SF family’s RV was their home. Then it got towed.

By Kevin Fagan : sfchronicle – excerpt

Marielle Lowes spent the past five years traveling the nation in buses and recreational vehicles as a dreadlocked hippie, trailing the remnants of the Grateful Dead and hitting Rainbow Nation bohemian gatherings while selling her art. Then, eight months ago, she gave birth to her first child, and she longs to go home to New Orleans “to settle down and be a mom.”

But she’s stuck in San Francisco. The recreational vehicle that she and her boyfriend have lived in for nearly two years and just fixed up to take them to Louisiana was towed by city parking officials more than a week ago — and they can’t get it back…

If Lowes and Wassell can’t pay the fees or get them waived, they will have to leave the RV behind and it will become city property to be sold.

Meanwhile, Compass Connecting Point, the city agency that places homeless parents and their children in shelters, has put the couple and their baby on a waiting list of 50 other families without permanent housing.

“We get this kind of thing several times a year, with a family losing a vehicle that was their home,” said Carla Praglin, agency case management director. “When you lose your car and your valuable documents like ID, it’s an additional trauma, can really set a family back on getting things done.”…(more)

Wasn’t there some sort of effort to drop charges or lower them for people with limited means? This has got to be an argument for that.




Bayview tenants get eviction reprieve

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Planning Commission delays action on demolition of rental housing units

The Bayview tenants who are facing eviction because a landlord illegally built their units got a reprieve today when the Planning Commission voted unanimously to delay action on the demolition of the apartments.

Sup. Malia Cohen asked the commission for a continuance of an item that could have authorized the demolition of more than 15 rent-controlled apartments housing military vets, most of them seniors and many formerly homeless… (more)

Thanks Malia. Never let it be said that the Supervisors’ hands are tied. They have a lot more power than some would like you to believe. All it takes is one supervisor to come to the aide of their constituents and most of the others will support that decision. Always start with the supervisor when you have a problem.

Supes rebuke Planning Commission

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Hotel rejected; pot clubs limited; Kim wants more sunshine on dark money … the last board meeting before summer break was packed with action

The Board of Supes rejected a hotel project on Hyde Street today, sending a clear message that a residential building where tenants have been displaced by fire can’t be turned into another use.

It was also a sharp rebuke to the four Planning Commission members who were appointed by Mayor Ed Lee….

“This would be a policy statement that we don’t believe in the rights of tenants to return,” Peskin said. “This would be a statement that it’s okay to have a fire and tell people you can change the use and not allow return.”

He noted that “this is a teachable moment” for planning staff and the commission.

It’s rare for the supes to do this. I hope the Planning Commission (and the mayor) was listening… (more)


Sanctuary City for Housing Developers: Pitting Neighbor Against Neighbor for Affordable Housing

Patrick Monette Shaw – excerpt

New article is now available on-line at www.stopLHHdownsize.com. A printer-friendly article is attached. Hyperlinks to various supporting background files and media articles are only available via the web site.

The Sudden “Deal” Struck for Inclusionary Housing (Two Days Later on May 17, 2017)

The dueling proposals for Inclusionary Housing amendments between Supervisors Peskin and Kim vs. Supervisors Safai, Breed, and Tang purportedly reached a “deal” on Wednesday, May 17 that was reported in the San Francisco Examiner on Friday, May 19. Unfortunately, the actual “compromise” legislation was not posted to the Board of Supervisors web site in advance of its Land Use Committee hearing on Monday May 22, and the details were released just today, too late for inclusion in this article. The Land Use Committee will consider the single, compromise deal on June 5… (more)

Evictions in SF decline for first time since tech boom

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

One of those gentrifying new Mission Bay properties photo by Zrants

Evictions in San Francisco overall are down 21 percent in the past year for a total of 1,881, according to the newly released annual report by the Rent Board for the period between March 2016 and February 2017.
This is the first annual decline in overall evictions since they began to rise each year with the tech boom beginning in 2010.
Owner move-in evictions totaled 397 during that 12-month period, down 5 percent from the previous year when there were 417. Owner move-in evictions were the second highest type of eviction… (more)

Thanks to Kim, Peskin and Farrell for working on this problem. Maybe all it takes is a threat to stop the illegal Ellis Act evictions. There are plenty of those coming out of City Hall these days. When all the supervisors agree that enforcement is lacking the writing is on the wall for landlords considering using that method to evict long-term tenants in order to raise the rents.

SF SRO’s at Risk

by beyondchron – excerpt

Planning Commission to Decide SRO’s Future

On December 8, the San Francisco Planning Commission will hear a case seeking to reverse the city’s 36 year history of protecting single room occupancy hotels (SROs). Six hotels with 214 residential units seek to convert to tourist lodgings using a legal argument that opponents believe violates city law. If the Commission grants the applications and its decision is upheld by the Department of Building Inspection, San Francisco would lose thousands of residential SRO units almost overnight.

We cannot allow this to happen.

The “Replacement Housing” Scam

In 1980, the city enacted the San Francisco Residential Hotel Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance (hereafter “the HCO’). San Francisco enacted the HCO after the Planning Department found that 6098 SRO units had been lost from 1975-1979 alone. The Board of Supervisors found “there is a severe shortage of decent, safe, sanitary and affordable rental housing” in San Francisco, and that it most impacts “the elderly, disabled and low-income persons.” Many of these groups “reside in residential hotel units.”…

Mayor Dianne Feinstein and the Board of Supervisors enacted the HCO in 1980 precisely to prevent what applicants are asking this Commission to jumpstart: the wholesale conversion of residential SROs to lucrative tourist lodgings… (more)

This seems like a matter for the Board of Supervisors, not the Planning Department. I would write the Supervisors and the Planning Commissioners to bring this to their attention.




An honest tenant scorecard

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

There are lies and misleading statements in every election, and San Francisco has seen its share. But this fall’s contests featured a particularly painful version: Some candidates who are very much part of the moderate, pro-landlord, pro-Big-Tech side of things tried to convince the voters that they were “progressives.”…

So we need a bit more objective criteria for these contests, and the Tenants Union has a good start. The group has put out a voting scorecard for local elected officials that shows where they all were on the critical issues this fall – the ballot measures and, equally important, the endorsements.

You don’t get to call yourself pro-tenant if you go out and support anti-tenant candidates and causes.

You can get a pretty high-rest version here. (Tenants Union Scorecard)

Another key vote on the Mission’s future

The Board of Supes has another chance Tuesday/29 to make clear that the future of development in the Mission has to be re-evaluated – and based on the most recent precedent, it’s hard to see how they can let the latest project go forward.

Two weeks ago, the board, in a dramatic move, demanded a full environmental review of a project at 1515 South Van Ness, mostly on the grounds that the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, which authorizes a ton of development in a wide swath of the city, is way out of date.

By a 9-0 vote, the board said, in effect, that city planners have failed to look at the impacts of all the changes that have happened to the city since that plan was adopted in 2007…

That spells the end of the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, puts every other developer in the area on notice, and sends a signal to the Planning Department that displacement and gentrification have to be a central concern for all project approvals…

So now we go to Chapter Two: The same people who challenged the 1515 South Van Ness Plan – The Calle 24 Latino Cultural District Community Council – are asking the supes to slow down a project at 2675 Folsom, a couple of blocks away… (more)