Thursday, April 15, 2021
Uncategorized What's 'success' mean in the Mission? First, an end...

What’s ‘success’ mean in the Mission? First, an end to the evictions

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Large crowd at the Chron’s Mission Forum makes it clear that protecting existing residents and businesses is the top priority — and that might mean a temporary halt to development

Sup. David Campos rails against "voodoo housing"
Sup. David Campos rails against “voodoo housing”

FEBRUARY 25, 2015 — The Chron held its much-publicized forum on the future of the Mission last night, and the response from the audience suggested there will be a lot of support for a move to limit new development in the neighborhood.

The room was packed, with hundreds of people watching the Chron’s 20-minute video on the changes in the Mission and then hearing a panel talk about some of the issues. I can complain about the Chron coverage — at no point did any reporter confront a greedy landlord or speculator on camera and ask how they feel about destroying a community. The disaster of displacement in the Mission seemed almost like an act of God — it just happens, and there are no bad guys.

But at least the paper is talking about displacement, and while there were a few really lame people on the panel, there were also some very good people speaking. Erick Arguello, the president of Calle24, set the tone for the discussion when he said that the goal of his group is to “make sure our people are able to stay.”

The room was packed with people who cheered when panelists talked about controlling development and evicitons
The room was packed with people who cheered when panelists talked about controlling development and evicitons

There was the usual talk about whether market-rate housing causes displacement (it does) or helps prevent it (never happens). Fernando Marti, co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations, pointed out that the only real effective planning efforts in the eastern part of town have come when there has been a short-term moratorium on development.

Luis Granados, executive director of the Mission Economic Development Agency, showed a chart demonstrating how lower-income people are disappearing from the Mission.

And Arguella, Marti, and Granados all agreed: What we are doing now – letting the private market determine housing in the Mission – isn’t working. It’s a crisis, and something dramatic has to change.

Joe Garofoli, one of the Chron reporters on the project, asked a good question: What would success look like? Marti had the clear and obvious answer:

“Success is when not a single person gets evicted, there’s no more speculation, and we build housing in balance with job growth.”

Everyone applauded – because to most of the people who showed up for the event, Marti articulated the issue that has to be at the center of any debate: People who live in the neighborhood now, and don’t want to leave, shouldn’t be forced out to make room for people with more money.

Simple concept. Everyone in the room seemed to get it. Amazingly hard to get across at City Hall sometimes.

District Nine Supervisor David Campos was offered the chance to address the panel, and he talked about the Calle24 proposals. He noted that he’s been criticized for calling for a moratorium on development when he hasn’t even introduced a bill yet.

But the “key assumption by the attackers,” he said, is that supply-side economics, Ronald Reagan’s theory, actually works. “You build luxury homes, and somehow that will trickle down … it’s voodoo housing, the idea that you can have affordable housing even if you don’t build affordable housing.”

 

I have no problem with the legislation Sup. Scott Wiener is introducing to place some limits on monster homes. They’re a big issue in Corona Heights, which is Wiener’s district (and he lives there).  All he’s asking for is a conditional use hearing for anything more than 3,000 square feet, and he’s only asking to put those rules in place for 18 months while city planners study the issue.

This is how district supervisors respond to community issues, and I imagine he will get support from most of his colleagues.

My question: Why is that any different from Mission community leaders and Campos promoting controls on inappropriate development in the Mission?

Size is one factor in protecting and preserving neighborhood character. So is the actual type of development. I know this pushes a lot of buttons, but the truth is, some low-income communities can’t keep absorbing luxury housing without seriously damaging the existing residents and businesses.

High-end housing leads to displacement. That’s a fact, proven over the years. You put a bunch of million-dollar condos near 24th Street, and it will drive up property values nearby, and community-serving businesses will be forced out and replaced with fancy restaurants. Evictions will increase as landlords try to cash in.

We have seen this pattern dozens of times all over the city. In the 1990s, as Wiener (a supporter of nightlife) clearly remembers, the city allowed market-rate housing to be built near South of Market clubs. And instantly, there were issues: The rich people in the new condos were mad that the clubs were noisy at night.

Inappropriate mix: You don’t put rich people who are going to complain about noise next to live-music venues.

And maybe you don’t put more rich people in a neighborhood where that kind of development even further pushes up land values and leads to more displacement.

