A new survey confirms what many in San Francisco already know: market forces are pushing artists out of the city.
Beginning in July, the San Francisco Arts Commission heard from nearly 600 artists that either live or recently lived in the city. The survey found that over 70 percent of the respondents had been or were being displaced from their workplace, home, or both. As for the 30 percent that weren't being displaced, potential displacement in the near future was a common concern.
"I would've reported this survey as being alarming," John Elberling, director of the Tenants and Owners Development Corporation (TODCO), said. "It's going to be a wipeout."
The survey also found that the most common reasons for artists losing their leases on workspaces and homes were business-related: building conversion, rent increases, new owners and/or owners moving into the space.
The average size of workplaces utilized by the artists polled was 500 sq. ft. And though the average monthly cost of rent was reported at $1.75 per sq. ft., some artists were being charged as much as $17.33 per sq. ft.