More Below Market Rate Housing Found Rented Out Illegally

by Joe Kukura : sfist – excerpt

We know you don’t always watch the little news video reports we embed in these posts, but you really ought to watch the CBS 5 report above on homeowners scamming the system and renting out Below Market Rate housing units illegally. “Get away! Get! Get! Get away!” shouts one woman as she is busted at a residence other than the one she was granted by San Francisco’s Below Market Rate (BMR) Ownership Program. “Stop recording. I’m going to call my attorney right now,” says another, found in Redwood City though she rents out her BMR condo at the Embarcadero. The illegal renting of BMR units has long been a problem, and CBS 5’s Susie Steimle does some fantastic journalist pounding of the pavement to find several homeowners who’d been awarded low-cost BMR housing, but were advertising these units as rentals on Airbnb and Craigslist in violation of the law(more)

Thanks to Joe Fitz for letting us know that sfist is back. This story comes to us from them. Perfect article to follow the last one, that claims, “Latest data shows you can’t bring prices down by building more housing. A major problem with writing legislation to produce affordable housing is the lack of enforcement, chronicled here. Enforcement is complaint driven. If you see something suspicious, it is up to you to inform the authorities. There is no tracking system to make sure the affordable housing is going to the people who need it.

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Nonprofits could get first dibs on multi-unit buildings

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Affordable housing nonprofits could get first crack at buying multi-unit buildings under legislation introduced Tuesday to protect tenants from real estate speculators.

Introduced by Supervisor Sandra Fewer, the legislation would require property owners to notify the Mayor’s Office of Housing if they plan to sell properties with three or more residential rental units for nonprofits to possible purchase by affordable housing nonprofits…

The proposal, which Fewer calls the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, was crafted with the support of affordable housing nonprofits and inspired by Washington DC’s District Opportunity to Purchase Act… (more)

Community groups call for affordable housing at site of 2015 fatal fire

By Michael Toren : sfexaminer – excerpt (includes video)

Community leaders and a city supervisor gathered Friday morning in the Mission District to protest plans to build a nine-story condominium building on the site of a building destroyed in a fatal fire.

The lot at 22nd and Mission streets has been vacant since a four-alarm fire tore through a large, three-story mixed-use building there in January 2015, killing one resident and displacing some 60 others. That building was later demolished, leaving a fenced-off hole in the ground which can still be seen today… (more)

Canceled meeting on ‘Monster in the Mission’ development sparks dueling rallies

By Laura Waxmann : sfexaminer – excerpt

The sudden cancellation of a public hearing on a proposed 331-unit housing development at 1979 Mission St. laid bare deep divisions within the community over the project, despite recent revisions.

Plans for the development at the 16th and Mission Street Bart Plaza were first submitted by developer Maximus Real Estate Partners in 2013. From the onset they were challenged over their lack of affordability by community groups united as the Plaza 16 Coalition, who dubbed the project the “Monster in the Mission.”

Last year, the coalition asked the Planning Commission to hold a hearing on the project in the Mission District, so that community members could weigh in. But that meeting’s cancellation this week sparked two competing rallies Thursday — one led by Plaza 16, calling on the developer to provide a 100 percent affordable project, and the other organized by the Maximus-funded group Mission for All, aimed at moving the project forward as is… (more)

Puzzling logic in arguments against tax on big businesses to aid homeless

: sfchronicle – excerpt

A slick campaign piece landed in my mailbox the other day, screaming in all capital letters: “Prop. C would spend another $300 million a year on the same failed programs.”

You know, those failed programs that produced the scenes depicted in the mailer’s photographs. The ones of Third World-style tent shantytowns spread along sidewalks in the Mission, with bicycle parts and shopping carts strewn around…

Prop. C is a simple concept, and one that’s getting big-name support. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Rep. Jackie Speier, Assemblyman Phil Ting and seven supervisors support it…

Breed says she opposes Prop. C because she’s not confident the city is spending its money on homelessness effectively, though she didn’t express that concern in backing the two previous revenue measures. Her spokesman, Jeff Cretan, said the mayor’s budget office is analyzing the city’s homeless funding and how it’s being used…

OK, so the programs are successful but they’re also failures. But, really, we don’t know either way and have to audit them. We need more money, but not from the cities’ biggest businesses that can most easily afford it.