I asked Wiener about the contradiction, and he said:

“It’s totally different. Turning a regular-size home into a monster home isn’t adding new housing. My objection to the proposed Mission moratorium is that it will reduce housing creation.”

Yes, it will. He’s right. I agree. But the pattern of market-rate housing sales in the city suggests that none of the housing creation we are doing now will help the crisis, and will probably make it worse.

 

There seems to be a bit of confusion about the role Campos is playing in the proposed development for the 16th Street BART station. The developer made a mistake and included him as a sponsor of a March 4 meeting. The likes of Michael Petrelis are demanding that he take a stand.

All of this shows a deep misunderstanding of how the Board of Supervisors works.

There’s no doubt in my mind that whatever the Planning Commission decides on the Maximus development, it will wind up getting appealed to the supes. That’s typical with big projects that require environmental review and conditional-use authorization.

When that happens, the board members are sitting in a quasi-judicial role, hearing an appeal of another city agency’s ruling. If any member has already taken a position for or against the project, he or she can be forced to accept recusal and sit it out.

This project will be controversial, and the vote on the board could be close. Campos would be highly irresponsible to take a position for or against the project today when that could jeopardize his vote on it later, when it matters.

 

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

129 COMMENTS

  1. I am not clear on some items – I hope someone close to the issue can assist.

    “Success is when not a single person gets evicted, there’s no more speculation, and we build housing in balance with job growth.”

    What if a tenant misses their rent payment? Would eviction be considered fair? If not fair, why not?

    Build housing in balance with job growth: there have been roughly 300000 jobs created in the last few years between SF and SJ. Overall housing creation in the same corridor has been a small fraction of job creation – far less than 100000 total new jobs housed. With this backdrop, the entire region falls way short on housing creation. The region has had massive housing cost increases recently. I believe the job/housing imbalance is (by far) the largest contributor to recent housing cost increases. This powerful force impacts every community in this corridor, Mission included.

    Speculation: buy land, pay for building design, work with the city to adjust these plans until approved, pay to construct, open up the building and rent or sell the units.

    So I guess I am not clear on why CCHO sees “no speculation” as success.

    And I have trouble understanding how “no speculation” and “housing in balance” go together.

    If we are hundreds of thousands of housing units short in the jobs corridor, why is spec housing not desired? Is it pure NIMBYism (be honest!)?

    Because it *seems* like the desire is to keep Mission unchanged in the face of massive regional job creation, and let other places make up the difference on the housing shortage. Many (most? all?) of the communities between SF and SJ are interested in keeping their neighborhoods unchanged too.

    What proposals are being recommended exactly? Or is there mostly a plea to keep the Mission poor, while not really giving the city leaders *reasonable* ideas on how they might do that in the face of the regional jobs/housing reality?

  2. I am suggesting that there are mutually agreeable solutions to the problem if we look for them.
    You are suggesting punishment for what? Being stuck in an untenable situation?

  3. With your logic both Landlords and Tenants shall be equally punished for leaving their units vacant or as pied-d-terres

  4. We are all hostage to some bad laws that were written with good intentions.

    We need to take a clear look at how current laws are creating an unnecessary divide between landowners from tenants, and find ways to overcome the disparities between the two groups.

    We need a level playing field that allows anyone to file a complaint at any time.

    You can’t weight the law in favor of one side and not expect repercussions. Units are kept off the market by people who don’t want to jump through the landlord hoops.

  5. Yeah, they do a great job of blocking out the sky, casting shadows, and killing the killer views that we came here for. Those buildings, regardless of how much they costs, are built of inferior products, and will not last as long as the Victorians and Edwardians they are replacing. (If you don’t know about them, look it up.)
    If the quality of the steel in the Bay Bridge bolts is any judge of the quality of modern construction materials, these monsters will be lucky to last 20 years. By then San Francisco will be flooded like Venice and we will all be rowing through the canals of Frisco.

  6. Yes, they are sleek, elegant and a wonderful tribute to the success and prosperity that we are creating here at a unique time and place in the world.

  7. You are correct of course, Medalist, but the left doesn’t think that way. Their world view is that if you are a landlord, then you are evil and must be punished.

    And then they scratch their heads when they see landlords give up and Ellis/TIC their buildings rather than deal with that kind of vindictive BS. The left never understand that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

  8. I just don’t see how further restricting property rights of landlords is going to acheive your goal to keep tenants in their apartments. The primary reason buildings get ellised is financial. Serious discussion towards your goal needs to include financial incintives to LLs or rent vouchers to tenants. How about we allow landlords to write off the difference between market and actual rent against their property taxes due each year? If the city is serious about helping your cause they need to pull up their bootstraps and dig in those deep pockets. The rest is just lip service.

