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.

The Agenda, April 24 -39: Real health-care reform!

Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Plus: Affordable housing, evictions, Airbnb …. and the Leaning Tower of Soma. It’s going to be a busy week

A measure that would transform health care in California and set the stage for a profound change nationwide comes before its first committee Wednesday/26.

SB 562, by Sens. Ricardo Lara and Tony Atkins, could be the most important piece of legislation in the state this year…

The California Nurses Association is leading the fight, and will be holding a rally and march to the state Capitol starting at 11 am. The hearing is at 1:30. Buses will leave San Francisco at 7:50 am, one from the Zoo and one from Civic Center; you can RSVP here

The heated battle over affordable housing in SF is back at the Planning Commission Thursday/27, and it’s pretty clear that the deck has been stacked in favor of the plan favored by Sups. Ahsha Safai and London Breed – and the developers…

It’s going to be a crazy busy day at the Supes Government Audit and Oversight Committee Friday/28

irst, Sup. Jane Kim has called for a hearing on the city’s enforcement practices around residential evictions. That’s going to play into her move to ensure more accountability for landlords who do fake owner-move-in evictions – and may be the start of a discussion around the need for more enforcement authority and inspectors at the Rent Board.

Next: Sup. Aaron Peskin wants to look into the funding and oversight of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – which will no doubt bring up some of the issues around former DeYoung honcho Dede Wilsey, whose tenure was marked by all sorts of issues.

Then we are back to the Leaning Tower of Soma, and Peskin’s ongoing efforts to figure out why the city approved and a developer constructed a giant luxury housing tower that is now sinking and keeling over to the side…(more)

Contentious Bonus Height Program Rebranded

: socketsite – excerpt

While legislation to streamline the approval process for developers of below-market-rate housing in San Francisco to build up to three stories higher than zoned was adopted last year, the biggest component of San Francisco’s proposed Affordable Housing Bonus Program, which would have allowed market-rate developers to build up to two stories higher than currently zoned in exchange for pricing 30 percent of the development at below-market rates, was effectively abandoned.

But the bonus height program for market rate developers is about to re-emerge as “HOME-SF.”

And in addition, the HOME-SF program would expand the income range of households that qualify for the newly built below-market-rate units to families earning up to 150 percent of the Area Median Income, which is currently up to $140,000 a year for a family of four.

We heard that the ABHP was coming back. Now we know the new name of the program. Time to polish the Better Plan petition off and re-run it.

Touring embattled Chinatown with ‘the mayor’ and the supervisor

By David Talbot : sfchronicle – excerpt

Gordon Chin is a cool dude. He likes his smokes and his dive bars (Grasslands is his favorite). He digs jazz, and used to haunt the hungry i and other clubs where the likes of Miles Davis and Nina Simone sanctified the stage. In fact, he’s so cool that he can even get away with wearing Hawaiian shirts — he has a whole closet full of them. He has some explanation about it, something about the Hawaiian concept of ohana, or “family,” that I won’t go into here. Suffice it to say that when Chin retired as executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center in 2011, dozens of people threw better judgment (or inner shame) aside and slipped into aloha shirts in his honor. Because the coolest thing about Chin is that he made being a Chinatown activist cool.

Like the late, great mover and shaker Rose Pak, Chin was part of the 1960s/’70s generation that announced to the city that Chinatown was no longer going to be its meek, exotic tourist playground. Chin’s style was more low-key than the brash and brawling Pak. But he was no less effective. During his run at the community center, the nonprofit group built over 2,300 affordable housing units in Chinatown, spearheaded the mixed-use rezoning of the neighborhood to ensure that it wouldn’t be swallowed by the encroaching Financial District, and helped secure the future of the community that has been a portal for poor and striving Chinese immigrants since the 1840s.

So it makes sense that Chin will be serving as the honorary marshal of the Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday. As the raucous event looms, I thought I’d check in with the man who some call the mayor of Chinatown and take a walk through the neighborhood with him. Looking for Chin at Portsmouth Square, I bumped into his political comrade, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who decided to join us for the stroll through his district. Standing in the square, surrounded by romping children and clusters of retirees playing chess and mah-jongg, Chin and Peskin surveyed the terrain before them like generals recalling an old battleground…(more)

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An Opportunity to Capitalize on a Bernal Heights Blaze

socketsite – excerpt

The fire that consumed the former Cole Hardware at 3312 Mission Street and badly damaged the adjacent buildings – including the Graywood Hotel at 3308 Mission, a single-room-occupancy (SRO) hotel with 28 rooms – left 58 people homeless and the 3300 Club on the corner out of business.

While the former tenants of the Graywood technically have a right to return, unlike the operators of the 3300 Club or El Taco Loco, the hotel has since been gutted… (more)

Many comments on this one…

“The City must buy this building! It must have a non-profit owner or operator to ensure full-right of return for the displaced fire victims. This building is not a “cash cow” as described by the realtor. It’s a valuable anchor for working families and single adults. Is it any wonder we see so many more people experiencing homelessness on our streets when San Francisco has allowed the market to plunder 11,000 rooms from our SRO housing stock?”… Gabriel Medina


Fire-Torn SRO Gutted and Up for Sale, 3300 Club Ousted

By Laura Wenus and Laura Waxmann : missionlocal – excerpt

The owner of the Graywood Hotel, a single-room occupancy hotel damaged by a June 2016 blaze that displaced more than 50 people, has put the building up for sale amidst extensive renovations. The commercial leases in the building are now terminated, while advocates for the residential tenants are working to ensure they exercise their right to return.

“We just don’t have the bandwidth to put it back together,” said Dipak Patel, who owns the property at 3300-3308 Mission Street near 29th Street. Patel purchased the building in 2004 some for some $1.5 million, and is now asking $3.5 million…

The building is currently without a roof, and the interior is has been gutted to the studs. Patel said that the building’s water damage has been “cleaned up,” and that some of the building’s layout has been changed, but “the envelope of the building will be there,” he said…

Concerns over the state of the building, Patel said, led him to offer a month-to-month lease to the owners of the 3300 Club, a bar that has operated in the building for 60 years. In the end, those negotiations fell through, and the bar’s lease was terminated. A taqueria that was in the building prior to the fire had already moved on.

“Our hope was to come back into that location because we had been there for 60 years,” said Theresa Keane, whose family owns the 3300 Club, upon learning that the lease would not be renewed and that she would need to find a new location to reopen. “The fact that nothing has been done to that building, they gutted the inside, but the fact they haven’t done anything made me think they weren’t trying to rebuild.”

Keane said she will likely look for another location to reopen. In the meantime, she said, her bartenders have found shifts elsewhere and her “customers are still wandering around, a bit lost.”

Keane’s father opened the family business in 1956, and it operated year-round, closing only on election days and for her father’s funeral.

“My entire life, that’s been what our family has done,” she said. Still, she sympathizes more with her displaced neighbors. “We lost a business, that sucks, they lost their homes.”… (more)