How San Francisco Makes It Insanely Hard to Build Housing
|Capital Public Radio: LGBTQ seniors can struggle to find affordable housing. A Sacramento development is trying to help.
By Felicia Alvarez [9-20-22] // “I kind of don’t have a life right now,” Francesca Dixon said earlier this year. “My world is a 10-foot-by-11-foot room. It would be nice to have my own place.”
Bakersfield.com: City of Bakersfield on a mission to develop more affordable housing
By Steven Mayer [9-19-22] // By the end of a City Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting on Monday, it appeared that Bakersfield could add more than 500 housing units if a trust fund designed to spark new construction works as planned.
The San Francisco Standard: How San Francisco Makes It Insanely Hard to Build Housing
By Sarah Wright [9-13-22] // Bob Tillman owned a laundromat in San Francisco’s Mission District and wanted to replace it with apartments. In a city desperate for new housing, it seemed logical enough. But eight years later…
NCSHA: Report: Filling Funding Gaps — How State Agencies Are Moving to Meet a Growing Threat to Affordable Housing
[9-20-22] // Key themes of this new report: “State agencies’ strategies for helping developers close unexpected funding gaps include reducing costs through administrative flexibility, allocating future-year LIHTCs, increasing financing from tax-exempt bonds, using Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (recovery funds), and working with developers to identify project cost savings.”
PODCASTS / MULTIMEDIA
National Housing Conference Webinar: The State of Native Housing: Programs, Policy, and Practices on Tribal Lands
Thursday, Sept. 29, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT.
Fifth & Mission Podcast: Who owns all the housing in the Bay Area?
[9-20-22] // Property ownership and management in the Bay Area have become more corporatized, making it difficult for some tenants to figure out who exactly is their landlord. (30 min.)
LAND USE / PLANNING / REGULATION
Sacramento Business Journal: Placer County rescinds approvals for Martis Valley West project near Lake Tahoe
By Ben van der Meer [9-19-22] // The future of a plan to develop part of the Martis Valley north of Lake Tahoe is unclear, after a court ruling compelled Placer County supervisors to rescind approvals for the Martis Valley West project on Sept. 13.
Governing: Berkeley to Vote on $650M Housing, Infrastructure, Climate Bond
By Katie Lauer [9-19-22] // The most expensive item on the November ballot will be a general obligation bond measure that could end up being the largest revenue stream in the city’s history, increasing property taxes by $40.91 per every $100,000 in value.
HOUSING MARKETS / REAL ESTATE
S.F. Chronicle: One company operates thousands of San Francisco apartments. But who’s the landlord?
By L. Hepler, E. Stiefel, & S. Neilson [9-20-22] // In the years since Veritas super-sized its operation, tenants have repeatedly accused the company and its affiliates of maltreatment, sparking protests and in some instances lawsuits. The company denies all wrongdoing, and has argued for the lawsuits to be dismissed.
S.F. Chronicle: These are the secret power players shaping the Bay Area housing market
By S. Neilson, E. Stiefel, J.K. Dineen, & L. Hepler [9-20-22] // California doesn’t have hard-and-fast rules on how property owners identify themselves; large corporations, hedge funds and even wealthy families often purchase multiple homes through shell companies or trusts, shielding their names from ownership records. …We believe this is an unprecedented effort to uncover rental ownership and management networks across all nine counties in the San Francisco Bay region.
S.F. Chronicle: This map reveals who owns every property in the S.F. Bay Area
By Emma Stiefel and Susie Neilson [9-20-22] // This tool will help you investigate your landlord or anyone else’s.
L.A. Times: The Southern California median home price remained unchanged in August from the previous month as rising mortgage rates made houses even less affordable for many people.
By Andrew Khouri [9-20-22] // Sales of new and existing houses, condos and townhomes dropped 28.3% from a year earlier, while the median cost held steady for the fourth month in a row at $740,000. Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year.
Reuters: U.S. homebuilding buoyed by multi-family projects; falling permits signal weakness
By Lucia Mutukani [9-20-22] // The report from the Commerce Department on Tuesday showed permits for future homebuilding plunged to levels last seen during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020.
Business Journals: Housing inventory may not rebound for some time, despite slowing market
By Ashley Fahey [9-19-22] // “I think there are a significant number of homeowners who are locked into very, very low mortgage rates, and we’ve seen people who are staying put, living in their homes longer, renovating instead of moving,” said economist Lisa Sturtevant. See also housing starts in August’s U.S. New Residential Construction Report, released today.
S.F. Chronicle: S.F. had bold plan to cut chronic homelessness in half in 5 years. The numbers only got worse
By Mallory Moench & Kevin Fagan [9-20-22] // “Housing will fix homelessness, not more plans,” said Paul Boden, director of the antipoverty nonprofit Western Regional Advocacy Project.
