SF reaches $15.5M deal to buy McDonald’s on Haight, build affordable housing

By Michael Barba and Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

San Francisco has reached a deal to purchase the blighted McDonald’s restaurant on Haight Street for $15.5 million and plans to turn the site into [100%] affordable housing, Board of Supervisors President London Breed said Tuesday…(more)

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San Francisco ballot measure on affordable housing would test voters

By Heather Knight : sfchronicle – excerpt

Homeless people have taken up residents on the side walks near the recently emptied PDR buildings in the Mission as businesses move out due to high rents. There are quite a few large empty bakeries and car lots and former construction shops. These photos by zrants.

San Franciscans are famous for complaining about the city’s homeless problem, high housing costs and fleeing middle class, and in the same breath, blasting affordable housing projects planned near them.

The homeless encampments sprawling all over city sidewalks are outrageous! Build affordable housing for homeless people in my neighborhood? No way!

So it’ll be an interesting test to see how a ballot measure planned for June fares with city voters. The love-it-or-hate-it group known as Yimby Action (for Yes in My Backyard) wants voters to make it easier for developers to construct 100 percent affordable housing and teacher housing.

The measure, being reviewed by the city attorney’s office and set to hit the streets soon for signature collection, would eliminate discretionary reviews for those two housing categories.

That means that if a 100 percent affordable or teacher housing project met all zoning and other requirements, it would get the go-ahead automatically. It could speed the process for getting permits from several years to a few months, said Laura Foote Clark, executive director of Yimby Action…(more)

The state recently passed a law that covers most of this and the major problem we are facing is a lack of space to build without disrupting current residents and a lack of money to build the affordable housing. As a recent housing balance report pointed out, there is a major problem with adding additional affordable housing when you are losing existing at almost the rate you are building, or approving. Not all of the approved projects are being built. It is cheaper and easier for everyone to preserve the existing housing and a lot more humane. There is already a move or two to repeal Costa Hawkins at the state level that could do just that.

Emergency Ban on Excessive Rent Increases Takes Effect in Nine California Counties, after Wildfires

Wednesday, October 18, 2017: California’s statewide tenants’ rights organization warned on Wednesday that double-digit rent increases following recent wildfires violate Penal Code 396, the state’s anti-price gouging laws. The cap on rent increases was triggered by the Governor’s declarations of states of emergency in nine counties due to wildfires. Tenants Together is holding a webinar at 10am-11am on October 26, 2017, for media, policymakers, lawyers, and organizers on the issue. To sign up for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/RentBan

In the Bay Area, where affordable housing is already scarce, the fires have caused a surge in homelessness, as well as a sharp rise in demand for rental units. The price gouging law protects against landlords capitalizing on the heightened vulnerability of tenants…(more)

Find out more about these executive orders to stop price gouging in the fire areas by signing up for the webinar.

New Affordable Housing Resources for SF Artists

If you are like us, you’re tired of losing San Francisco artists and creatives to eviction and displacement because of skyrocketing housing costs.  The good news is there is some recent money and support being set aside for affordable housing specifically for artists and nonprofit workers in SF.  18% of all new housing stock in SF is meant to be kept as ‘affordable housing’, which is important considering the median rent for a one-bed in San Francisco is currently the highest in the country at $3,370/month (that’s over $40k a year just for rent).

If you are an artist (or know an artist) who may need help with all the paperwork or to find out if you have the right income level (AMI) to qualify for affordable housing, the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) is stepping up to help you out.  The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) awarded a $115,000 grant to MEDA to assist artists and nonprofit cultural workers with accessing the City’s affordable housing stock.

Via – Kate Paterson of SFAC

“San Francisco’s highly competitive real estate market continues to prove challenging for many artists and cultural workers. Our aim through this partnership is to keep artists in San Francisco by helping those who income qualify navigate the City’s affordable housing opportunities,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. “We are happy that we can provide free housing technical assistance for artists and nonprofit cultural workers with Mission Economic Development Agency, who excels at this work.”… (more)

How owner move-in reform will affect SF tenants and landlords

Op-ed by Cynthia Fong : sfexaminer – excerpt

Owner move-in reform unanimously passed through the Board of Supervisors on July 18. This reform adds enforcement mechanisms to protect tenants from landlords who abuse OMI evictions and never intend to move in. Here is what this new legislation means for tenants and landlords:

This legislation, aptly named “Administrative Code – Owner Move-In Reporting Requirements,” primarily impacts landlords by requiring new and improved reporting requirements. Landlords are now required to provide a declaration under penalty of perjury stating that they intend on residing in the unit for at least 36 continuous months. In addition, the Rent Board is now required to annually notify the unit occupant of the maximum allowable rent (which is the rent of the previous tenant) for five years after an OMI.

This reform also extends the amount of time that a tenant has to exercise their rights and keep landlords accountable…

Finally, and perhaps the most significantly, nonprofits like the Housing Rights Committee and the San Francisco Tenants Union will be able to exercise a “right of action” to enforce the law…

Effective enforcement mechanisms were passed because tenant advocates pushed for real solutions…

Cynthia Fong is a community organizer with the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco in the Richmond District... (more)

 

Supervisors Reach Compromise On Affordable Housing Mandates

by Shane Downing : hoodline – excerpt

Last night, moderates and progressives on the Board of Supervisors reached a compromise on how much affordable housing to require in new market-rate developments, an agreement that both prioritizes low-income families and caters to middle-class San Franciscans who don’t usually qualify for subsidized housing.

Last night’s compromise between Supervisors London Breed, Jane Kim, Aaron Peskin, Ahsha Safai and Katy Tang was a year in the making, as progressives and moderates previously locked horns on how much affordable housing to mandate in new market-rate developments.

Whereas Breed, Safai and Tang had supported legislation requiring a 18 percent requirement that targeted middle-class families, progressives Kim and Peskin pushed for a 24 percent set-aside for lower-income families…

The compromise addresses issues that were raised in 2016’s Proposition C, which required developers to sell or rent 25 percent of their new units at below-market rates. Implementing the ballot measure hinged on a yet-to-be-released feasibility study from the controller’s office…

In a related matter, supervisors unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve amendments to a proposed density bonus and height law to make it more family-friendly and take into account varying property values across San Francisco’s neighborhoods… (more)

Affordable housing program buys Richmond District building

By : sfexaminer – excerpt

A San Francisco city program that buys and preserves rent-controlled housing for tenants celebrated its first purchase Tuesday in the Richmond District and more than 100 purchases citywide since its start in 2014.

The three-story, five unit building at 4042 Fulton St. was acquired this month by the Community Land Trust with help from The City’s Small Sites Program, which provides funds for nonprofits to purchase and manage properties where long-term tenants are at risk of displacement…(more)

This is good news. We need to preserve what we have because it is the most affordable housing we will ever have.