Housing

The machine

Sup. Scott Wiener is relentless, driven, prolific — and changing San Francisco in sometimes alarming ways

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steve@sfbg.com

Scott Wiener is a political machine.

I don't mean that he's part of a political machine, although he is arguably a member of a few nascent operations in town, from the old-school Democratic Party establishment to the morphing amalgam of groups pushing what he calls a "livability" agenda. I mean that Supervisor Wiener, who represents District 8, is a machine — almost robotic in his tireless, 24/7 engagement with all things political.Read more »

Ed Lee's State of the City: What evictions? What displacement?

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Mayor Ed Lee punctuated his State of the City speech with a nice little quip: "Every San Franciscan deserves a clean, safe place to call home." I agree.

So why, in a speech lasting more than an hour, did the mayor not once mention that thousands of San Franciscans are facing the loss of their homes -- and will be forced out of the city -- because of the same policies that he's proudly promoting?Read more »

Editor's notes

Think of it as a managerial tool: the guy who runs public housing should live in it

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EDITOR'S NOTES The guy who runs the San Francisco Housing Authority is in pretty serious doo-doo: His agency has just been placed on the federal government's "troubled" list, and he's getting sued by his own lawyer, and he's hiding from the press while tenants complain that they can't get basic repairs.Read more »

Despite settlement, Wells Fargo still in housing activists' crosshairs

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Federal regulators cut a deal with 10 major banks to “speed up housing relief,” major news outlets reported earlier this week – but to exactly no one’s surprise, the amount promised to struggling homeowners is a pittance compared with the overwhelming losses sustained during the foreclosure crisis. Read more »

Feds downgrade troubled Housing Authority

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The federal government has declared the San Francisco Housing Authority a “troubled” agency and dispatched agents to review the agency’s finances and management failures.Read more »

Editor's notes

The median rent in SF is now $3,100. Desperate times... 

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tredmond@sfbg.com

EDITOR'S NOTES Everybody's talking about the new data on the price of housing in San Francisco, which is in part because everybody talks about the price of housing in San Francisco anyway and in part because the figures are just so alarming. The figures show that the median rent in San Francisco is $3,100 a month — and while it's hard to know exactly what that means, since some three-bedroom and larger units are in the mix, most San Francisco rentals are smaller, and I'm hearing tell of people paying more than $2,000 for a studio.Read more »

The rent is too damn high

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You look at numbers like this and you go: Whoa. The rent really, really is too damn high. Median rent in San Francisco is now over $3,000 a month. WHo can pay that? Seriously.Read more »

Was it a great year?

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At noon Dec. 19, a group of about 50 housing activists led by the Housing Rights Committee gathered at 18th and Castro, next to the giant Shopping Season Tree, to discuss the wave of evictions tenants are facing at the end of 2012. Tommi Avicolli Mecca held up a list of 26 buildings that are currently being clear of tenants under the Ellis Act, a state law that allows landlords to evict all their tenants and sell the property as a single-family home or tenancies in common. With him was a long line of tenants who are facing holiday homelessness thanks to landlord greed.Read more »

San Francisco, Third World country

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The model is pretty well established, and has proven exceptionally lucrative  for big US corporations like Bechtel and big US banks -- and has been an utter disaster for dozens of developing countries: US banks loan money to countries that need infrastructure development -- and that money comes right back to US corporations that charge phenomenal prices to build roads, dams, mining operations, whatever, with a nice cut off the top to whatever powerful people need to be bribed (all tax-deductable, of course). Read more »

SF approves Twitter-sized apartments for tech workers

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San Francisco is giving Twitter tax rebates to help grow a business that reduces our communications to 140 characters or less, and now the city's Board of Supervisors has approved the creation of extra-small apartments for the Twitter drones who toil long hours in the company's new mid-Market headquarters, along with their brethren at other tech companies, the target audience for these tiny living spaces.Read more »