  9. This started when Tim suggested, ‘anyone who lives in a rental unit, pays the rent, and doesn’t become a nuisance gets to stay,’ which roughly parallels housing law in the old USSR (some housing went with your job, and if you lost it, you lost your housing).

    If you want anyone pays the (controlled) rent and is not a nuisance to stay, you must couple that policy with mass building. The Soviets allowed private development, but had massive housing shortages. The average Russian under Stalin enjoyed something like 50sf of living area. Kruschev-era mass building finally alleviated the worst shortages.

  10. The law of unintended (but utterly predictable) consequences is seemingly lost on those whose solution to everything is ever more government controls over individual freedoms and the markets.

  11. Tim,

    That’s rationing by lottery, in this case based on tenure: if you live here, you get to stay, if you don’t, you get to stay home.

    That is profoundly unfair, and worst hits the worst off: not the rich, who in the US enjoy mostly unfettered power, but the poor who happen not already to live here. With your ugly, nativist policy in place, the Mission never becomes Latino (from Irish) in the first place.

    Our theme song should be welcome, not xenophobia. ‘San Francisco, open your Golden Gate,’ not ‘sorry — we’re closed.’

    Ugly is the nicest word I have for this suggestion.

  12. The voters do not support extreme policies like micro-management of who lives where. If they did, the anti-jobs Avalos would be mayor.

  13. 4g SF, there will always be displacement unless all housing housing is controlled by the state. However, the idea that if you build more there will be more displacement is addlepated. The causal arrow starts with demand, not supply.

  14. Tim, if Ellis were repealed (not gonna happen as it expresses an important constitutional right) then landlords would be much less likely to re-rent any time they have a vacancy.

    Result? Less vacancies and higher rents.

    You really never learn do you? Punishing those of us who take a risk by providing housing services just makes the housing situation worse.

  15. Yeah the mission is super entertaining all right (see my comment above wrt “tamale lady.”) So sitting here on real estate assets, seeing dufus politicians screw things up more while increasing my property values, life doesn’t get much better than this. Yup, me love me some mission!

  16. Yep, the “tamale lady” is indeed a delicious tidbit of “only in SF” irony. Sup Crapos decides to take a high profile stand and spend our tax dollars trying to find her a restaurant space. Idiot! She’s not only a fucking slumlord, she’s an incompetent slumlord as well. I’ve seen her around and she’s pretty dense, acting all 3rd-worldy around a bunch of white drunks. Well apparently she can’t even pimp tamales without screwing that up. That’s a great local role model for Crapos to prop up (and ultimately fail). Like I said, great SF irony.

  17. Walnut Creek, I actually agree with you but I’m afraid that my stance is, neither will help. Build more and more wealthy come and displace people. Build less and wealthy come and displace long term residents. There are studies showing both are true. I just think if someone is threatened with eviction, get a great attorney and negotiate a big buyout & move. Move to the E Bay, even to Stockton, because Oakland is way too expensive at this point and Stockton prices are rising. They could get a condo there & be near transportation. One can’t whinge and cry over spilt milk, the horse has left the barn already.

  18. This is the last gasp of the left in SF. Now there will be a diaspora of them. And honestly, Detroit needs them to get in there, roll their hands up and do something. Chicago too. They are actually no longer needed in SF/NY/LA. All of these cities are seeing the change. It’s not just SF. You gotta go where you gotta go. Priced out? Leave. That’s the way it goes.

  19. Barry…your notion of making the BART plaza clean and wholesome is real sweet. Real sweet idea. But you see, Barry, the problem isn’t with the plaza; its with the people from/associated with the nearby SRO’s who will use it as their living room. It’s like putting lipstick on a pig, Barry. You can make that plaza as nice as can be, and within 10 minutes some drunk will urinate there, another will sell drugs, some skank will be flipping out, etc., etc., etc. The only thing that may work is- build that tall condo bldg there, man it 24×7 with robo cops to control the riff raff, and hope the riff raff goes back to their SRO lobbies, rooms, etc. Maybe Chris Daley can open a non profit near his home that can babysit these people, wash them, feed them, give me methadone, etc.

