SF is losing affordable housing almost as fast as we can build it

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Planning Dept. report shows that evictions are erasing about 70 percent of the city’s affordable housing gains

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It doesn’t help much to build a lot of new affordable housing if we lose almost as much to evictions. Photo by Zrants

The Planning Department has released its latest report on how the city’s affordable housing balance is coming along, and it’s not pretty.

The report, which will be discussed at the Planning Commission Thursday/1, is required under city law. It’s supposed to show the progress San Francisco is making toward its official housing goals… (more)

 

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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)

 

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.

Supervisors Introduce Legislation To Fight Fraudulent Owner Move-In Evictions

by Sara Gaiser : BayCityNews – excerpt

Photo by Zrants

Supervisors agree this is not the homeless solution for San Francisco. It is better to keep people in their homes if we don’t want them living like this. 

Two pieces of legislation were introduced to the Board of Supervisors yesterday, aiming to make it harder for landlords to fraudulently evict tenants by falsely claiming they plan to live in the property.

Both pieces of legislation, introduced by Supervisor Mark Farrell and by Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Jane Kim, would require property owners who conduct “owner move-in” evictions to sign a declaration under oath that they plan to follow all eviction laws.

Under state law, property owners are allowed to evict tenants if they plan to live in a residence themselves or to have a family member live there.

Once they do so, however, they are required to keep the unit off the rental market for at least three years. If they return it to the rental market, the original tenant has the right to re-rent it at the same rent, plus any allowable increases.

In practice, however, there is little enforcement of this requirement, and reports of fraud, with landlords returning the property to the market for much higher rents, are widespread… (more)

People who complain about the homeless living on the streets should applaud any program that keeps people in their homes. We need to somehow create an administrative policy that sets up procedures for enforcing the laws. It is good to see the Supervisors are working on it. We should support their efforts and watch our state legislature to be sure Sacramento does its part in protecting tenants by supporting enforcement of local laws. If Sacramento can’t fix the Ellis Act laws they can at least stay out of the way of local jurisdictions so we can handle the problem at home.

The peculiar priorities of Mayor Ed Lee

by Susan Dyer Reynolds : marinatimes – excerpt

Tents in the Mission photo by zrants

According to recent data compiled by American City Business Journals, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is the highest paid mayor in America with an annual salary of $289,000. I guess with a $9.6 billion budget, that’s a drop in the proverbial bucket. It’s certainly not merit-based: As San Franciscans grow angrier about the condition of their once fair city, Lee’s approval number has plummeted to the low 40s, with those who “strongly approve” of his performance in single digits.

Perpetually perched atop glorious lists such as “best places to visit,” San Francisco now takes titles like “worst roads in the nation.” A November 2016 study by the National Transportation Research Group found that 71 percent of San Francisco’s roads are in poor condition — that’s worse than any other city with a population of 500,000 or more. Drivers here pay nearly $1,000 on average for auto damage caused by those rough rides. Lee’s answer is of course to add another layer of bureaucracy called “the fix-it team,” with a “fix-it director” (yes, that’s the official title) who reports directly to him. Are you telling me with a budget bigger than the nations of Haiti, Belize, Aruba, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas combined, bigger than 13 U.S. states, bigger than every U.S. city per capita except Washington, D.C., that we can’t get potholes fixed without creating another six-figure middle management job?(more)

A lot to think about. San Francisco has a lot of priorities lining up for a handout. The public needs to be involved in priority discussions, as there will be cuts coming soon. A hiring freeze would be a good place to start. We don’t need any more six figure staff. We also need to admit which of the experiments on our streets are not working. The figured out that removing trash cans was leading to more trash on the street so they are returning the cans. How much money did we spend on that experiment?

Airbnb Ousts Nearly 1,000 SF Home Listings

By Joe Kukura : sfweekly – excerpt

Home-sharing service removes 923 San Francisco listings from landlords who are renting out too many locations on the site.

If you’re running an Airbnb side gig with multiple apartments or homes listed in San Francisco, your gig may be up. The apartment and home-sharing service has scrubbed 923 San Francisco listings from its site for hosts who had multiple homes for rent on their account….

Airbnb notes in a press release that they have removed nearly 1,000 San Francisco listings in the 11 months since the policy went into effect here… (more)

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Will San Francisco Embrace ‘Sanctioned’ Camps for the Homeless?

By Zachary Clark : SFPublicPress – excerpt

Despite acceptance in the Northwest, tent villages on vacant land have been a hard sell to Mayor Lee’s office

San Francisco voters expressed their frustration with tent encampments by banning them from sidewalks in the November election. One controversial solution to getting street dwellers into housing involves temporary, “sanctioned” camps like those being tried out around the Bay Area, elsewhere on the West Coast and across the country.

As a concept, sanctioned encampments are city-approved communities of self-managed homeless people living in tents or tiny structures, generally on underused city-owned or leased property. Amenities typically include portable toilets, showers, trash pickups, food deliveries and kitchen space. The idea is to minimize the proliferation of tents along sidewalks while honoring the autonomy of residents and streamlining efforts to support them. They are meant to be a stepping stone to permanent housing.

San Francisco officials, however, have not been keen on the idea. During a recent interview on KALW-FM radio, Jeff Kositsky, director of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said the city favors its “navigation centers,” which provide emergency short-term shelter, over sanctioned encampments. He also told the Public Press that approved, self-managed encampments such as those in Seattle and Portland “have all failed miserably” by essentially reinforcing, instead of resolving, homelessness.

One local activist hopes to win him over.

Amy Farah Weiss, founder of the nonprofit Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge and a 2015 mayoral candidate, has led the effort to gather support for city-approved camp spaces, which she calls “sanctioned transitional villages.” These villages would operate within the system for people unable to find permanent housing after a 30-day stay in a navigation centers.

Weiss said she has private funding to test the idea here. Two local philanthropists have pledged $20,000 for a three-month pilot program to house 10 to 15 people, including couples, in 10 structures, Weiss said. The donors wish to remain anonymous but say the pledge is guaranteed… (more)