Court overturns eviction of North Beach poet

By Julie Cheever of Bay City News : sfexaminer – excerpt

A state appeals court has overturned a ruling allowing the eviction of North Beach poet Diego De Leo.

A state appeals court in San Francisco has overturned a judgment allowing the eviction of an 83-year-old man who has lived in a cottage in the North Beach district of the city for more than 30 years.

Diego De Leo’s landlord, Martin Coyne, sought in 2016 to evict him by invoking the state’s Ellis Act, which allows owners to go out of the rental business if they withdraw all units on a property from the rental market.

At a Superior Court trial in 2016, a civil jury ruled by a 9-3 vote that Coyne had a good-faith intention to leave the rental market and could therefore evict De Leo.

But in a decision issued on Monday, a three-judge Court of Appeal set aside that verdict. It said De Leo should have been allowed to present evidence on his claim that another tenant on the property received a sham ownership deal, allegedly indicating that Coyne did not have a good-faith intent to go out of rental business.

The ruling clears the way for a new Superior Court eviction trial, also known as an unlawful detainer proceeding, in which De Leo will be able to present the alleged evidence… (more)

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As Affordable Housing Crisis Grows, HUD Sits on the Sidelines

By Glenn Thrush : newyorktimes – excerpt

Mr. Carson (the housing secretary), continues to prioritize his push to reduce, rather than expand, assistance to the poor.

WASHINGTON — The country is in the grips of an escalating housing affordability crisis. Millions of low-income Americans are paying 70 percent or more of their incomes for shelter, while rents continue to rise and construction of affordable rental apartments lags far behind the need.

As city and state officials and members of both parties clamor for the federal government to help, Mr. Carson has privately told aides that he views the shortage of affordable housing as regrettable, but as essentially a local problem…

For his part, Mr. Carson publicly acknowledges the crisis in most of his speeches. “Alarmingly high numbers of Americans continue to pay more than half of their incomes toward rent,” he told a House panel in October. “Many millions remain mired in poverty, rather than being guided on a path out of it.”

But he is focused less on federal solutions than on prodding local governments to ease barriers to construction. He has ordered his policy staff to come up with proposals to push local governments to reduce zoning restrictions on new projects, especially low-cost manufactured housing. HUD will also begin working with landlords around the country to come up with ways to make housing vouchers more attractive and more inclusive, aides said.

“Subsidies are a piece of the puzzle,” said Raffi Williams, a spokesman for Mr. Carson, “but we must also address the regulatory barriers relative to zoning and land use in higher-cost markets that are preventing the construction of new affordable housing. This is not just a federal problem — it’s everybody’s problem.”… (more)

Tenant Troubles: My washer broke — should I sign a lease?

By Dave Crow : 48hills – excerpt

In San Francisco, if you don’t have a lease it may be harder for the landlord to evict you…

Do I need a written lease? If so, what tricks/clauses/loopholes should I watch out for?

It may seem like the distant past now, but as the US Congress for the Rich continues to push for more banking deregulation, we could easily see more real estate investment financed by junk bonds, credit default swaps abetted by derivatives. And once again tenants and regular working people will be required to bail out the institutions that aided and abetted the landlords who harassed and evicted them. For a great take on the Lembis and real estate investment circa 2009,  take a look at “War of Values,” by my friend Danelle Morton.

I tend to agree with the Tenants Union on this one. Why? Because you’ll be presented with a 20+ page lease, like the San Francisco Apartment Association lease, in which several clauses come close to being void as against public policy and others may weaken your rights under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance…

Generally, I only recommend that tenants sign new leases that may modestly increase the rent for single family dwellings, houses or condominiums… (more)

 

La Victoria bakery tenants told to clear out

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

Long-time employees and commercial tenants of La Victoria Bakery at 2937 24th St. have been told that they will have to vacate the more than half-century old Mission District establishment next month.

Beginning last week, a handful of merchants who currently sublease space inside of the the bakery were served with 30-day notices of “termination of tenancy” by Jaime Maldonado, son of La Victoria’s proprietor, Gabriel Maldonado.

The eviction notices followed an announcement in March that the two-story building, in which the bakery has operated for the better part of 67 years as one of three commercial tenants, had been put on the market for $3.4 million.

Maldonado has been running the family bakery for decades, but gradually began subleasing the commercial kitchen space to a rotation of merchants to strengthen his business and support local merchants…(more)

 

Sanctuary amid housing crisis

By Wendy Lee : sfchronicle – excerpt

…With no end in sight to soaring housing costs, several Bay Area faith organizations have become a sanctuary of sorts — not just channeling donations and distributing food, but also offering a safe place for people living in cars or RVs. The arrangement has sometimes grated on neighbors, but for pastors, it’s simply an extension of their mission to serve humanity.

