Artists working to live and work in safer spaces in Oakland after Ghost Ship

ktvu – excerpt (includes video)

Tanya Retherford took KTVU inside a 90-year-old warehouse in West Oakland where she is working with the city of Oakland on a first-of-its-kind project to build a live-work space completely up to code at 30th West Street, with a special variance from the planning department.

Retherford is the architect and a future tenant of the flagship project.

“This is going to be an artist’s, co-living working space when it’s completed with 13 residential spaces and studio space, dance floor, and workshop,” Retherford said.

She was part of an art collective at another warehouse that was evicted by their landlord immediately after the Ghost Ship fire took 36 lives in Dec. 2, 2016.

“What we’re trying to do is shift the paradigm so that people can develop spaces like this and work with the city,” Retherford said.

With numerous people living in non-permitted commercial spaces, two non-profit organizations are offering support.

The Oakland Warehouse Coalition and Safer DIY Spaces are two groups whose goal is try to bring properties up to code, while fighting to keep residents in their homes.

Jonah Strauss, executive director of the Oakland Warehouse Coalition, said the organization was formed after immediately in the wake of Ghost Ship…

At the beginning of the year, Mayor Libby Schaaf issued an executive order to improve safety at unpermitted buildings. It aimed to prevent unnecessary displacement, among other things. Strauss and Keenan said city leaders are supportive of making spaces safer, but the order has largely been ignored by code enforcement (more)

It would be nice if more cities chose to help artist stay in place while they take care of safety problems as a response to dangerous living conditions rather than evict them and or fine them. Do it Yourself (DIY) projects are at the hart of the artists movements and have been for decades. Our city leaders should encourage that spirit of freedom to express ourselves instead of damping it down as they have done for as along as we can remember. This is the newest and only pioneering option we have left in this country, and any action to improve one’s life should be embraced. Make sure to share this with your local officials as a good way to combat dangerous living conditions without evicting people and adding to the homeless crisis

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Sheehy, Breed try to pre-empt (or copy?) tenant ballot measure

By Tim Redmond : 8hills – excerpt

Supervisors Jeff and London Breed held a press conference this morning to announce legislation that would provide legal assistance to tenants facing eviction – a clear response to a ballot measure that was filed less than two weeks ago.

That came a day after announced the legislation at a candidate debate.

But at this point, the press release, the statements at the press conference, and ’s comments at the debate are very different from the proposed legislation that has been sent to the city attorney. The sponsors aren’t on the same page. So it’s not clear what will emerge from the legislative process… (more)

You have to read this to get the full picture. You may even find it amusing. I did.

 

Proposal calls for every renter facing eviction to have the right to a lawyer

By Tim Redmond :48hills – excerpt

Ballot measure for June, 2018 could be litmus test for local politicians

A coalition of renters and advocates, led by Dean Preston, who ran for supervisor last year, filed the paperwork today for a ballot measure that would guarantee every tenant facing eviction in San Francisco the right to a lawyer.

“This will go a long way toward improving the eviction problem,” Preston said. “Tenants who go to court without a lawyer almost always lose.”… (more)

Tenants find stability under Eviction Protections 2.0

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

The rent is too damn high!

That may still be true, but at least the evictions aren’t too damn high.

The latest numbers from the San Francisco Rent Board show a steady two-year decline in filed evictions since 2015. What’s behind the decline, you may ask?

Did landlords become less greedy? Have rent prices cooled? With an average two bedroom rental price of $3,400, according to Curbed, I think we can safely say no.

What has happened, say tenant advocates, is a handy suite of protections passed in 2015 are kicking in. Eviction Protections 2.0, the wonky rewrite of San Francisco’s rent-control law, is working…

a coalition of tenants rights advocates on Tuesday took the first step toward creating a ballot initiative to provide a right to legal counsel for victims of evictions in San Francisco… (more)

With housing costs skyrocketing, rent control is on the docket again in Sacramento

By Andrew Khouri : 48hills – excerpt

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Amid California’s housing crisis, several state lawmakers want to give cities the ability to dramatically expand rent control, including imposing the kind of strict limits that once existed in Santa Monica and West Hollywood but have been barred since the 1990s.

A bill that would do so, introduced last month, marks the most significant move yet in a growing movement to cap skyrocketing rents as California’s economy booms and housing production lags.

Protests over the high cost of housing and aggressive landlord tactics have erupted in Los Angeles and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. And voters in two cities up north passed new limits on rent increases in November, seeing them as a way to stop dramatic hikes that have displaced lower- and middle-income households.

But cities can only go so far in capping rents — something AB 1506 seeks to change.

“The momentum is very much on the side of rent control,” said Dean Preston, executive director of the statewide renters group Tenants Together(more)

The key here is that the repeal throws responsibility back to the local jurisdictions. That is why the slogan is: “Let the Cities Decide”, or let the citizens elect officials that represent their interests and allow them to decide. If you feel the local jurisdictions should decide how to manage rental housing instead of the state, you will want to support AB 1506. Contact your local state reps to let them know how you feel.  https://discoveryink.wordpress.com/state-legislators/

 

Proposed Legislation Aims to Strengthen Historical Districts

by Carrie Sisto : hoodline – excerpt

Legislation introduced today at the Board of Supervisors aims to prevent displacement of businesses and residents in San Francisco’s culturally significant neighborhoods.

The ordinance proposed by District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen and District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen would establish a framework for city departments to develop cultural districts that focus resources on “preserving culturally relevant businesses, arts, festivals, and affordable housing,” according to a release from the supervisors.

Rather than trying to stop gentrification, the legislation seeks to find methods to avoid displacement of cultural assets by expanding economic opportunities and promoting affordable housing… (more)

SF property manager atones for greed, Boogaloos slated to reopen

By : missionlocal – excerpt

In life, Boogaloos served as a microcosm of Mission trends every bit as well as it served as a brunch spot. There were the tattooed, toddler-toting hipsters wiping vegetarian herb-cream gravy off their hoodies, and tucking into a “Temple O’ Spuds,” an Edmund Hillary-worthy mountain of potatoes, cheese, salsa, sour cream and green onions — a monument to the power of hangover food.

In death, like Ben Kenobi, Boogaloos became even more powerful, as a symbol of the Malthusian currents drowning all too many people and places in the Mission. In 2015, the restaurant was rocked by a proposed increase of its rent from $4,200 to a parodic $17,500. Then, while essentially on life support, Boogaloo’s was hit with a fire in March of last year, and has since been down for the count…

Venerable, quotidian businesses being served with mind-blowing rent spikes — making way for places that won’t serve the Temple O’ Spuds or the sort of people who’d order that — is a boilerplate script element these days in the Mission. As are ill-timed fires.

Boogaloos, however, has gone off-script. And it looks like this Mission story may yet have a Hollywood ending.

“We’re going to open it again!” crows co-owner Carolyn Blair Brandeis, who co-founded Boogaloos in 1994 with Philip Bellber. While Brandeis had bandied about the notion of relocating the restaurant elsewhere, that won’t be necessary. Boogaloos is slated to reopen in the very same 1927-vintage building on the corner of Valencia and 22nd, a handsome, low-slung structure advertising its long-ago occupants in unsettling terms on the marquee: “Cut-rate druggists.”… (more)