By Joe Eskenazi ;sfpublicpress – excerpt (includes audio link and graphs)
Dozens of Residential Hotels Have Rooms to Spare, but Officials Cannot Force Owners to Rent
Every night, thousands of San Franciscans have no place to sleep. And yet, every night hundreds — possibly thousands — of single-room occupancy hotel units are left empty.
According to the latest count, 4,353 people were living unsheltered in our city. Among them, 1,020 were between 18 and 24 years old. If, by some alchemy, the city could beam them into these empty rooms, the entire population of homeless youths and a decent number of older adults could be indoors by nightfall…
Over the past 20 years, San Francisco has underwritten the price of thousands of formerly homeless residents’ rooms in private hotels run by nonprofits. But now it is a seller’s market. Hotel owners can charge upward of $2,000 for rooms in hotels formerly occupied by the down and out. Other owners are holding those rooms empty, perhaps in search of an even bigger payout down the road when they sell their buildings…(more)
San Francisco spends more than $300 million every year on homeless services and supportive housing, yet the number of people in significant distress only seems to increase…
A report issued last year by the San Francisco Department of Public Health found largely positive results for the 60 or so people participating — most voluntarily — in the local program that grew out of Laura’s Law. Even the six ordered by a court to participate saw improvements in their conditions…
Hong to get even more people into treatment, state Sen. Scott Wiener has proposed legislation that would allow communities to expand who is eligible for a conservatorship; that’s when a judge appoints someone to help manage a person’s finances, health care or daily activities when the person is not able to do so themselves. Currently, counties can only create conservatorships for seniors who are at risk of abuse or for people who are “gravely disabled.”…
At the same time, Board of Supervisors President London Breed has introduced legislation that would designate the City Attorney’s Office as the overseer of conservatorships — not the District Attorney’s Office, as is currently the case. The hope is that this move will allow increased coordination between city agencies… (more)
On the evening of October 18th, citizens and activists packed the cafeteria of Gateway High School, intent on speaking out against certain injustices that have been visited upon the residents of the Midtown Park Apartments. Addressing the crowd were a somber set of officials. Some spoke for the Mayor’s Office of Housing, while others were representing Mercy Housing, the massive, development-oriented nonprofit…
Conspicuously absent from the high school meeting was Supervisor London Breed, a supporter of Mercy’s new designs for Midtown…
A Brief History of Midtown
Shortly after Midtown opened, its original developer went belly-up and defaulted on the loan. The lenders soon came calling; in order to keep the property afloat, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) stepped in and negotiated for the City to take over the property. Shortly thereafter, in 1968, the City gave a 40-year lease for the property to the Midtown Park Corporation, a nonprofit established by tenants to oversee the upkeep of the grounds…
To recap: the City claimed to own Midtown. The City promised Midtown residents rent control. Midtown tenants struggled to meet the rising costs of maintenance. The City vetoed proposed rent increases, citing rent control protections for Midtown. Without increased revenue or support from its owner, the City, the complex fell into disrepair. Now that a backroom deal has granted control of the property to Mercy Housing, the City is looking the other way as rent control protections are destroyed. Midtown’s tenants are facing an injustice in triplicate: the City’s failure to help them maintain the buildings, the revocation of rent control, and, if the City gets its way, the complete demolition of their homes…
 For more detailed history, check out Natalia Kresich’s article on 48 Hills and the Save Midtown website… (more)
None of the candidates made a case for why they are different than the others; that’s a problem when the city is in a serious crisis and so many voters are undecided
The first mayoral debate of the spring had no clear winners or losers; in fact, none of the candidates stood out as dramatically different from any of the others. That may be in part because this event was sponsored by the decidedly moderate United Democratic Club, with the decidedly conservative Chronicle Editorial Page Editor John Diaz asking all of the questions.
There’s clearly a lot of interest in the race: So many people came out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon that the Koret Auditorium at the main library filled to capacity, as didn an overflow room, and still people were turned away.
The candidates had a chance to define themselves as different in a crowded field, and I don’t think any of them did that.
Mark Leno came the closest: From the start, he said that he is convinced that “we need a new direction at City Hall” and that he would offer “a fundamental change from the status quo.”…
I give Kim and Leno credit: They were the only two who said, when asked about homelessness, that prevention is as important as responding…
Leno suggested that the city ought to sue the speculators who are abusing the Ellis Act by purchasing building after building and in each case claiming they want to go out of the business of being a landlord.
