Landlords are threatening rent hikes if Proposition 10 passes, activists say

By : curbed – excerpt

The ballot measure would roll back state regulations on rent control

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In August, North Hollywood resident Jacob Swanson, 36, heard from his building’s property manager that rent for his apartment would increase from $1,850 to $2,000 per month, higher than the typical yearly increase he was used to.

Eager to know the reason for the higher rent hike, he emailed the property manager to ask if repairs or upgrades were planned for the building. The reply he received didn’t mention any repairs; instead, the building’s manager blamed the increase on “the upcoming election.”

Renter advocates say Los Angeles landlords and building managers are hitting tenants with rent hikes in advance of November, when voters will decide on Proposition 10, a statewide ballot initiative that would lift restrictions on rent control in California cities… (more)

If I had any doubts about how to vote on Prop 10, I now know that we don’t need to bow to intimidation  when we don’t have to. The entire world appears to have forgotten the last 100 years and be ready to repeat them. It is time to stand up for what principals we have left while we still have some.

 

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Regional housing tax in the works — 9-county agency looks to raise $1.5 billion a year

By Eliane Goodman : padailypost – excerpt

A group that wants to increase the housing supply in the Bay Area is looking at ways to fund its efforts, which could potentially include a sales tax increase, an employer “head count” tax, or a tax on vacant houses.

Those are a few of the ideas under review by CASA, or Committee to House the Bay Area. The group was formed last year by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional planning agency for the nine-county Bay Area. CASA has roughly 50 members that include local government officials and representatives of businesses and nonprofits.
CASA is proposing a multi-pronged approach to the region’s housing crisis that it calls the “three P’s”: producing more housing at all levels of affordability, preserving existing affordable housing, and protecting residents at risk of losing their housing…

‘Share the pain’… (more)

‘Share the pain’ is the worst argument for raising taxes or changing lifestyles. For those of us who know the history of SOMA there is a certain irony in this request, but, no thanks, I am not a masochist. If you are, stay and complain, if not, move. Don’t inflict your lifestyle on me and I will not inflict mine on you.

RELATED:
MTC CASA technical committee hopes to raise billions from Bay Area taxpayers
(Includes video links of the MTC CASA meeting): https://sfceqa.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/mtc-casa-technical-committee-hopes-to-raise-billions-from-bay-area-taxpayers/

San Francisco ranks No. 1 in US in property crime

: sfchronicle – excerpt

It’s official: Your backpack, laptop, tablet or phone — or the vehicle in which you left all these things behind — are more likely to catch the fancy of a thief in San Francisco than any other major metropolis in the country.

FBI data released last week show the city had the highest per-capita rate of property crimes among the 20 most populous U.S. cities in 2017, tallying 6,168 crimes per 100,000 people. That’s about 148 burglaries, larcenies, car thefts and arsons per day.

San Francisco’s property crimes spiked from the previous year, shooting up from about 47,000 in 2016 to 54,000 in 2017.

Los Altos, Danville and Los Gatos had the three lowest rates of violent crime among California’s 245 cities with a population of at least 30,000 people. Each reported zero murders and fewer than 20 rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults for all of 2017… (more)

Looks like we are not imagining it. San Francisco is not only one of the worst major traffic nightmares in the country, but it now can claim to be the property crime capital as well. Lose those famous views and what do we have left to offer tourists other than a peak into their future if they follow our leads? What next? Ask the candidates running for office how they plan to fix the problem. And offer suggestions to the Mayor and our Supervisors. Contacts

Maybe we should quit complaining about how Los Altos, Danville and Los Gatos  conduct their business and consider emulating what they are doing right?

Canary in a Coal Mine

brisbane411 – excerpt

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For the first time in our state’s history, state legislators are threatening to pass targeted legislation to strip a single city of its authority over its own land. This is not just a threat to the City of Brisbane. It’s a threat to every city in California. Brisbane is the canary in the coal mine.

