Preston finds support for District 5 navigation center at community meeting

By Ida Mojadad : sfexaminer – excerpt
Supervisor hopes to narrow down list of possible locations within months

District 5 residents at a community meeting on Sunday signaled interest in moving fast to open a neighborhood navigation center.

Supervisor Dean Preston, who represents the area that includes the Western Addition and Haight Ashbury, held the afternoon meeting at Gateway High School to kickstart the process for opening a homeless shelter as promised during his campaign.

While no location has been announced, Preston’s office indicated that they hoped to narrow down a list of dozens of potential sites to five in the next month or two before bringing plans back to community stakeholders…

The City has opened eight navigation centers since 2015, six of which remain in operation. Another three are planned for 33 Gough St. in South of Market, 888 Post St. in the Tenderloin and 1925 Evans Ave. in Bayview.

At the meeting Sunday, Mayor London Breed’s homelessness advisor Emily Cohen said The City is on track to fulfill its goal to open 1,000 new shelter beds by the end of 2020…(more)

Is the Monster in the Mission dead?

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

From a memorable protest at City Hall.

And does that mean that community-based planning and affordable housing could be the future for 16th and Mission?

For years, as community leaders fought for affordable housing instead of luxury condos as 16thand Mission, the developer who owned the site said that was just impossible.

At meeting after meeting, representatives of Maximus Real Estate Partners said neither the city nor any nonprofit could get a chance to build housing at the edge of the BART plaza; the site, they said, “is not for sale.”

“We are putting together different scenarios to see what the community wants and would be happy with,” Sup. Hillary Ronen, who represents the Mission, told me. “When the community has a voice, we will look to see what we can do.”…(more)

There appears to be an exit out of the city for many developers that could bring the cost of these properties down and turn the tide of the gentrification boom. Veritas just announced they are selling off many of their low-income properties that are already built and already housing hundreds of residents.

Voters Will Weigh Tethering Limits on Office Development to Affordable Housing Production

By Laura Wenus : sfpublicpress – excerpt (includes audio track)

San Francisco voters will be asked in March to weigh a proposal to restrict office construction in years when the city does not meet its goals for affordable housing construction, as is often the case.

For example, if the city fell 35% short of its affordable housing goal in a particular year, then it would cause the next year’s pre-existing limit on office construction — established by a city ballot measure in 1986 — to also drop by 35%.

The citywide limit allows unallocated square feet of potential office space to roll over every two years. The city has seldom neared the limit, according to a report from San Francisco’s chief economist, Ted Egan, but it is now edging close to it…(more)

San Francisco Unified School District announces ‘there will need to be some employee layoffs’

By Julian Mark : missionlocal – excerpt

San Francisco schools will likely suffer staff layoffs in the near future, due to major budget shortfalls and depleted reserves. That’s according to an email sent by the district superintendent to San Francisco Unified School District staff Wednesday afternoon and obtained by Mission Local.

“We are facing the reality that there will need to be some employee layoffs this year,” wrote Superintendent Vincent Matthews. “While we hope to identify solutions that limit the loss of our staff, we have to plan now for the worst-case scenario.”…(more)

Maps: California Gov. Newsom to make 286 state properties available for homeless solutions

By Amy Graff : sfgate – excerpt

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in his second State of the State address Wednesday that he’s urgently responding to housing shortfalls and homelessness.

“Today, we are making 286 state properties — vacant lots, fairgrounds, armories and other state buildings — available to be used by local governments, for free, for homelessness solutions,” Newsom said.

The governor didn’t specify the locations of these properties in his speech, but his office released a map of the sites to SFGATE. It includes more than three dozen locations in the Bay Area (see gallery above). The majority of these are Caltrans sites, including one on Indiana Street near 23 Street and the 280 Freeway in San Francisco, a location near Spencer Avenue in Sausalito, and a spot near Peralta and Third streets in West Oakland…

This year, Newsom wants to spend another $750 million combating homelessness and wants to give the money to as yet unnamed regional administrators instead of local governments. The independent Legislative Analysts’ Office has criticized that approach, saying it likely won’t have a meaningful impact.

Newsom counters that the homelessness problem is so bad the state needs to try something different..(more)

Can’t agree with him more on that point. Something different needs to be done because the current programs are not working.

Embattled SF planning commissioner sues city, alleging building department acted ‘like a crook’

J.K. Dineen : sfchronicle – excerpt

Embattled Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection on Wednesday, alleging officials revoked permits on a building he co-owns to retaliate for his criticism of the department.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims that DBI officials “brazenly retaliated against Commissioner Richards, a business in which he was an investor, and his business partner in a transparent attempt to silence his criticism and calls for investigation into perceived corruption.”

The lawsuit comes five months after the city yanked nine permits on a four-unit building at 3426-3432 22nd St., a four-unit historic Italianate building that Richards and Noe Valley real estate broker Rachel Swann own. Richards and Swann purchased the building for $2.7 million in 2017 and are attempting to sell it for $7.88 million, after fixing it up and buying out longtime tenants…(more)

Caltrans agrees to pay $2 million for destroying homeless people’s property

By Sam Lew : 48hills – excerpt

Deal would also set new rules for sweeps on state lands.

In a civil rights victory, Caltrans will pay $2 million for destroying homeless people’s property and will change procedures around homeless encampment evictions on Caltrans land.

The class-action lawsuit rests on the unjust seizure of personal property, a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The proposed settlement between Caltrans and homeless Californians includes a $1.3 million compensation fund for homeless people who lost property as a result of a sweep of their encampment…

“Money can never erase the damage Caltrans did. It can’t, it won’t,” said Elisa Della-Piana, legal director at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, the organization that represented homeless Californians in the class-action lawsuit. “The good news about this settlement is that it provides some statewide relief for everyone who is currently living on Caltrans land. The agency will have to follow basic protections.”…(more)