  20. Thank you Tim for doing a really good job of explaining the complexities of the rules the District Supervisors must follow in order to get the results they are after. This article needs wider distribution. The last few paragraphs are especially helpful. Learning the rules will help constituents work with their representatives in a more effective way.

  21. Don’t worry that’ll never happen. People with means will continue moving into the mish. They’ll be forced to displace even more lower income peeps because there will be less new construction for them to choose from.

    shoot.your.foot

  22. “rich people can’t move to SF until a place opens up.” How on earth do you regulate or enforce that? Reverse BMR units? If you make beyond a certain amount of money, you can’t buy a home in SF?!? And I guess a private homeowner would be obligated to follow along, meaning they are not allowed to sell it to a rich guy, only to a poor person?

    Cmon Tim seriously, what ru smoking?

  23. Hey, Tim. I keep saying, I love reading your stuff, and I want you to succeed more than anything, because you’re a great journalist. Long time listener, all that.

    But on policy, you just gotta talk to more smart people.

    Repeal Ellis and so what? Posted before, here is what is going on:
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=128t

    We are building too little housing.

    If we don’t fix that, if when anyone who pays stays all you build is a world where nobody else can move here. Maybe I am partial, but I think migration is good.

    See also:
    http://glineq.blogspot.com/2015/02/trends-in-global-income-inequality-and.html

  24. Not going to happen. It’s being introduced by Leno, and from what I understand there’s no supermajority in Sacto anymore. A majority, but not a supermajority. Also, I actually do not think Brown would sign it. But lets say it passed (but it won’t), and let’s say Brown signed it (but he won’t), then that would get an immediate appeal to a court, and the 9th circuit lately has not been leaning leftward but rightward. But let’s say the 9th approves it, then it goes through the appeals court to SCOTUS, where it gets repealed.

    Also, the unintended consequences of that would be indies move rightward, middle of the road dems move rightward, and it’s possible that the overreach would, along with tech taking over the entire 101 corridor in California which is happening right now, tech would vote R.

    And that would be that. Tech is already backing Jeb Bush.

  25. If we could repeal the Ellis Act — and it might happen this session in Sacto — then we could say that anyone who lives in a rental unit, pays the rent, and doesn’t become a nuisance gets to stay there. Not such a radical concept.

  26. Um, this wasn’t my event. It was the CHRONICLE. Not a left-wing outfit. Yes, there are solutions. You may not like them, but they exist. One is to say that rich people can’t move to SF until a place opens up; meanwhile, they have to live in Stockton, like the poor people they are displacing. that’s an answer. Not one you like, but it’s an answer. So is this: San Francisco can say that it wants no more tech companies. Let them move to Detroit, which needs the jobs. Not what you want to hear, maybe not perfect, but it’s an answer.

  27. WCW –

    You want the city to be more proactive in terms of making housing more affordable. I get that. But this is SF, CA, and the USA. Can you honestly say that you would trust any part of the government to do something that is efficient?

    Let’s think of this on a purely SF level. There are so many forces pulling on all politicians to do what’s best for *them*. I’m a renter and I make 40K and should pay $1000 a month for a two BR. I’m a cop and I should have tasers (which I agree on in the interest of fairness). I’m an illegal alien and I shouldn’t be handed over to INS if I commit a crime. I’m a homeowner and I should be able to make a Mcmansion. I’m a politician and I wanna stay on the government teet until my grandkids die.

    Again. 7.5 billion a year and we get crap for services.

  28. B2tB, the best rent control is abundance. Sadly:
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=128t

    Population growth in the Bay Area has outstripped permitted units (average household size of 2.3, to place units on the same scale) every year since 2007. The aggregate shortfall is 34,000 units. That is a lot of missing housing. That’s the story.

    Distribution is another fight, sure. But wouldn’t it be nice not to ration?

  29. Mike, yeah, the SFHA should not be in charge.

    In the abstract, though, I like the idea of aggressive government involvement in housing. Scrap the mortgage interest deduction, put the revenues to housing; the Bay Area gets $3 billion a year to build. That’s enough actually to improve things if you build smart, small, dense and well.

  30. What is great in the majority of these comments is that for one the face of inequality is crystal clear. Multiple commenters are effectively saying that if you have no wealth, you have no rights. It doesn’t matter that a renter perfectly fulfilled a business contract for a lifetime. Historically and sociologically, a vocal 1% minority generally works against itself by gelling much of the remaining population around concrete and divisive causes.