“We know it’s just a Band-Aid,” said Brian Leong, a pastor at Lord’s Grace Christian Church in Mountain View, which is hoping to offer a handful of spots for people living in RVs. “We realize that sleeping in your car, whether it’s your lot or anywhere else, is not great. It’s not what anyone wants for themselves or their families.”...(more)

 

Gimme Shelter podcast: The rent control war

By Matt Levin : calmatters and gimmeshelter (includes audio track from podcast)

One housing issue will overshadow all others this election: Rent control. Matt and Liam discuss why renewed negotiations to remove a controversial rent control initiative from the ballot went nowhere, and what the campaigns will look like this fall. First, Matt proposes a solution to the Los Angeles Clippers’ battles with the California Environmental Quality Act in the Avocado of the Fortnight (3:30). Then a discussion about why negotiations over rent control have been so fruitless (11:23). Debra Carlton, senior vice president of public affairs for the California Apartment Association, stops by the studio to talk about the landlords’ perspective (24:00). And Amy Schur, campaign director for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, calls in to give the tenants’ side (47:30). *… (more)

RELATED – 12 more initiatives on the November ballot:

Propositions on the November 2018 California ballot

by Ben Christopher : calmatters – excerpt

Prop 6: Gas Tax Repeal, Repeal a recent increase in the gas tax and other fuel and car fees and require voter approval for all related taxes in the future.
Prop 10: Repeal Costa-Hawkins, Allow cities to introduce new restrictions on market rents or expand existing rent control policies
Prop 5: Portable Prop 13, Allow older or disabled homeowners to take their lowered property tax base with them when they move.
Prop 8: Dialysis Clinic Profit Pruning, Require companies that operate dialysis clinics to pay back insurers any profits over 15 percent of qualifying business costs.
Prop 1: Affordable Housing Bond, Give the state permission to borrow $4 billion to fund affordable housing construction ($3 billion) and to subsidize home loans for veterans ($1 billion).
Prop 9: Tim Draper’s Three State Solution, Divide California into three new states: “Northern California,” “Southern California,” and “California.”
Prop 2: Mental Health Money for Housing, Give the state permission to borrow $2 billion to fund supportive housing for those suffering with mental illness and to repay the cost of that bond with money set aside for mental health services.
Prop 12: Bigger Cages for Farm Animals, Place new size requirements on the coops and cages used to contain breeding pigs, veal calfs, and egg-laying hens. It would also require all egg-laying hens be raised in specified “cage-free” conditions. These requirements would apply to anyone selling related food products in California, even if the farms are out of state.
Prop 11: Paramedic Break Time, Allow private ambulance services to require their emergency medical service employees to remain on call during meal and rest breaks. Also guarantees technicians additional training and some paid medical health services.
Prop 7: Daylight Savings Time, Would repeal the measure Californians passed back in 1949 creating Daylight Savings Time. The Legislature would then be able to determine how the state sets its time—to eliminate moving clocks backward and forward every spring and fall.
Prop 4: Childrens Hospital Bond, Give the state permission to borrow $1.5 billion to renovations, expansions, and upgrades at hospitals that treat children. Most of the funding is reserved for private non-profit hospitals and hospitals run through one of University of California campuses.
Prop 3: Another Water Bond, Give the state permission to borrow $8.9 billion to fund watershed protection, wastewater projects, groundwater management, as well as upgrades and repairs to traditional water infrastructure, like canals and dams… (more)

Campaign deadlines:
June 19 Deadline for candidates to declare intention to run
June 28 Deadline for ballot initiatives to be certified
August 15 Deadline for political parties to endorse
October 22 Voter registration deadline
October 30 Vote-by-mail request deadline
November 6 HAPPY ELECTION DAY!

Cox Opposes Rent Control Ballot Initiative

mynewsla – excerpt

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox Saturday called a rent control initiative set to appear on the November ballot “a bad deal for renters.”

“Building more housing will bring rents down,” Cox tweeted as he shared a story about the measure qualifying for the November ballot. “This measure treats the symptom, not the disease – it’s a bad deal for renters.

What backers have dubbed the Affordable Housing Act would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a 1995 law that bans rent control on apartment buildings, condominiums and houses built after 1995 and froze local rent control laws.

The 1995 law also allows landlords to raise rents by an unlimited amount when a unit becomes vacant.

If adopted by voters, the initiative would give cities and counties expanded authority to enact rent control on residential property.

There was no immediate response to an email sent Saturday night to a spokesman for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, seeking the Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s position on the initiative…(more)