Are you confused by the No on C side? I am. Maybe I just need some time to meditate in an infrared sauna… (more)

Homeless San Diegans Lead National Fight of Vehicle-Camping Laws

: courthousenews – excerpt

SAN DIEGO (CN) – Homeless San Diegans living in RVs and cars have successfully challenged local laws outlawing vehicle habitation, with a judge ordering the city to cease ticketing and toss out hundreds of outstanding tickets. If they win their case – or a favorable settlement – their efforts could be emulated around the country.

This past fall, San Diegans living in RVs and vehicles kicked off their lawsuit with a rally in the city’s historic Balboa Park, singing and chanting while waving hand-painted signs which read “Stop the tickets.”

Represented by Disability Rights California, the plaintiffs in the case have disabilities and say living in their vehicles is the safest option for them absent affordable housing.

San Diego had just weathered a Hepatitis A outbreak that left 20 people dead and over 400 hospitalized. The public health crisis mostly impacted the city’s unsheltered population and its spread was compounded by the lack of public restrooms for those living on San Diego streets. The situation forced the city to sanitize downtown streets with a bleach solution and install portable toilets and hand washing stations… (more)

Regional housing tax in the works — 9-county agency looks to raise $1.5 billion a year

By Eliane Goodman : padailypost – excerpt

A group that wants to increase the housing supply in the Bay Area is looking at ways to fund its efforts, which could potentially include a sales tax increase, an employer “head count” tax, or a tax on vacant houses.

Those are a few of the ideas under review by CASA, or Committee to House the Bay Area. The group was formed last year by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional planning agency for the nine-county Bay Area. CASA has roughly 50 members that include local government officials and representatives of businesses and nonprofits.
CASA is proposing a multi-pronged approach to the region’s housing crisis that it calls the “three P’s”: producing more housing at all levels of affordability, preserving existing affordable housing, and protecting residents at risk of losing their housing…

‘Share the pain’… (more)

‘Share the pain’ is the worst argument for raising taxes or changing lifestyles. For those of us who know the history of SOMA there is a certain irony in this request, but, no thanks, I am not a masochist. If you are, stay and complain, if not, move. Don’t inflict your lifestyle on me and I will not inflict mine on you.

RELATED:
MTC CASA technical committee hopes to raise billions from Bay Area taxpayers
(Includes video links of the MTC CASA meeting): https://sfceqa.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/mtc-casa-technical-committee-hopes-to-raise-billions-from-bay-area-taxpayers/

4 things we can do to curb our S.F. housing shortage

By Ozzie Rohm : sfgate – excerpt

In the past few years, the raging debate about California’s housing shortage has turned into a battle of words, with simplistic labels from differing camps. Real estate boosters have reduced the problem to an issue of supply and demand, while politicians of all stripes have exploited what is an affordability crisis to deregulate city planning and remove the voice of the people.

In reality, we have an affordable housing shortage that cannot be solved by deregulation and upzoning every residential parcel in San Francisco for more market-rate housing. We keep building, but the prices keep going up because, in a city as desirable as San Francisco, the demand is insatiable. But if we harness that demand by reducing real estate speculation and increasing the production of below-market-rate homes, we directly address the problem. To that end, we suggest these measures:

Impose a vacancy tax: In a hot real estate market such as ours, homes are used as investment tools…

Preserve our relatively affordable homes: Square foot for square foot, older homes are cheaper than new homes. A study by the National Association of Realtors points to a 30 to 40 percent price difference between the old and new homes…

Start a rental registry: Our tenants have been hit the hardest by this crisis. Speculators buy rental properties and get rid of tenants only to remodel and put them on the market with hefty profit…

Build 100 percent affordable housing: The magnitude of this crisis is such that what little affordable housing trickles down from 10, 20, and 30 percent inclusionary measures (where the developer is required to reserve a certain percentage of the new units for low- or middle-income dwellers) would not solve the problem…

Any of the first three measures can knock the speculators out of the market, while the last one will produce more homes for those who need them the most, people who cannot afford $1 million-plus homes. We can come together and press for these changes, or we can continue the blame game and divisive posturing.

If you can envision a San Francisco where people of all income levels are welcome, so can we — and that’s a goal worth striving for. Join us, and let’s make it happen!

Ozzie Rohm is a co-founder of Noe Neighborhood Council and a member of San Francisco Land Use Coalition. You can reach her at info@sfluc.org. To comment, submit your letter to the editor at SFChronicle.com/letters… (more)