Seventh 100 percent affordable apartment building breaks ground in Mission District

By Julian Mark : missionlocal – excerpt

Efforts to save Cell Space by area artists turned into a hugely successful Artists Task Force sponsored by District 6 and 9 Supervisors. The task force successfully created a number of legislative proposals, passed ballot initiatives and kept the media and the public aware of the damaging effects of gentrification on San Francisco’s artistic community. The supporters of the task force for artists joined the Mission community in oppostion to the Beast on Bryant, the Monster in the Mission, and a number of other bad ideas. We look forward to seeing the return of a cultural mecca such as Cell Space to the Mission Neighborhood.

Construction has kicked off on a nine-story, 130-unit apartment building at 18th and Florida streets in the Mission — and, once complete, apartments there will be entirely below-market-rate. 

Mayor London Breed’s Friday announcement of the groundbreaking at 681 Florida St. means that seven of the eight 100 percent affordable projects proposed in the Mission years ago — totaling some 800 units — are either filled, taking applications, or under construction…

Roberto Hernandez, a community activist and artistic director of Carnaval San Francisco, said the Mission community fought Podell hard for the slice of land after Cell Space, an artist hub, was evicted there to make way for luxury development… (more)

It is a bittersweet moment for those who remember the once famous artist co-op known as Cell Space, the stagehands workspace and a number of other former creative endeavors that have died or left the city and/or the state. We look forward to the return of some creative spirits to join the ghosts from the past. Very nice timing for Halloween. Maybe we will experience the Burn parties once again where they did not create a disturbance. Hopefully the windows will open to fresh air and the nine-story building will not put a shadow on the solar panels of the roof next door.

San Francisco Among Cities With Most Rats

By Bea Karnes : patch – excerpt

Only 4 American metro areas had more rodent calls than San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The San Francisco metro area is one of the 50 “rattiest” in America. It was listed in Orkin’s most recent yearly report on the number of new rodent treatments in various urban areas across the nation.

The visibility of rodents went up during the coronavirus pandemic as the closure of restaurants sent rodents to new areas to look for food, the Atlanta-based pest control company stated in its release of the rankings last week...(more)

One more thing San Francisco excels at.

City’s homeless tent count drops sharply from mid-pandemic high

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

Tent Tally in District 5 Drops Below Pre-pandemic levels. Hundreds still counted in Districts 6, 10

Count of homeless people residing in vehicles nearly doubles in one year

The city’s quarterly count of tents on the streets of San Francisco earlier this month revealed a sharp drop from levels recorded at the height of the pandemic. 

The count, undertaken throughout the city on Oct. 7 and 8, tallied 703 tents and 28 sites with six or more tents. That’s down from 1,108 tents counted in April 2020, along with 66 sites with six tents or more. In July 2020, 1,003 tents were recorded, as well as 59 large encampments…(more)

Interesting article. I have noticed less tents and surmised that many people may have transitioned into vehicles since we hear about a lot of vehicle dwellers. Makes sense. People may be donating more vehicles and less tents. There also may be more people driving into the city to get away from the threat of fires during the fire season. They may return to their homes when the fires are out. Very strange times we are living in. Whatever the census reveals this time may be completely inaccurate by the end of the year.

State billionaires saw vast windfall since COVID

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

While millions suffer, 161 rich people take in $312 billion — and nobody in Sacramento seems to care.

Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the billionaires in California have seen their wealth soar – by more than 45 percent – as millions of residents are in desperate poverty and the state faces a massive budget deficit, a new study shows.

The study, which ought to be the center of all political discussion in the state this fall, shows that the wealth of the richest 161 Californians increased by seven times the size of the state budget shortfall for 2020 and 2021…(more)

Behavioral health oversight body looks for new start — and staff — after mismanagement

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Members of an oversight body for San Francisco’s behavioral health programs said Monday that their work has suffered due to an unusual structure that relies on staffing from a city-contracted nonprofit.

But now that structure is expected to change.

The Board of Supervisors Rules Committee approved legislation Monday that was introduced by Supervisor Catherine Stefani to have the Department of Public Health provide the administrative staff for the commission...(more)

Supportive housing tenants could get more help paying the rent

By Ida Mojadad : sfexaminer – excerpt

Supportive housing tenants struggling to pay rent could soon see their payments lowered under proposed legislation to standardize subsidies, the Examiner has learned.

Supervisor Matt Haney will introduce legislation Tuesday to set the rent at no more than 30 percent of income for roughly 2,800 supportive housing units.

After a delay in implementing a one-time budget allocation to subsidize those paying more than 30 percent, 678 such units had their rents lowered in August for a limited time, the Examiner previously reported (more)

Thanks for this effort. We need more of this kind of legislation and less restrictions on law-abiding citizens.

The big GOP and real-estate money moves into District One

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Fake tenants group and big outside cash is now trying to promote Philhour over Chan in a race that could determine the balance of power on the board.

