Tenants call out Chiu on key rent-control measure

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

They demand that cautious Assemblymember take a more active role in helping stop evictions

A group of San Francisco tenants and advocates delivered an eviction warning to Assemblymember David Chiu today, urging that he help push a repeal of the notorious Costa-Hawkins bill through the Legislature.

Chiu is the chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, the first stop on the path toward bringing the repeal bill to the floor.

The author of the bill is Assemblymember Richard Bloom of Santa Monica. Chiu is listed as a co-author, but tenant advocates say he has not made the measure a priority…

Here are the members of the committee. Five are Democrats; two are Republicans. The current leadership of the Assembly and the Democratic Party have no made tenant issues a priority, and apparently don’t want to put pressure on anyone to vote to help renters…

True said Chiu wants to meet with the tenants, and that’s fine. But what we have here is a very different philosophy. Chiu has endorsed Sonja Trauss, the build-at-all-costs candidate who no tenant organization would ever support, in District 6. He doesn’t look to the Tenants Union and the Housing Rights Committee for direction; he looks to what’s good for his relations with the rest of the Assembly Democrats, who are often real-estate shills…(more)

RELATED:  Little-known Yimby-developer bills will have big impact on local planning

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SF pivots: Costly, time-consuming Muni fix is now being done free

Meter Madness

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

Shift astounds city supervisor: “They don’t know what the fuck is going on with their buses.”


In August, Mission Local broke the story that Muni’s New Flyer diesel-electric hybrid buses, which come with a nearly $750,000-a-pop price tag justified by their environmental bona fides, did not have a rudimentary pollution control device installed on them. These buses, Muni yard workers were dismayed to discover, were not programmed to automatically shut down after five minutes of idling, the length of time allowed by state law. Instead, they could idle indefinitely, until they ran out of fuel.

On Monday, we reported that media exposure and scrutiny by city government appears to have changed Muni’s tune. Warning stickers noting that idling a bus for more than five minutes is illegal are going up in every diesel or hybrid coach. And, in an October closed-door meeting with…

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To stop monster homes, legalize apartments

By Scott Feeny : sfexaminer – excerpt

In San Francisco’s ritziest neighborhoods, from Corona Heights to Noe Valley to Potrero Hill, there’s an epidemic going around: monster homes. Someone will buy a tiny, rundown, single-family home for a mere $1.5 million, then replace or add on to make it a gigantic single-family home or duplex that sells for $4.5 million.

The planning bureaucracy is responding tepidly with a new proposal, “Residential Expansion Threshold,” that pays lip service to housing production needs, but mostly offers NIMBYs concessions. It seeks to maximize allowable density, for example, by incentivizing building a duplex instead of a single-family home in Noe Valley. It’s a reasonable goal, but inadequate given existing zoning. Duplexes are illegal to build in much of The City, so the RET does little for us…

At the same time, the program aims to reduce building mass to “respect neighborhood character,” a thinly disguised segregationist dog whistle. Respecting neighborhood character means keeping residential neighborhoods the same: single-family homes that are low-density and unaffordable…(more)

SF Planning Commission debates housing, ignores gentrification

Tim redmond : 48hills – excerpt

When will there be a hearing on the human costs of accommodating too much commercial growth?

The San Francisco Planning Commission discussed the housing crisis Thursday, and there were a few remarkable moments.

Much of the presentation by planners focused on the balance between jobs and housing in the city — which, to nobody’s surprise, is way out of whack.

Part of that is clearly a regional problem: The Peninsula cities love to approve tech office space but build no new housing, exporting the problem to SF. But the city also has a lot more jobs than housing…

Yimby Action’s Laura Clark said that “we should be building a lot more housing,” and that we should eliminate single-family zoning in the city within the next year. (more)

Gentrification may be what brought us Trump. Politicians need to listen to the anger and frustration the country is feeling over an unprecedented wage gap and cost of living increases.

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)

 

Op-Ed: The Central SoMa Plan Will Worsen Displacement Crisis

By Scott Feeney : thebaycitybeacon – excerpt

What’s a bigger problem in San Francisco today: not enough tech offices, or not enough housing?

Obviously the need for housing is greater, and I say that as someone who works in tech. The City produced eight new jobs for every new home since 2010. And people are noticing the imbalance. Even an entrepreneur is likely to tell you that while signing an office lease is annoying, recruiting and retaining employees is much more difficult as people flee Bay Area housing costs… (more)

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)