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San Francisco’s Mission Creek: A Community Of Houseboat Dwellers Dating Back 50 Years

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Mission Creek houseboats (photo by Chris Carlsson courtesy foundsf.org)

Mission Creek houseboats (photo by Chris Carlsson courtesy foundsf.org)

AnnaDuckworth20100909_KCBS_0483r Anna Duckworth
Anna started her broadcasting career at KCBS in 1994, a few mont...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Tucked between AT&T Park and Interstate 280 in San Francisco is a community of houseboat dwellers that goes back more than 50 years. It’s a part of Mission Bay that has remained virtually unchanged despite rapid development in the area.

For more than 15 years there has been constant construction in Mission Bay from the ballpark to dozens of condos to UCSF buildings. In the midst of the boom sits 20 houseboats along the south shore of Mission Creek where there’s a tree-shaded, grassy promenade.

“This community started in about 1960. We’re a little bit interesting and eccentric,” said resident Phillip D’Andrade as he walked along the dock. He’s lived there for 20 years.

For decades the area was undeveloped, but he said that’s all changed.

San Francisco’s Mission Creek: A Community Of Houseboat Dwellers Dating Back 50 Years

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“The amount of people that cross over this property now on their way to Giants games is incredible.” He said the house bout community has been able to maintain its charm. “Where do you live in association with seals that come up to your boat and work their way right onto your docks? You don’t live among the sea life and bird life anywhere else in San Francisco.”

UCSF Mission Bay employee Patricia Long said she takes a daily walk on the promenade during her break.

“It’s a little bit of nature in the midst of this concrete complex,” she said.

D’Andrade said he does feel threatened by the development, but said there’s security through a lease with the Port of San Francisco. Residents will be able to keep their affordable, unique housing until at least 2040.

“It’s a very special place to live. It’s a privilege to live in this special part of San Francisco,” he said.

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