sf public housing

A Visit to SF-RAD: Largest Government-to-private Ownership Conversion In History

[Originally published by HousingOnline.com]

 

In 2015, San Francisco approved the largest conversion of government housing into private ownership in American history. The deal is a mass overhaul of the city’s decrepit public housing stock, as units across multiple neighborhoods are being restored and transferred to new management. The deal also represents the largest single application thus far of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, a recent voluntary reform initiative from HUD. This initiative in San Francisco, known as SF-RAD, is supposed to improve public housing services while preserving some of the city’s ever-dwindling affordable housing stock.… Read more

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sf skyline

San Francisco: Sleeping In A Closet

[Originally published by HousingOnline.com]

 

San Francisco, CA—Before entering San Francisco, I’d heard that high housing costs were forcing even six-figure-salary techies into cramped apartments. But I found this hard to believe, until I actually met one, while attending a local activist event. His name was Steven Buss, a 30-year-old software engineer who earns over $100,000 in salary working for Google. He moved here from Los Angeles several years ago hoping to make more money, so that he could save up and start a business. His goal was thus to spend no more than $2,000 monthly on rent, while living within an hour’s commute of Google’s offices in the SoMa neighborhood.… Read more

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What Is The Market Demand For Micro Housing In San Francisco?

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Francisco, CA–There’s no doubt that the demand for living in San Francisco would, under an open market, create far more housing; this, in essence, is what the high prices and Nimby battles are all about. But one remaining mystery would be—void of the regulatory barriers, what type of housing would all this demand create? Existing data and anecdotal observation suggests that a lot of it would be micro housing…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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wiener

California State Senator Scott Wiener: ‘San Francisco’s Progressives Lost Their Way On Housing’

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Francisco, CA–Back in 2012, while spending a summer in San Francisco, I would attend the city’s Board of Supervisors meetings on a weekly basis. The big ongoing topic back then, like today, was the city’s housing shortage, and how it was escalating prices. It was amazing to hear the wave of counterproductive, even clueless, solutions that 10 of the 11 supervisors would suggest for the problem. These ranged from decreasing building densities, to strengthening bureaucratic review, to placing construction moratoriums on certain neighborhoods, to strengthening tenant protections that are already strict, and that have led landlords to abandon between 10,000 and 30,000 units citywide.… Read more

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San Francisco, A Leading Immigrant Hub, Sues Trump Over Sanctuary City Order

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Francisco, CA–On January 25th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order stating that so-called “sanctuary cities”–or cities where local government officials choose not to cooperate with federal deportation agents–would lose federal funding. Now San Francisco has struck back, with a lawsuit titled City and County of San Francisco v. Donald J. Trump….[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Oakland’s Warehouse Tragedy Resulted From Too Little Housing Construction

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

In the time since a warehouse fire killed 36 people in Oakland, several lengthy media reports have provided valuable context. As the cover story of this past weekend’s Los Angeles Times noted, the reason that so many people in Oakland live in illegal warehouses, amid unsafe conditions, is because they can’t afford anything else in the nation’s 4th priciest rental market. What these articles didn’t report–or misrepresented–was how prices got so high. Since 2010, Oakland, like much of the Bay Area, hasn’t even remotely allowed housing construction to meet population growth, causing, as the numbers show, a blatant imbalance…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Nativism: The Thread That Connects Progressive NIMBYs With Donald Trump

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Who does this sound like? A group dealing with economic disruption decides that, rather than addressing its problems internally, it will blame outsiders. So the group adopts a nativist stance, looking to build walls, enforce regulations and impose taxes that discourage outside people and goods. The group also adopts a reactionary cultural conservatism, legitimizing stagnancy as a means to preserve “heritage” and “character.” Is this the mentality driving much of Donald Trump’s support base, and America’s turn towards “Trumpism”? Surely it’s a factor. But at the urban level, it describes a group that generally hates Trump, yet mirrors his thinking; that is, progressives who preach openness, yet keep new people out of their neighborhood through NIMBYism…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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San Francisco’s Bureaucracy, Unions Stifle Modular Housing For Homeless

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Anyone who has visited San Francisco, and stepped even a block off the beaten path, knows of its homeless problem. The city has an estimated 6,700 street people—the 2nd-highest per capita in the nation—and 1,500 of these are chronically homeless, often dwelling amid the drugs and violence of the Tenderloin district. There is general consensus that this group, filled with people suffering from addiction and mental illness, would benefit from permanent housing. One proposed solution is modular prefab housing that can be cheaply constructed from elsewhere, and shipped into San Francisco.… Read more

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Zoning: America’s Local Version Of Crony Capitalism

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

When people hear “crony capitalism,” they usually envision corporatist policy at the higher levels of government. It might be the federal Export-Import bank subsidizing Boeing, or Nevada granting Tesla tax breaks. But perhaps the most common form is the kind occurring in your own backyard. In many U.S. municipalities, zoning codes have evolved from reasonable public protections into regulatory cobwebs that benefit the rich over the poor. If a crony system is, according to Investopedia, one where “instead of success being determined by a free market and the rule of law, the success of a business is dependent on the favoritism that is shown to it by the ruling government,” then zoning is cronyism’s localized version…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Will San Francisco’s Solar Panel Mandate Increase Housing Costs?

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Francisco has some of the nation’s highest housing prices, whether one is looking at median home values or median rents. One reason for this, among many, is the city’s rigorous approval process for new housing projects, which increases costs for developers. On April 19, the city added another layer, mandating that new buildings add solar photovoltaic panels. This will likely further increase said compliance and construction costs, which will then be passed onto consumers…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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