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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
San Franciscans are poised to vote this November on two important, complicated, and interdependent ballot measures — one a sweeping overhaul of the city's business tax, the other creating an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that relies on the first measure's steep increase in business license fees — that were the products of intense backroom negotiations over the last six months.Read more »
A few dozen rallied in front of the building that houses a branch of PNC bank July 26, demanding that the bank not foreclose on Yin Wong, an elderly Bayview resident who says the bank is foreclosing on her illegally.Read more »
My old friend Sue Hestor stopped by my house June 24 to ask if any of my neighbors might want to sign the referendum petition on 8 Washington. She was carrying a clipboard with a document the size of a phone book attached to it. Almost 600 pages, neatly bound.
I flipped through it. Lots and lots of background documents on the project, nothing anyone's ever going to read. But thanks to some slick moves by the developer, Simon Snellgrove, supported by his allies on the Board of Supervisors, the referendum petition has to have all of that material attached.Read more »