Weiss correctly pointed out that it does not good to put people in shelters or medical facilities if they are released back to the streets with no place to go. She’s a fan of Seattle-style “supportive villages.”…
When it came to traffic congestion, we saw a few minor differences. Breed is not in favor of a London-style toll system that charges drivers for the right to head into congested areas; Kim and Leno said that’s an idea worth pursuing…(more)
Missed this Mayoral debate, as I attended the much more divisive Senator Wiener Town Hall. This event attracted a crowd of people from outside the city and a lot of folks from Wiener’s district 8, who oppose the housing legislation he is pushing, outlined in this article: “Scott Weiner’s War on Local Planning”
All of the issues involving housing, displacement, homelessness, crime, and economic inequalities are based on the belief that “unlimited growth is good”. Where in California has dense housing resulted in a decease in displacement, homelessness, crime, or a better lifestyle for residents?
In 20 years of homelessness in San Francisco, Moses Carbins has spent time in most of this city’s shelters. “Some days,” he said, “you wake up invisible. It becomes sort of like a pit. It’s just another day to die.”.
It was lost on no one, however, that Carbins has lived — thanks to “empathy, compassion, a network of friends” — and was on hand to address an audience of more than 200, hanging on his every word, as he spoke on a panel at “Solving Homelessness,” a Jan. 25 community workshop presented by the Public Press.
The symposium was an all-day gathering of advocates, architects, journalists, activists, service providers, innovators, city officials, policymakers and homeless men and women to brainstorm solutions to homelessness… (more)
I attended part of this event and was impressed by the large number of organizations who were represented. I knew quite a few people and recognized many others. Read the article if you care of solving the homeless crisis. Many good ideas are explored here.
by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : facebook and sfexaminer – excerpt
From Facebook :
Please read and share. A lot of calls and a lot of work went into today’s ON GUARD, which I tried, very hard, to strike a balance between varying opinions out there on London Breed’s ouster.
But I did so by speaking to those most affected by the allegations of racism and sexism: Black women San Franciscans…
From SF Examiner column:
“You’re racist! … This is war!”
The cries of a handful of black women echoed under our gilded City Hall dome Tuesday after a startling vote to replace London Breed with Supervisor Mark Farrell as mayor.
Headlines in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and even the conservative Breitbart News and black-focused pblication The Root, expressed the rage some felt when a black woman from public housing was replaced by a white venture capitalist — in San Francisco!
How racist. How sexist. How hypocritical and conniving…
Those accusations, and more, were hurled with a muscular arm of righteousness reaching back — way back — to the 1950s mass evictions of black San Franciscans during the “urban renewal” of the Western Addition, to the recent grief after the San Francisco Police Department shot and killed Mario Woods, and landed at the feet of self-described progressive supervisors who sought to oust The City’s first black woman mayor.
“San Francisco dislikes Black women so much that they appointed a white conservative to be the caretaker mayor,” opined Alicia Garza, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, on Twitter…
“I decided I’ve had it up to my neck with the prognosticators. Ultimately, it’s most important we listen to our city’s black women; that’s why only those who identify as black women are quoted hereafter…Some women who know Breed felt passionately she was robbed of her mayorship. Others believed her own record damned her.”... (more)
Please follow the link and voice you opinions at the source if you can.
By Marisol Cabrera Deveshen Veerasamy :goldengateexpress – excerpt
On Thursday afternoon, Mission Street was shut down for a few hours for a March to peacefully protest gentrification. The “March for Mission” which started at 20th and Mission Streets brought together local volunteers and organizations to send a message to City Hall that their voice needs to be heard.
Protesters ended the march at city hall, demanding funding to establish a Latino Cultural Corridor, affordable housing and transit equity. They aim to stop the massive influx of high-end businesses, projects, and luxurious housing. Protesters said that gentrification is driving out their neighborhood shops and threatening to turn Mission Street into another Valencia Street…(more)
Maybe it is time to take back Valencia. The posh restaurants have already topped out. Many are reputed to be closing already. What has gone up, is coming down, except for the rents, that is.