State legislators hijacked the public review process for a proposed mixed-use development on the Brisbane Baylands. Their highly questionable rationale for taking this drastic action is the contention even little cities are responsible for the crisis in affordable housing. In fact, corporate job creations, State policies, income inequality, and builders focused on the high end of housing construction are more responsible. Small communities like Brisbane have not been responsible for any of these phenomena. In fact, Brisbane has supported a high rate of housing development. Its reluctance to move rapidly on development in the Baylands has to do with the land itself – its status as an unregulated, unremediated contaminated landfill.

However, when the Taiwanese landowner/developer decided that Brisbane wasn’t moving fast enough or might not approve all the planned housing (triple the amount of the total housing units currently in Brisbane), it orchestrated a media campaign that falsely claimed that Brisbane was planning to build a huge commercial development without any housing. Legislators trying to enhance their reputations on the housing issue used the fabricated Brisbane story and crafted targeted legislation that was used to threaten the Brisbane City Council to change its General Plan, before the deliberations were complete, or be forced by this legislation to rubber stamp the developer’s project with minimal oversight.

The 660-acre “Baylands” was originally part of San Francisco Bay. Southern Pacific and San Francisco filled it in for their needs, railroad equipment maintenance and garbage dumping. Consequently, the landfill has 3 former Superfund sites that, to date, have not been remediated. Some of the many adverse environmental impacts called out in the EIR include serious health and safety risks from the highly toxic landfill, the unstable land that is a liquefaction zone between two major earthquake faults, no contracted water resources, severe traffic congestion from a lack of funding for roads or public transportation, the lack of sufficient resources to provide required public services such as fire, police and public works infrastructure and ongoing maintenance, and more.

Our neighborhoods look and feel the way they do because local leaders are empowered to make decisions that serve the best interests of the people who live there. When our right to determine our future is taken away, a core part of our democracy goes with it. Yet, there’s something more insidious at play here.

Remove all local planning controls and you open up historically low-income neighborhoods to gentrifying development at market rates. Entire communities are displaced. State legislators, beneficiaries of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from developers, are all too eager to repay their donors in kind.

The proposed legislation that eviscerates Brisbane’s right to self-governance is the logical endpoint of a state government committed to development at all costs. California law requires local jurisdictions to have General Plans that focus on sustainability, healthy communities, and quality of life. The proposed legislation disregards all three. Never have we seen a land grab this blatant or this bold.

What happens in Brisbane will be repeated in cities across the state. Strip our local government of its power and you’ve taken away our voice. Take the canary out of the coal mine and there’s no warning for what comes next… (more)

Read the proposed legislation here.

Brisbane is a small community just south of San Francisco, where the Global Climate Action Summit is taking place. Citizens of both cities have tried for decades to warn about the contaminated land at Hunter’ Point, Brisbane Baylands, and other areas around the bay where soil from the contaminated area was moved prior to proper testing.

Some studies unveiled at the Global Climate Action Summit do not support the state’s current plan to build dense housing on contaminated land at sea level. We could see some shifts in attitudes in Sacramento as voters go to the polls in November. We the story below and comment on the source.

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4 things we can do to curb our S.F. housing shortage

By Ozzie Rohm : sfgate – excerpt

In the past few years, the raging debate about California’s housing shortage has turned into a battle of words, with simplistic labels from differing camps. Real estate boosters have reduced the problem to an issue of supply and demand, while politicians of all stripes have exploited what is an affordability crisis to deregulate city planning and remove the voice of the people.