    Indeed the ghost of Reaganomics is alive and well. No wonder, the current president is being branded as a communist (sic!) – there is a growing fear among our wealth elite that power and opportunity is indeed trickling down. However, it is not trickling by free market forces but rather by government regulation. Obamacare, amnesty for illegals, new regulations on institutional deposits, student loans, community college initiatives, top down control of the Internet are some examples. The problem with free market forces is that the have no long view necessary for a successful society.

    The housing war in SF may be a lost battle, but it has set a stage nation- and worldwide. For SF it is indeed a sad state, as you can ride on historical reputation only for a limited time. With the exodus of the middle and working classes, the city is becoming increasingly unlivable for all. And the ranks of people unable to change their situation are swelling, including the homeless. Sustainable traffic is peaking, city services are strained, and we really have nothing to show during this extended boom except for office and luxury condo construction along with some pretentious food.

  31. How would you have BART clean up and redesign the 16th Street plaza to make it more “wholesome and creative”? How would you keep out the “cacaphonous street preachers” or for that matter, the drug dealers? More cops arresting trouble makers?

    Has remaking the Castro plaza made it more people friendly? It hasn’t. Read some stories about how residents of the Castro can’t use it anymore because of being harassed and called “f*****” by some of the street people who have taken it over.

    It’s a Catch-22. Make a nice place and the degenerates take it over. Use the police to try and make arrests or make them move on and it’s a “fascist police state”. This is why we can’t have nice things here.

    I think that’s why SF attracts people from all over the world and want to live here. Everyone has an idea of what the “ideal SF” is. Some come for the ethnic diversity. Some see it as a place for artistic freedom. Some come for sanctuary. Some come for the chance to strike it rich. Some live here because it’s been their and their family’s home for generations. But whose SF is it? Who gets to decide who has the right to live here or what’s the right mix of “people” to be here? No matter whatever anyone chooses there will always be someone who says their claim to SF is better.

  32. WCW –

    I’m sorry but your proposal to use ED to handle SF’s housing problem is horrible. By your own admission, SHA is incompetent. NOTHING in SF city government is run well. That is probably the one thing that everyone from far left to far right, poor to rich, even all races can agree on, SFHA? MUNI? SFPD? SFFD? MTA? Parks and Rec? SFUSD? Nonprofits? Homeless programs??? No objective San Franciscan has ever said: “X department is great! It is run efficiently and well. X department should be a model for the country!”

    This city has a budget of, depending on the source, 7-8 BILLION dollars!!! Can you honestly say with a straight face that letting SFHA seize housing through ED, allocating it, and maintaining it can possibly be a good idea???

  33. The waterfront and the flower mart are areas of city-wide interest. The only people interested in the Mission are people in the Mission. The rest of us don’t care about it.

    Also there is a lot of money around the waterfront and those campaigns would have failed but for some rich folks who didn’t want to lose their view. There are no bigwigs on your side in the Mission.

    The mission needs to be massively upzoned.

  34. The voters overruled the Mayor on 8 Washington and waterfront height limits. The voters could overrule the Mayor again on Mission District luxury housing.

    But Tim’s friends won’t risk alienating the Mayor because of their own self interest, so that’s probably not going to happen. The Flower Mart is worthy of action to that crowd, the waterfront is worthy of action to that crowd, AirBnB is worthy of action by that crowd.

    But perish the thought that they’d work up a sweat to defend the Mission, we are not worthy in their eyes.

  35. 4th gen, the Californios did a little bit in between the two. A very little, admittedly. I hear that was part of their charm.

  36. An Ivy education certainly hasn’t given Campos any real insight.

    Then again, he may have gotten his place because of affirmative action for his holy trinity of “disadvantages” – gay, Hispanic and an illegal.

  37. Guest1:42, Ivy educations are a poor proxy for achievement. Videlicet also:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/business/in-head-hunting-big-data-may-not-be-such-a-big-deal.html

    ‘G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless.. What’s interesting is the proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time as well. So we have teams where you have 14 percent of the team made up of people who’ve never gone to college.’

    I’ll take achievement over credentials any day, myself.

    $th Gen, aren’t the original people of the Mission District the Yelamu?

  38. @Really Dude – how do you know that the Mission Locals aren’t the grandchildren and GGC of the original Irish, Germans & Italians that were the original people of the Mission District? The people that you know BUILT IT?