Santa Cruz Sentinel: Second wave of Santa Cruz homeless camp closure enforced
By Jessica A. York [9-19-22] // Of the 54 individuals counted last week in “Zone 2,” the section being closed yesterday, only 15 accepted offers to move to the city’s Overlook tent encampment on leased land at the National Guard Armory in DeLaveaga Park.
Oakland Auditor: Performance Audit of the City of Oakland’s Homelessness Services: Better strategy and data are needed for more effective and accountable service delivery and positive outcomes for Oakland’s homeless residents
By Courtney Ruby [9-19-22] // The report reveals the City’s had mixed results in placing the homeless into permanent housing and better information is needed to determine whether they remain housed…
Mercury News: New audit finds critical flaws in Oakland’s management of homeless housing
By Marisa Kendall [9-20-22] // Oakland failed to track basic outcome data, according to report.
San Jose Spotlight: San Jose homeless sweep creates new dangers
By Tran Nguyen [9-20-22] // More than 60 RVs and cars have squeezed into the empty baseball field at the corner of Asbury and Irene streets after the city began clearing the sprawling encampment near the Mineta San Jose International Airport a few weeks ago.
L.A. Times: Column: At tiny-home villages in Eagle Rock and Highland Park, the report card is mixed
By Steve Lopez [9-17-22] // Providing housing isn’t enough for many people who have been surviving without permanent—or any—shelter. They need mental health treatment, drug abuse treatment, and other services.
ECONOMY / EMPLOYMENT
Washington Post: Worker shortages are fueling America’s biggest labor crises
By Abha Bhattarai [9-16-22] // Exhausted workers in education, healthcare and the railroad industry are pushing back after months of staffing shortfalls.
Next City: The Devaluation of Entire Black Neighborhoods, Not Just Homes
By Oscar Perry Abello [9-20-22] // Black retail spaces across the country are worth an aggregated $171 billion less than they should be worth, simply because they are located in majority-Black neighborhoods, says a new report. What does that actually mean?
Axios: Study: Medical debt threatens people’s health, housing
By Sabrina Moreno [9-10-22] // Soaring medical debt is setting U.S. adults up for higher risks of eviction, food insecurity and bad health outcomes regardless of insurance or income, a new study found.
TRANSPORTATION / TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT
Washington Center for Equitable Growth: New research shows that 1 in 4 adults in the United States suffers from transportation insecurity
By Alix Gould-Werth [9-14-22] // Modeled after the Food Security Index, the Transportation Security Index identifies those experiencing transportation insecurity by looking at their symptoms, such as feeling stuck at home because of a lack of access to transportation or arriving early or late somewhere due to transportation scheduling issues.
CityLab: Traffic Deaths in the US Decline for the First Time Since 2020
By Keith Liang [9-19-22] // “Although it is heartening to see a projected decline in roadway deaths in recent months, the number of people dying on roads in this country remains a crisis,” Ann Carlson, NHTSA’s acting administrator, said in a statement.
REDEVELOPMENT / INFILL / PRESERVATION
S.F. Chronicle: S.F. just rejected another plan to turn an empty parking lot into apartments
By J.K. Dineen [9-16-22] // On Thursday, a short-handed Planning Commission rejected the project at 1010 Mission St. after an 11th-hour blitz from a half dozen South of Market nonprofit workers, who argued that the mostly market-rate housing — eight of the 57 condos would be below market rate — would be unaffordable and too small to accommodate local families.
Los Angeles Daily News: 50-unit affordable housing units will rise up on South LA church’s parking lot
By Chris Haire [9-20-22] // Officials broke ground on the project, called Serenity, on Monday morning, Sept. 19.
NATIONAL HOUSING NEWS
Politico: Success eludes New York’s plan to convert hotels into affordable housing
By Janaki Chadha [9-19-22] // After a year and $200 million committed, New York hasn’t created a single apartment, thanks in part to piecemeal policy and a powerful union.
FAIR HOUSING / EVICTION
Shelterforce: How Tax Assessments in a Supposedly Progressive County Are Reinforcing Racism
By Amanda Abrams [9-16-22] // Buncombe County in North Carolina was one of the first places in the U.S. to support reparations for Black residents. So why is the county not doing a better job of addressing property tax inequities that directly impact residents of color?
Shelterforce: Press ‘Record’ to Catch Fair Housing Violators—If You Can
By Fred Freiberg [9-6-22] // Fair housing testers often go undercover to expose discriminatory housing practices, but laws prohibiting recording conversations hamper investigations
ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE CHANGE / NATURAL DISASTERS
New York Times: A Key to Controlling Emissions: More Buildings in a City’s Unused Spaces
By Peter Wilson [9-19-22] // Constructing more condensed communities in existing neighborhoods has been found to go a long way toward fighting climate change.