San Francisco Seeks To Implement Recently Signed Conservatorship Bill

CBSLocal – excerpt (includes video)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week will allow for San Francisco to create new conservatorship programs for severely mentally ill people to get them off city streets and into treatment.

Thursday, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco, joined Mayor London Breed to discuss the next steps in implementing Senate Bill 1045, which aims to provide housing and services for individuals who can’t care for themselves.

“This bill is a significant step forward in taking a new approach to the epidemics of mental illness and severe drug addiction that we see playing out in our streets every day and not just in San Francisco, but in cities throughout this state,” Wiener said. “It is not progressive or compassionate to just sit by while people unravel and ultimately die on our streets.”… (more)

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SF residential projects languish as rising costs force developers to cash out

: sfchronicle – excerpt

Just 3 miles separate 2675 Folsom St., a vacant former restaurant equipment warehouse in the Mission District, and 160 Folsom St., a former parking lot near the Transbay Transit Center where a condo tower is under construction.

But in the current economic landscape of the San Francisco’s housing development, the two properties are a world apart.

While the next crop of luxury condo towers like 160 Folsom, which developer Tishman Speyer has branded as Mira, continue to rise in the fast-growing eastern end of South of Market, other approved housing projects across the city, like 2675 Folsom St., are stalled and on the market because of soaring construction costs and fees, developers and other industry sources say.

The growing number of developers seeking to cash out rather than risk losing money on building is fueling concerns that residential production will start to decline even as the Bay Area’s housing crisis worsens… (more)

Some of us have been predicting this for months. It is easier to solve the housing problem once you take the “build more” option off the table. Keep people in their homes by keeping homes affordable if you want to solve the housing problem. Repeal inflationary bills at the root of the income disparity problem. Repeal Prop 6 and Prop 10 in November.

Repealing Prop 6 should lower the cost of all consumables, including food.

Repealing Prop 10 will allow individual cities to deal with rent control issues on a local basis. The voters can enact the control they want in their district.

Tiny houses for homeless inching their way into SF’s strategy

As with pretty much any possible solution to San Francisco’s stubborn homeless problem, building tiny homes has been talked about for ages…

The plan maker in question is Mohammed Nuru, director of public works. In an interview in his office the other day, he showed me little white plastic boxes, models for his tiny homes. His team is crafting prototypes of the units, each of which would measure about 100 square feet, smaller than a parking space.

He said he’s eyeing plots of land on the Embarcadero and the Great Highway for Navigation Centers — shelters with counselors and services — where the residents would live in tiny houses, though he wouldn’t say where specifically. He wants 80 to 150 tiny homes to be grouped together, with residents sharing communal kitchens and bathrooms and each person having a storage locker…

Nuru, who has ruffled feathers at City Hall before by plunging ahead with his own plans to tackle homelessness, is convinced tiny homes could be a game changer and wants quick action...(more)

‘Lord help us all.’ Critics dump on poop patrol plans in San Francisco

: sacbee – excerpt

Awash in real estate money, San Francisco’s also flush with potty problems — the city has received 14,597 complaints about feces on its sidewalks since January, reported KGO…

“Instead of telling people to USE A BATHROOM!! San Francisco is going to send out a pooper scooper Patrol to pick it up,” wrote one person. “Lord help us all.”… (more)

We have been suggesting “free toilets for everyone” instead. They can start by unlocking the BART bathrooms that were closed to safety reasons. How many BART incidents have we witnessed in spite of those closures? If BART can’t managed public toilets how it will build housing?

Court overturns eviction of North Beach poet

By Julie Cheever of Bay City News : sfexaminer – excerpt

A state appeals court has overturned a ruling allowing the eviction of North Beach poet Diego De Leo.

A state appeals court in San Francisco has overturned a judgment allowing the eviction of an 83-year-old man who has lived in a cottage in the North Beach district of the city for more than 30 years.

Diego De Leo’s landlord, Martin Coyne, sought in 2016 to evict him by invoking the state’s Ellis Act, which allows owners to go out of the rental business if they withdraw all units on a property from the rental market.

At a Superior Court trial in 2016, a civil jury ruled by a 9-3 vote that Coyne had a good-faith intention to leave the rental market and could therefore evict De Leo.

But in a decision issued on Monday, a three-judge Court of Appeal set aside that verdict. It said De Leo should have been allowed to present evidence on his claim that another tenant on the property received a sham ownership deal, allegedly indicating that Coyne did not have a good-faith intent to go out of rental business.

The ruling clears the way for a new Superior Court eviction trial, also known as an unlawful detainer proceeding, in which De Leo will be able to present the alleged evidence… (more)

As Affordable Housing Crisis Grows, HUD Sits on the Sidelines

By Glenn Thrush : newyorktimes – excerpt

Mr. Carson (the housing secretary), continues to prioritize his push to reduce, rather than expand, assistance to the poor.

WASHINGTON — The country is in the grips of an escalating housing affordability crisis. Millions of low-income Americans are paying 70 percent or more of their incomes for shelter, while rents continue to rise and construction of affordable rental apartments lags far behind the need.

As city and state officials and members of both parties clamor for the federal government to help, Mr. Carson has privately told aides that he views the shortage of affordable housing as regrettable, but as essentially a local problem…

For his part, Mr. Carson publicly acknowledges the crisis in most of his speeches. “Alarmingly high numbers of Americans continue to pay more than half of their incomes toward rent,” he told a House panel in October. “Many millions remain mired in poverty, rather than being guided on a path out of it.”

But he is focused less on federal solutions than on prodding local governments to ease barriers to construction. He has ordered his policy staff to come up with proposals to push local governments to reduce zoning restrictions on new projects, especially low-cost manufactured housing. HUD will also begin working with landlords around the country to come up with ways to make housing vouchers more attractive and more inclusive, aides said.

“Subsidies are a piece of the puzzle,” said Raffi Williams, a spokesman for Mr. Carson, “but we must also address the regulatory barriers relative to zoning and land use in higher-cost markets that are preventing the construction of new affordable housing. This is not just a federal problem — it’s everybody’s problem.”… (more)

Tenant Troubles: My washer broke — should I sign a lease?

By Dave Crow : 48hills – excerpt

In San Francisco, if you don’t have a lease it may be harder for the landlord to evict you…

Do I need a written lease? If so, what tricks/clauses/loopholes should I watch out for?

It may seem like the distant past now, but as the US Congress for the Rich continues to push for more banking deregulation, we could easily see more real estate investment financed by junk bonds, credit default swaps abetted by derivatives. And once again tenants and regular working people will be required to bail out the institutions that aided and abetted the landlords who harassed and evicted them. For a great take on the Lembis and real estate investment circa 2009,  take a look at “War of Values,” by my friend Danelle Morton.

I tend to agree with the Tenants Union on this one. Why? Because you’ll be presented with a 20+ page lease, like the San Francisco Apartment Association lease, in which several clauses come close to being void as against public policy and others may weaken your rights under the San Francisco Rent Ordinance…

Generally, I only recommend that tenants sign new leases that may modestly increase the rent for single family dwellings, houses or condominiums… (more)