Could a Trump Tower alleviate the homeless situation in San Francisco?

I’ve given this idea all of 15 minutes so it’s very flawed but hear me out. The solution to the terrible homeless situation in SF could be a Trump Tower. I’m not talking about a literal Trump Tower, but a high rise (like Trump Tower).

San Francisco has 795 homeless people per 100,000, so that means there are roughly 6,600 homeless in SF (these are based on quick Google searchers- may not be the most recent data). In 2016, SF spent $241 million to house homeless residents.

Why would a “Trump tower” be a solution? A bare-bones Trump tower (in other words, a high-rise mixed use tower that doesn’t have any fancy interiors) will cost about $300-400 million. If 60% of this is allocated to homeless residentials, 20% retail (e.g., coffee shop, stores on the first floor), and 20% to common space (e.g., corridors, stairwells), then that is approximately 1.56 million square feet for residential. If we create 200 square foot studios, that generates 7800 permanent units. Given that most of the problems with shelters are safety, lack of privacy, and lack of ability to store possessions,  this would offer a permanent housing solution, and will quickly pay itself off if residents are charged a very small amount of rent. It could even function as a co-op.

Corporations will never do this, because they could always charge more, but the government could afford to have this kind of rent-controlled high-rise housing because building and maintaining it would still be so much less than what they are spending now for ‘band-aid’ approaches to addressing homeless issues. Thoughts?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s