're hoarding that space in these neighborhoods that are filled with tourists and techies complaining that they can't get in.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2012 @ 11:23 am

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