SF officials and residents face off at heated meeting on homeless shelter

Laura Wenus : misisonlocal – excerpt

Crowd of people who didn’t get into the meeting were promised a second meeting. Photo by Zrants

At an emotional community debate Monday night some 200 Mission residents squared off with top city officials and one another over the burdens and benefits that a temporary homeless shelter will bring to a neighborhood severely impacted by tent encampments.

At issue is the city’s plan to place a Navigation Center – a low-barrier homeless shelter that offers its clients on-site access to supportive services – in a vacant lot and electrical building at 1515 South Van Ness Ave. The property will then be developed into mixed-use housing.

“People are stepping over homeless people, they are finding needles, this Navigation Center is only going to create a bigger problem because it is not a solution, it is only a patch on the problem,” said one nearby resident.

But those who spoke in support for the temporary homeless shelter at a Monday night’s public hearing, said any solution is better than the status quo…

“The decision has been made,“ said Ronen, adding that the Navigation Center will likely be up and running by June 1 and it will be open from six to nine months.  Last month, Ronen struck a deal with the site’s developer, Lennar Multifamily Communities, to allow city use of the space as a homeless shelter until construction permits for the 157-unit housing project are finalized…(more)

 

The Agenda, April 24 -39: Real health-care reform!

Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Plus: Affordable housing, evictions, Airbnb …. and the Leaning Tower of Soma. It’s going to be a busy week

A measure that would transform health care in California and set the stage for a profound change nationwide comes before its first committee Wednesday/26.

SB 562, by Sens. Ricardo Lara and Tony Atkins, could be the most important piece of legislation in the state this year…

The California Nurses Association is leading the fight, and will be holding a rally and march to the state Capitol starting at 11 am. The hearing is at 1:30. Buses will leave San Francisco at 7:50 am, one from the Zoo and one from Civic Center; you can RSVP here

The heated battle over affordable housing in SF is back at the Planning Commission Thursday/27, and it’s pretty clear that the deck has been stacked in favor of the plan favored by Sups. Ahsha Safai and London Breed – and the developers…

It’s going to be a crazy busy day at the Supes Government Audit and Oversight Committee Friday/28

irst, Sup. Jane Kim has called for a hearing on the city’s enforcement practices around residential evictions. That’s going to play into her move to ensure more accountability for landlords who do fake owner-move-in evictions – and may be the start of a discussion around the need for more enforcement authority and inspectors at the Rent Board.

Next: Sup. Aaron Peskin wants to look into the funding and oversight of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – which will no doubt bring up some of the issues around former DeYoung honcho Dede Wilsey, whose tenure was marked by all sorts of issues.

Then we are back to the Leaning Tower of Soma, and Peskin’s ongoing efforts to figure out why the city approved and a developer constructed a giant luxury housing tower that is now sinking and keeling over to the side…(more)

One fix for affordable housing: Close a loophole with AB 915

By Fernando Martí and Peter Cohen : sfexaminer – excerpt

As is often said, there is no “silver bullet” to solve the affordable housing crisis. But there is at least one easy fix to a current problem.

Last December, we wrote about the gift that Santa brought to San Francisco developers: a state density bonus that effectively cuts the affordable housing requirements for development projects — while giving them a substantial 35 percent bonus in market-rate units.

The good news is that San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting has set out to correct that this year with Assembly Bill 915, legislation that will make sure underlying affordable housing requirements apply evenly to all development projects, whether they use the state bonus or not…

If you want to let Assemblymember Ting know you support AB 915 for state density bonus affordability, call his office at (916) 319-2019 or send him an email at assemblymember.ting@assembly.ca.gov… (more)

 

Wiener Slams Housing Opponents

by Randy Shaw : beyondchron – excerpt

State Senator Scott Wiener has written a powerful letter accusing nonprofit housing leaders of providing “significant misinformation” about Wiener’s SB 35, which seeks to expedite housing development in California. Wiener’s April 15 letter directed to Peter Cohen and Fernando Marti of the Council of Community Housing Organizations (CCHO) says he has “a major problem with any person or organization that disseminates misinformation and continues to do so even after being repeatedly corrected.”

In other words, Wiener is accusing CCHO’s leadership of lying about his bill. And he provides a point by point rebuttal to their arguments while noting that “several CCHO members and allied affordable housing partner organizations came out early to endorse SB 35, including Mercy Housing (CCHO member), Mission Housing (CCHO member), Bridge Housing, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, and the California Council for Affordable Housing.”

It’s rare to see an elected official writing a nine page letter to a bill’s opponents. And Wiener joined this with an equally long April 16 article for Medium, “Market-Rate Housing Isn’t a Bad Word, and We Won’t Solve the Housing Crisis Without It.”

