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.

 

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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)

Real Estate Execs Disrupt Nonprofit Housing

By Toshio Meronek : sfweekly – excerpt

There’s a stealthy way developers get approval to build, build, build.

Hiding behind the scenes of many nonprofit housing organizations are corporate real estate professionals…

Over the past few years, the real estate industry has been cozying up to organizations that exist to help the poorest San Franciscans. It’s not well-known, but many of the nonprofits responsible for housing thousands of low-income San Franciscans and managing millions of dollars in public funding are run by people involved in real estate development, raising the question of whether, for example, an executive from Wells Fargo should be making decisions that affect some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

This conflict of interest can be stressful for tenants…

“We have no say,” says Phyllis Bowie, who lives at Midtown Apartments, a 139-unit complex in the Fillmore that’s managed by the city’s largest housing nonprofit, Mercy Housing

But renters do have allies. Tommi Avicolli Mecca of the Housing Rights Committee ensures that residents get heard over the blare of executives, who he believes have an agenda that puts profits first on the priority list, with tenants toward the bottom…

San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation and the YIMBY Party attempted to win enough member votes to take over the board of the local Sierra Club chapter, but failed in their efforts…

MHDC, BRIDGE, and the board of Mercy Housing — which puts out the majority of the city’s affordable housing — signed on to support local state Senator and ex-Sup. Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 35, which in practice could fast-track majority market-rate residential projects…

No big surprise: Sierra Club, Causa Justa, and the Housing Action Committee all opposed SB 35…

The 16th Street BART station could be home to what opponents have dubbed the “Monster in the Mission,” a new 10-story complex that would change the entire landscape of the neighborhood. (Only 42 of its 330 units are considered affordable.)…(more)

Good article with a lot of information. Unfortunately, most of the news is bad. If you care, you can still work on campaigns to replace the pro developer supervisors and state reps. The DCCC delegate election proved that people can make a difference if they get out and vote. The word that everyone is avoiding using is the word that most non-partisan groups agree is the problem with the Plan Bay Area and that word is gentrification. Look for someone with a plan to deal with rising property rates. Otherwise they do not have a feasible plan.

 

San Francisco to move forward with modular housing for homeless

Mayor’s Office of Housing proposes prefab apartments to beat deadline for new development

Earlier this year, San Francisco purchased a federal parking lot at 1068 Mission with the hope of building housing for the homeless on the site.

Now the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Mayor’s Office of Housing will commission modular apartments to replace the lot, possibly creating hundreds of new units of emergency housing in a matter of months if the experiment goes as planned.

In May the Boards of Supervisors approved acquiring the property, which sits behind the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (more)

Housing firebrand Sonja Trauss in race to represent District 6

 By Rachel Swan : sfchronicle – excerpt

Sonja Trauss, the love-her-or-hate-her rabble-rouser who helped make San Francisco’s housing shortage a trendy political cause, wants to move into a new home herself — an office at City Hall.

She’s entered the race to replace termed-out District Six Supervisor Jane Kim next year and represent an area that will probably shape housing and land use policy for the rest of the city. Trauss faces tough competition from progressive challenger Matt Haney, but a win would be a major coming-out for the Yes in My Backyard group she co-founded two years ago.

The question is whether Trauss is the right figurehead to get the YIMBYs a board seat. She’s smart and animated, armed with a master’s degree in economics and the simple message that more housing — a lot more, at all price points — will make cities affordable.

But she’s also the subject of a state ethics investigation and the enemy of older progressives, who believe the building boom is decimating San Francisco’s character and are using their considerable power in city politics to strike back at the YIMBYs..(more)

RELATED:

In SF’s District Six race, Haney is in while Angulo is out

In SF’s District Six race, Haney is in while Angulo is out – District Six has gone to progressives in the past five supervisor races, but the electorate has changed as more condos have gone up and more newcomers moved in…

Peskin and Kim have both endorsed Haney. Trauss said Tuesday she welcomes the competition and anticipates a “robust discussion” about the future of the district and San Francisco…(more)

 

Landowner-tenant laws may be contributing to homelessness

ktvu – excerpt (includes video)

Affordable Housing Project by Plan Bay Area photo by zrants

– While laws are supposed to protect, attorney James Cook told KTVU local landowner-tenant laws may be worsening the Bay Area’s housing crisis forcing more people into homelessness.

“Both landlords and tenants would say the current housing laws have contributed to at least the rental crisis,” he said. “If you talk to owners, they say it keeps small-time owners from renting to people because they want to rent out units for market rates because housing prices are so high. If you talk to tenants, they say the just law eviction laws do not protect them from unlawful evictions and they aren’t right.”

Cook said the Bay Area’s housing problem has grown at a speed for which many people and laws couldn’t have prepared. According to Cook, the Costa Hawkins Act originally made the law which determines control for rent control and when you can evict someone under rent control and what type of housing qualifies under rent control. Just Cause eviction laws determine the circumstances under which someone can evict a tenant… (more)

Some words of wisdom coming out of this conversation about homelessness. We need to balance the powers between the landlords and tenants with an eye toward fairness for all. The current laws pitch landlords against tenants and we agree they are largely in need of an overhaul.

Should we build lots more housing in San Francisco? Three reasons people disagree

by Julia Galef – excerpt

Some people, such as YIMBYs, advocate building lots more housing in San Francisco. Their basic argument is:

Housing in SF is the priciest in the country, with the average one bedroom apartment renting for over $3,000 per month (compared to the nationwide average of $1,200.)

The main reason rents are so high is because the supply of housing has been artificially restricted — new developments are constantly getting blocked by land use regulations and neighborhood associations. Meanwhile, demand to live in SF continues to rise. And since supply is not keeping pace, rents go up, as a growing number of would-be tenants outbid each other for the limited housing available.

Therefore, it’s important that we find a way to increase the rate at which we’re building new housing in SF, or it will be a city in which only the rich can afford to live.

I’ve been trying to understand why others are critical of this argument. I think there are three main areas of disagreement between what I’ll call the advocates and the critics, and I’ll briefly explain each in turn. (Note that I’m trying to present the strongest version of each argument, which may be different from the most common version.)… (more)