The big outside money (including Republican money) is now pouring into District One, with at least three new political-money groups backing Marjan Philhour.

Philhour in a recent tweet said that she is “the only candidate in the race to denounce all independent expenditures and super PACs…(more)

Following the Money in SF District Elections: The same outfit is running in Districts 5, 7, and 11 as is obvious by the list of candidates the Mayor and the groups support. They appear to have given up on District 3 and 9 to focus attention on the other three.

This election is a referendum on how the city has been managed and who the voters blame for the problems. Housing density is also on the ballot. As the city is losing population and rents sink, there is a need to change the priorities. City Hall can’t lead us out of a mess unless the voters are willing to follow. I watched at least one debate between the District 1 candidates and most of them appear to agree with each other on most points. Ms. Chan was the only one that stood out in her concern over the budget. Given the lost revenue the city anticipates it is good to hear that someone is willing to take that on. It is good to hear some concern over that issue.

State and Bay Area leaders line up to oppose new regional telecommuting mandate

By Laura Waxman : bizjournals – excerpt

A controversial proposal that would require local companies to implement permanent remote-work policies for much of their workforces has been formally opposed by more than a dozen prominent California leaders and legislators, including the mayors of San Francisco and San Jose.

The mandate is part of the draft 2050 Plan Bay Area Blueprint, a long-range plan for the Bay Area that integrates several dozen transportation, housing, economic and environmental strategies to advance equity and climate goals for the region.

The mandate, included in draft language approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission last month, would require large companies with 25 employees or more to have at least 60% of their workforce telecommute on a typical workday. The measure, which would require state approval, would not take effect until 2035…

On Wednesday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo issued a joint statement voicing their opposition to the proposal…(more)

Because the bottom line is the money. The only time the politicians care about the environment is when they are selling us a new train or bike path. Actually taking people off the roads will force the Mayors to come up with some new scheme for making money. Perhaps they should get out of the way and give the public and the busines owners a free hand at figuring out how the new economy can change and what the new normal will lbe.

They are the ones to let go of the past this time and except the change that is inevitble. We have been told to embrace the changes they wante to push on us and now it is payback time. City Hall gets to deal with the changes that will probalby cut into their budget and may cost a few high paid jobs.

Editorial: End money bail, vote yes on California’s Proposition 25

Editorial Board : sfchronicle – excerpt

One of the clear injustices of California’s court system is that suspects — not convicted but accused — are stuck in jail awaiting trial because they could not afford bail.

This upends the very American ideal of innocent until proved guilty. A person accused of a crime who can’t make bail may well lose his or her job and means of supporting a family, along with future job prospects, no matter how the trial ends.

“It’s unsafe, it’s unfair and it’s unjust,” said Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, one of the legislative proponents of Senate Bill 10 to replace money bail with a system that would determine a suspect’s release on an assessment of risk of flight and threat to the community. Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, has called the legislation “ground zero in the fight over criminal justice reform.”…

Vote yes on Prop. 25…(more)

We have no opinion on this one. It appears to be too controversial to


Prop. 19 would raise property taxes for some, cut them for others. Here are the details

By Kathleen Pender : sfchronicle – excerpt

Proposition 19 would expand one property tax break and rein in another, with the net result being an increase in taxes that would go to public schools, state and local governments and firefighting agencies in California.

How much additional revenue the Nov. 3 ballot measure would generate, and how it would be split, is highly uncertain. The answer depends on how homeowners respond to the new tax regime, and a mind-boggling formula for divvying up the spoils…

A child who gets an eligible property from a parent, or vice versa, can keep the property’s low tax base whether they live in it, rent it out or leave it vacant. These rules also apply to transfers between grandchildren and grandparents if the grandchildren’s parents are not alive. These are called Prop. 58 and 193 transfers…

Prop. 19 would abolish this tax break on parent-child transfers of any property that was not used as a principal residence or farm. Any such properties transferred on or after Feb. 16 would be reassessed at market value. (Prop. 19 would not trigger reassessment of such properties transferred before that date.)…(more)

Who wins and who loses? It sort of depends on how many people sell their homes.

Winners: Although realtors have been convinced they will benefit, there is no guarantee that any more homes would be sold due to passage of Prop 19. The bill adds some tax reductions for victims of fires and people who move out of the county they reside in and allows for transfer to more expensive replacement properties, but what is the likelihood that people this will motivate more sales? Will there be a one-time surge in home sales to beat the deadline?

Losers: Homeowners and their children are the losers, as Prop 19 would curtail the tax breaks on parent-child transfers. Many homeowners have followed the advice of financial experts and set up their lives to meet the current law. They took care of their own retirement needs and built personal security by investing in their homes instead of their children’s education. Many took out reverse mortgages, anticipating their children will settle the debt with the transfer of ownership of the property. People were advised to let their children take out student loans that they could presumably pay off when they took possession of their parent’s properties. Proposition 19 puts those plans in jeopardy. Who will pay the debts on the reverse mortgages and the student loans according to the new plan?