Office, housing expansion planned for former Lyft HQ meets with opposition

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

Project at 2300 Harrison St. adds 24 units, new retail, arts and office space to current building

Community advocates are taking a stand against a proposed six-story expansion of the former Lyft headquarters in the Mission District that would bring close to 100,000 square feet of office space to the heavily gentrifying neighborhood.

Plans to add a mixed-use building with ground-floor retail and arts spaces, 27,017 square feet of additional office space and a total of 24 apartments to the existing three-story building at 2300 Harrison St. are expected to go before the Planning Commission Thursday for a vote…

The Planning Department is recommending approval, but a coalition of community groups is pressing the commission to hold off on making a decision on the project to allow for more time to negotiate benefits for the community, such as increased affordable housing on site…

“We want a higher amount of affordable housing. We want an actual plan for this office space to be mixed use, to contribute not only to high income earners but to the working class,” said Bocanegra. “The City is the biggest representative for its vulnerable communities. The City needs to take a hard look at this project…and assure that this building gets built in a way that will [guarantee] an equitable and a healthy outcome.”… (more)

http://commissions.sfplanning.org/cpcpackets/2016-010589ENXOFAc1.pdf

SF seizes homeless people’s property — and they rarely get it back

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt (includes video links)

Stunning new videos document how the cops and DPW are failing to follow even their own rules as tents, medicine, and personal belongings wind up in the trash.

An advocacy group for homeless people has just released a stunning set of videos that demonstrate how police and city workers are taking away – and never returning – the property of homeless people, in violation of local rules…

The former [DPW] worker is, of course, anonymous, but SF Weekly’s Nuala Sawyer confirmed that the person was, indeed, a DPW employee…

The site, stolenbelonging.org, includes a remarkable video of what happens when a homeless person tries to go to the DPW lot and reclaim her possessions…(more)

Startup rents bunkbeds in the Tendernob for $1,200 per month

By Adam Brinklow :

“Pods” try to make a virtue of necessity

How much does it cost for bare minimum accommodations in San Francisco—i.e, a bed and a roof?

In the Tenderloin, that’ll be $60 per night, or $1,200 per month. That’s what the Southern California-based startup Podshare charges for one of its “pods” at the company’s first San Francisco locale.

According to the company, “A pod is a hand-built, high-end bunk bed complete with your own flat screen TV and night light.” …(more)

This is a rental unit? Double beds? As if couples will sleep together in this fashion. or maybe you sleep with your dog? No wonder people are living in vehicles. At least you have a modicum of privacy.

What can we do for homeless in cars?

By Douglas Howatt : hmbreview – excerpt

Manny Flores was happy to have city officials support his community organization’s safe parking program, reported KTLA last December. “The community has really galvanized itself behind this program to support it, because they understand that they’re in our community anyway, so we might as well keep them safe,” he said of the Southern California efforts.

Can we do that on the Coastside?

Safe parking programs are run in cities large and small throughout the Western United States to address the growing number of people who live in cars. A program called “One Starfish” describes why people choose to live in their cars in Santa Barbara as “divorce, death of spouse or family, loss of job, spousal abuse, foreclosure or simply skyrocketing rent.” No doubt that’s why many people park and sleep on Coastside streets. Still more need to sleep near the work they can find, far from the homes they can afford…

Perhaps a safe parking program on the Coastside would catch a growing issue before it gets out of hand. Do we have the interest and the will among our city leaders and community organizations to test a program and find out what would work here? If not safe parking, how will we help?… (more0

Tenants feeling the housing squeeze as more units added

By Melanie Woodrow : abc7news – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — ABC7 is dedicating more time and resources to the issues that impact your quality of life, and help Build a Better Bay Area. That includes the housing crisis. One solution is creating more units in existing rent-controlled buildings, but some say the additional housing is putting a squeeze on tenants already living there.

Constructing the additional units usually means taking away building amenities like laundry, storage or parking sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently, which is why some tenants are feeling squeezed…(more)

The Democrats come to town: Convention preview

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

The heated race for party chair. Plus: Should we expect disruptions (the Party doesn’t want any) … and a guide to local convention events.

The California Democratic Party convention will take over Moscone Center this weekend – and along with speeches by candidates for president (except Joe Biden, who isn’t going to show), the party will elect a new chair in a highly contested vote.

Progressives like SF Party Chair David Campos are backing Kimberly Ellis of Richmond. Her main opponent is Rusty Hicks, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

The race has become nasty and divisive; Ellis still thinks she should have won the last time around, but the Party went with Eric Bauman, who had to resign over sexual harassement charges… (more)

Follow the article for the details on the planned events.

Advocate for ‘safe organized spaces’ pitches temporary homeless village on Tenderloin parking lot

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Armed with jasmine spray, Amy Farah Weiss explained her vision on a recent afternoon for transforming a Tenderloin parking lot into a homeless “stewardship village” to address the apparent unmet needs in the neighborhood.

Weiss, the former mayoral candidate and Bay Area native, wants the city-owned parking lot at Jones and Turk streets to become a village of small sleeping cabins for up to 15 homeless people with amenities like a garden and bathroom. The site would exist temporarily until construction begins on the expected affordable housing development.

As the founder and director of the Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge, Weiss searches for sites just like this one and attempts to build community support to transform them into spaces that could help The City’s most in need. She wouldn’t mind the title “patron saint of underutilized spaces.”…(more)