In order to take an accurate count of the housing stock on Stockton St between Columbus and Sacramento, we decided to try to count the housing stock in person, on the field. We split into two groups, and each group counted the housing of either the western or the eastern blocks. Our main approach was to count mailboxes of each residential unit.
For some residential units, we had to enter into the building to count mailboxes, or we had to enter into the floors and count the number of SRO units on that floor and multiply it by the number of residential floors in that building. In other cases, brief interviews were conducted with managers and landlords with very little patience who demanded documentation from us after we explained to them our study and our connection the the Chinatown Urban Institute. Regarding those buildings (about 11 buildings) for which we were unable to do any of these methods, we have added to ours list 1 unit of housing, and so our numbers, as estimates, are probably lower than what the actual housing stock is.
Total # of housing units: 963 (majority SROs)
# of housing units on western side: about 521
# of housing units on eastern side: about 442
History & Age
According to the Social Explorer, the houses on the blocks to the right and left of Stockton between Columbus and Sacramento were, on average, built before 1940. Most buildings were built immediately after the San Francisco 1906 earthquake and have undergone little significant remodeling since then.
Stockton is a popular and very busy commercial street. According to a Department of Public Works press release, a study by the SFMTA estimated the corridor sees about 2,000 pedestrians per hour — and that’s on an average day. Therefore, the people on the streets may not be representative of the immediate local residents. Thus, we thought it would be more effective to find information about Stockton St's residents through online research.
Stockton is extremely dense. According to the 2010 Census (see graphic below), the number of people living in the blocks to the right and left of Stockton between Columbus and Sacramento range from 186-600 persons per block.
Comparability to Chinatown as a Whole
The density of Stockton St is reflective of Chinatown's overall density. 20,000 residents live in Chinatown's 30 square blocks. These residents also most likely reflect the characteristics of Chinatown's population as a whole, since the housing stock consists mostly of SROs, which are usually inhabited by long term, low-income, senior residents who rent housing.
In the greater context of Chinatown, the average median annual income of the residents is about $18,000, and more than a third of the population consist of seniors living on fixed incomes. 88% of Chinatown residents are renters. We imagine that this description matches the characteristics of those living on Stockton St between Columbus and Sacramento.