Agenda May 4-10: Housing protests, housing policies, and housing politics

by Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

…I like it when Ed Lee is out there praising Chris Daly.

Well, not directly, of course, but the mayor had to acknowledge the role the former supervisor played in making it possible for a youth organization that fights violence (and like most nonprofits of its sort, doesn’t have a lot of money) to buy a building and create a more stable future

The big event of this week is the May 8 rally where community groups from the Mission will head to City Hall to demand an end to the evictions and a chance to slow down the pace of market-rate housing development in the neighborhood…

Change always happens in cities, and it happens in the Mission, too, and it’s been happening for a long time. But right now it’s happening so fast that it’s breathtaking – thousands are getting evicted, while apartments on Valencia rent for $10,000 a month. Merchants on 24th Street are terrified that they will lose their leases so another high-end restaurant can come in and turn what’s left of the un-gentrified Mission into another Valencia St.

So what the merchants and residents want, among other things, is a chance for the city to take a deep breath and decide: Do we really want more condos for millionaires in the Mission? How many more new restaurants can we handle? Is there more we can do to stop the evictions, both commercial and residential?

Can we get the illegal tech office creep under control?

How do we save the Mission?

That’s why Sup. David Campos is talking about a short-term moratorium on new development.

The May 8 event starts at noon, but organizers are expecting a large crowd and urge people to get their early. Show up at 11, on the steps of City Hall…

When Julie Christensen, Mayor Lee’s appointee who is up for re-election, and Sups. Mark Farrell and Malia Cohen, who are not known as the most tenant-friendly members of the board, call for a hearing on preserving rent-controlled housing, I have to pause.

But that’s what’s happening Monday/4 when the Land Use and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on the topic. The Council of Community Housing Organizations will be there, along with the Mayor’s Office of Housing.

I wonder if Lee and his allies will finally come around to the idea that we aren’t going to get any relief at the state level – and that the future of rent-controlled housing in San Francisco, and the prevention of no-fault evictions, and the end of speculation, may have to be something we figure out right here at home… (more)

I would not give Mayor Lee credit with bringing all the tech jobs. I would not give any one person that credit. We got into this mess by trying to place legal controls on people’s lives where none should exist. The housing shortage was created by overbuilding office space, in spit of efforts to keep a balance by establishing height limits. Big money doesn’t want any limits on anything, so it pays to disrupt us. We got here through many disruptive practices, and, as we are growing to realize, a lack of enforcement of the laws that are on the books. Legislating new laws is pointless when there is no enforcement, as the Planning Department has been pointing out.

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