In reality, we have an affordable housing shortage that cannot be solved by deregulation and upzoning every residential parcel in San Francisco for more market-rate housing. We keep building, but the prices keep going up because, in a city as desirable as San Francisco, the demand is insatiable. But if we harness that demand by reducing real estate speculation and increasing the production of below-market-rate homes, we directly address the problem. To that end, we suggest these measures:

Impose a vacancy tax: In a hot real estate market such as ours, homes are used as investment tools…

Preserve our relatively affordable homes: Square foot for square foot, older homes are cheaper than new homes. A study by the National Association of Realtors points to a 30 to 40 percent price difference between the old and new homes…

Start a rental registry: Our tenants have been hit the hardest by this crisis. Speculators buy rental properties and get rid of tenants only to remodel and put them on the market with hefty profit…

Build 100 percent affordable housing: The magnitude of this crisis is such that what little affordable housing trickles down from 10, 20, and 30 percent inclusionary measures (where the developer is required to reserve a certain percentage of the new units for low- or middle-income dwellers) would not solve the problem…

Any of the first three measures can knock the speculators out of the market, while the last one will produce more homes for those who need them the most, people who cannot afford $1 million-plus homes. We can come together and press for these changes, or we can continue the blame game and divisive posturing.

If you can envision a San Francisco where people of all income levels are welcome, so can we — and that’s a goal worth striving for. Join us, and let’s make it happen!

Ozzie Rohm is a co-founder of Noe Neighborhood Council and a member of San Francisco Land Use Coalition. You can reach her at info@sfluc.org. To comment, submit your letter to the editor at SFChronicle.com/letters… (more)

SF residential projects languish as rising costs force developers to cash out

: sfchronicle – excerpt

Just 3 miles separate 2675 Folsom St., a vacant former restaurant equipment warehouse in the Mission District, and 160 Folsom St., a former parking lot near the Transbay Transit Center where a condo tower is under construction.

But in the current economic landscape of the San Francisco’s housing development, the two properties are a world apart.

While the next crop of luxury condo towers like 160 Folsom, which developer Tishman Speyer has branded as Mira, continue to rise in the fast-growing eastern end of South of Market, other approved housing projects across the city, like 2675 Folsom St., are stalled and on the market because of soaring construction costs and fees, developers and other industry sources say.

The growing number of developers seeking to cash out rather than risk losing money on building is fueling concerns that residential production will start to decline even as the Bay Area’s housing crisis worsens… (more)

Some of us have been predicting this for months. It is easier to solve the housing problem once you take the “build more” option off the table. Keep people in their homes by keeping homes affordable if you want to solve the housing problem. Repeal inflationary bills at the root of the income disparity problem. Repeal Prop 6 and Prop 10 in November.

Repealing Prop 6 should lower the cost of all consumables, including food.

Repealing Prop 10 will allow individual cities to deal with rent control issues on a local basis. The voters can enact the control they want in their district.

Fed-up locals are setting electric scooters on fire and burying them at sea

: latimes – excerpt

They’ve been crammed into toilets, tossed off balconies and set on fire. They’ve even been adorned with dangling bags of dog droppings.

As cities like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills struggle to control a rapid proliferation of electric pay-per-minute scooters, some residents are taking matters into their own hands and waging a guerrilla war against the devices. These vandals are destroying or desecrating the vehicles in disturbingly imaginative ways, and celebrating their illegal deeds on social media — in full view of authorities and the public…

In Santa Monica, where Bird is headquartered, City Council members voted to cap the number of scooters on city streets while officials craft longer-term regulations. Beverly Hills officials ordered them banned for six months. Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz asked officials last week to take “all available measures” to outlaw the scooters within the city.

While most tech entrepreneurs expect some criticism and calls for regulation when they introduce new and potentially disruptive products, they don’t necessarily anticipate the outright destruction of their property. They also don’t expect to see such carnage celebrated and encouraged on social media.

Yet mayhem directed at dockless scooters is the order of the day on Instagram’s “Bird Graveyard,” whose contributors relish publishing photos and videos of scooters that have been set aflame, tossed into canals, smeared with feces and snapped into pieces. The account has more than 24,000 followers… (more)

RELATED:

Bird Graveyard

If a bird or lime scooter has died, please send us pictures or video so we can honor its death. RIP https://www.instagram.com/birdgraveyard