Instead of allowing insider politics to derail SB 35, Wiener is challenging opponents to battle him on the merits of his ideas—and may the best ideas for addressing the state’s housing crisis win…

Noe Valley: No New Middle-Class Residents Allowed

Noe Valley has no signs on its borders barring new middle-class residents but it may as well. Home prices and rents are through the roof. Only the upper middle class and higher can now afford to buy a house or rent a vacant apartment… (more)

How are you supposed to build more housing in a completely developed neighborhood like Noe Valley without destroying what is there? How is the destruction worth the lower level of lifestyle and diminished quality of life we see in the city in the newly rebuilt neighborhoods? Why should anyone want to change what they feel is perfect just to make room for millionaires to store their money in new dense, units? When the major driving force is money, it is hard to believe there will be a happy ending for the residents who are being threatened by the greed, especially the tenants.

Rent control advocates tussle with realtors

By Laura Wenus : missionlocal – excerpt (includes video)

When a dozen or so tenant rights advocates arrived on the doorstep of the San Francisco Association of Realtors on Thursday morning carrying signs and a megaphone, one immediately clashed at the door with a member of the association with each pushing the other until a staffer was able to pull the door shut.

“This is private property!” the man from inside the building insisted.

“Thank you so much,” a few protesters called back sarcastically.

Meanwhile, around the corner from the entryway, two more protesters had set up a ladder and were taping letters over the Realtors sign, so that it now read “Evictors Association.”…

“All of the ways that we can actually build affordable housing, they are fighting,” said Deepa Varma, executive director of the Tenants Union and one of the activists standing in front of the Realtors Association Thursday morning…

Statewide, realtors have resisted overturning both Costa-Hawkins and the Ellis Act

We’re making sure the general public knows who they can’t trust,” she said… (more)

Actions you can take if you want to help overturn Costa Hawkins and let the cities choose how they want to manage local rentals.

It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

by Lauren Hepler : theguardian – excerpt

The heartland best known for supplying nearly 25% of America’s food is experiencing a rise in homelessness that can be traced in part to the tech boom

t first glance, the rusted metal pens in the central California town of Patterson look like an open-air prison block. But for Devani Riggs, “the cages”, abandoned since the days they were used to store the bounty of the self-proclaimed apricot capital of the world, play a very different role.

“This one was mine. That one was Patty and Pete,” said Riggs, a 3o-year-old homeless woman, adding that dozens of people had slept in the cramped enclosures.

California’s Central Valley is best known for supplying nearly 25% of the country’s food, including 40% of the fruit and nuts consumed each year. Yet today, backcountry places such as Patterson, population 22,000, are experiencing an increase in homelessness that can be traced, in part, to an unlikely sounding source: Silicon Valley… (more)

Looks like we have to repeal Costa Hawkins for the sake of everyone in the state. The real estate bubble is destroying the lives of people all over, not just in Silicon Valley and the big cities. This is a marketing scheme and it needs to be exposed for what it is. Re-instating rent control should remove the tensions caused by real estate speculation that is tearing us apart.

Most SF residents who get evicted earn less than $50K a year

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

photo shot at a Plaza 16 rally, the story that never ends, by Zrants

Data presented to supes shows that people who lose their homes through no fault of their own won’t qualify for “middle-class” affordable housing

Sup. London Breed’s plan for affordable housing in the Western Addition got continued until May today, but not before some community activists made a few critical points.

A series of speakers complained that Breed had not met with them and that they hoped that she would sit down over the next few weeks and listen to their concerns. Sup. Aaron Peskin, who was chairing the Land Use Committee hearing today, said he hoped that everyone could come together and find a solution – but that’s going to be a bit tricky, since any solution the community groups will support is going to cost developers a lot more money.

The other critical point came from Jennifer Fieber, political campaign director for the SF Tenants Union. Fieber noted that 69 percent of all tenants who reported facing no-fault evictions in the city earned less than $50,000 a year, and 25 percent had income of less than $30,000.

That’s a staggering figure when you look at the competing plans for affordable housing, including Breed’s Divisadero Street proposal… (more)

We are supporting Assemblymember Bloom’s AB 1506 supported by David Chiu, to repeal Costa Hawkins and hopefully expand rent control to put an end to the developer speculation that is driving the high rents and the evictions. We must get San Francisco back to a reasonable economic balance so residents can spend less on rents and more on other things, and even save money again. This is the only way to stop the growth of homeless encampments that is driven by greed and fear. If you agree, go to this site and send a letter of support for AB 1506. This bill has been sitting in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee and needs a push from the public to move it through the process. Tenants Together is working on this now.  http://www.tenantstogether.org/campaigns/repeal-costa-hawkins-rental-housing-act