Can we actually solve homelessness?

tim redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The 16th Street BART station is a primary congregation spot for destitute people. Photo by zrants.

Sure — but we have to seriously rethink our housing, economic development, and planning policies. Oh, and raise taxes on the billionaires. Why are we not talking about this?

…I think it’s a good idea for the news media in town to all get together and talk about crucial city problems, and I’m glad Cooper is pushing this and focusing attention on homelessness. So yeah, I’ve said I would be a part.

We’ve talked about what homeless families really face. We’ve talked about the root causes of homelessness. We’ve published stories by people who actually understand the problem, at the street level. We’ve talked about the media’s big problem with homeless coverage.

And now I want to talk about why this problem isn’t going to be “solved,” despite all the media coverage, until we (and this includes the Chron’s editorial page) decide that we are willing to take the only steps that might actually make a difference.

I feel as if the media is doing the same stories and making the same suggestions, over and over – and the problem isn’t getting any better… (more)

It is becoming quite obvious that the fate of the homeless on our streets is effecting our society at large and not just those who are homeless and living on the streets. Our nation has lowered its quality of life to allow the disparity of incomes to divide us into a new class system. The middle class is shrinking as the poverty level rises and no one is winning this game as the extremely wealthy 1 % suck up more than they need. This economic free-for-all cannot continue much longer without a correction of some kind.

It is good to see some solid solutions being suggested that could solve the problem. Now all we need is the political will to do so. The money is the root of it so it must be contained by controlling the money that effects the vulnerable in our society. We cannot allow the disparity of incomes levels to continue to push us apart. Please read the rest of the article and comment on the source.

Ting boosts homeless housing

news briefs : marinatimes – excerpt

AB 932 would create a 10-year window in which the processes for building shelters and supportive housing would be streamlined upon the declaration of a shelter crisis. The city could create simpler local standards for the housing, upon review by the state Department of Housing and Community Development… (more)

Let’s repeat again, “it is cheaper to keep people housed than to build new housing for them.” The cheapest fix is to repeal or amend Costa Hawkins, not build new expensive housing for people who are living on the street who once lived fairly cheaply under affordable rent laws. But, the name of the game is not to save money or even to keep people housed. The name of the game, (and we are not blaming Ting for this), is to keep the developers and banks happy.

Repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act – Support AB 1506

costa-hawkins

Send a letter to your Assembly Members supporting AB 1506.

AB 1506 (Bloom) would repeal Costa-Hawkins, getting Sacramento out of way when it comes to making our communities more affordable. With housing costs completely out of control in California, now is the time to repeal Costa-Hawkins… (more)

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

IMG_1477

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)

 

Longtime San Francisco residents unhappy with city, says poll

by : curbed – excerpt

SF-skyline

San Francisco’s view-killing wall on the waterfront seen from the bay is unpopular with many long-term residents – photo by Zrants

The longer you’ve been living in San Francisco, the less likely you are to be happy with it.

That’s one of the lessons from the 2017 San Francisco City Survey released Tuesday, in which those with more than 30 years of San Francisco living under their belts generally gave City Hall a thumbs down.

The controller’s office conducts the survey every two years to measure general satisfaction with public services.

Overall, public opinion seems fairly mellow this time; most of the 2,166 randomly selected phone respondents gave the city either a B or a B- grade on things like public safety, transit, and parks. Libraries got a B+.

The public ranked homelessness as the city’s biggest problem, with 33 percent of responses highlighting it as their top concern… (more)

What is to like about a city that sold its soul for a few buckets of gold. People used to come for art, culture, social equality and other non-material qualities of life because there was no money. The new San Francisco draws get-rich-quick schemers who believe their virtual reality and future vision is more important than anyone or anything else and can’t wait to kick us out of our homes.

 

Scott Wiener’s housing straw man

By Calvin Welch : 48hills – excerpt

The senator misses the point — and the facts — when he attacks people who don’t think the private market will solve our woes

State Senator Scott Wiener, in a recent blog posting, attacked nameless critics of his efforts to produce more market-rate housing by removing local governments from the approval process if those local areas failed to meet regionally determined “housing needs.” Since all localities in the state currently fail to meet these needs, his legislation would, in effect, deregulate housing development all over California, since most housing regulations exist at the local level…

What Does Work? The voters of San Francisco and the Bay Area have an answer: market controls to keep existing housing within reach and public subsidies to build new housing they and their neighbors can afford. As argued earlier on these pages, the passage of more than $1 billion in bonds and sales taxes to build homes affordable to moderate income earners and people at risk of homelessness or homeless is sound public policy. Moreover, the passage of rent control measures is a rational response to a red hot real estate market. Continued effort to regulate Airbnb and other short term rentals is critical — the 10,000 STR’s in San Francisco just about equals the current vacancy rate for apartments. Imagine what would happen to rents if the vacancy rate were doubled because un-registered Airbnb listings were placed back on the rental market…. (more)

Might it be cheaper and easier to give landlords a reason to stay in the game? What would it take to make being a landlord easier and less stressful? Money is not the only thing that motivates people. Onerous laws and regulations and jumping through hoops gets old real fast, convincing many people to get out of the rental business and just sit on the property. As long as the values are going up, why sell?

What the Airbnb settlement means

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Supervisors appear to be coming to terms with the need to keep people in their homes. Airbnb legislation is being followed by legislation to curtail illegal evictions by beefing up enforcement of the laws already in place. Photo by Zrants

I am going to let Doug Engmann, former chair of the Pacific Stock Exchange and president of the SF Planning Commission, make the point about the city attorney’s settlement today with Airbnb:

It’s a game changer. If other American cities follow San Francisco’s lead and hold Airbnb accountable for facilitating illegal activity, it could have a material impact on the company’s revenue and $30 billion valuation. Venture capitalists, private equity funds and institutional investors should be having second thoughts about an enterprise with a business model that ignores local laws, deprives working families of needed housing, and disrupts the lives of tenants, property owners and neighbors.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced yesterday that the tech giant had dropped its ill-conceived suit against the city. The city clearly had the upper hand: Cities can regulate land use; cities get to decide where hotels go and where residential areas go…(more)

Maybe it is the Donald that has removed a lot of the divisive politics from City Hall by reminding us what is important. Lately, the only disagreement is over the housing mix, density and height limits. Event the homeless are getting more sympathy these days. Airbnb settlement is just the tip of the nasty iceberg. Hopefully the Supervisors will continue to work together to solve the next round of nasty problems.