  39. Dude, everyone’s take on a neighborhood is personal and subjective. But given the choice, I’d rather sip artisan coffee in the company of Ivy-educated game-changers than listen to a bunch of under-achieving whiners carp about how great the Mission was when only losers lived here.

    Each to his own, I guess . . .

  40. @Guest:
    a) Just because you can’t – or won’t deign to allow yourself to relate to the Mission locals doesn’t mean they aren’t “sophisticated”. There are plenty of useless, cro-magnon dickholes sitting at Four Barrel all day, who are merely more “refined” by your definition because they made the right decision to be born into rich, educated families, then ended up working at the right firms, and can now spend $6 on a hot cup of brown water
    b) Judging by Valencia Street, “Sophisticated” “refined” and “educated”, could and should be read as “insipid,” “vapid,” “self-interested” and “elitist.” There is no “there” there. It’s one pointless, succulent pot-decorated money pit after another. The willingness to pay lots of money on pretentious cutesy food or uninspired vintage clothes does not stem from one’s IQ or cultural advancement. The Mission is not turning into the fucking Sorbonne – it’s just a less cleavage-enhanced Beverly Hills.

  41. He wants to have a pretty little revolution. Let’s us humor him. He has the whole of the rest of his life to grow up and become an adult. Allow him some fun and fantasies before his parents kick him out and tell him to get a job.

  42. The old progressive left in SF really don’t know what is happening to them. They do SCREAM A LOT and have loads of meetings. In the end, it’s “the dogs bark and the caravan moves forward”

  43. This has to be a hoax post. Seriously? LOL. Even this blog says that there was never a big protest against Tech. Uh, welcome to reality.

  44. No, WC, that was a completely different case. It was for a development that would have brought in more property tax.

    That has nothing in common with your idea which, AFAIK, has zero popular support, just like most of your speculations here. But I enjoy your whimsical imagination and wishful thinking anyway.

  45. Ooh, so you are threatening anyone who is successful?

    What are you going to do? Block a bus? Break a window? Introduce Marxist rule?

  46. He is typical of many average achiever boomers who moved here and got lucky with the timing and the demographics. In my experience, those are the biggest whiners and NIMBYists. It’s really just a form of nostalgia for their lost youth – Sf was never as good as they remember it.

    The good news is that the nattering nabobs of NIMBYism like him can no longer afford to move here. Once they die off, we can move on.

  47. Property tax is a securitized debt so it gets paid usually, otherwise there is a lien

    My point was that the city only cares WHETHER it gets paid. It really doesn’t care who pays it and may not even know the individuals who own a property

  48. The best targets are symbolic. Regardless as you have made it clear that you side with greed, you will not have a say in the decision about which neighborhood WILL BE the target.

    Enjoy your property values while you can.

  49. The Barry’s of SF are being priced out. I’m sure if Barry did not own his place he too would be evicted soon enough. I’m sure he made $ at one time though as SF, LBH, was never “cheap” except for a brief time in the 60s/70s

  50. Guest11:56, the court that supported eminent domain used this way is the US Supreme Court:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelo_v._City_of_New_London

    What are net cap rates these days? I suspect the City can borrow for less, making all such transactions profitable on their face. As rents gradually rose, they would be more profitable still.

    All this assumes the SFHA somehow transforms into a competent administrator, of course.

  51. Sure there is a problem if property tax is paid. But as long as the city gets its property tax, it really doesn’t care where it comes from. And in fact i have paid the property tax on behalf of other people and there was no problem. You can even pay it in cash – no questioned asked.

  52. All sorts of things are difficult to prove, and yet most pay the tax they owe honestly.

    The constitutions, US and CA, allow localities to tax and levy fees. Prop 13 allows for parcel taxes if approved by 2/3rds of voters.

  53. I doubt that any court would support EM being used in such a way. It really is way beyond what the framers of that law ever intended for it.

    It would also be very expensive as a market price would have to be paid.

  54. The admission last night by Tim’s friends that all paths forward involve working with the mayors office means that after the election, development will proceed at a faster pace.

    None of the people up on stage nor David Campos are going to be able to deliver on these pronouncements.

    That in not rain running down your leg.

  55. The Mission is decades away from being as gentrified as the Marina was decades ago. You’re picking the wrong target.

  56. Guest11:30, good housing policy benefits the whole city. Also, since the City is exempt from the SFRO, it could raise irredeemably low rents.

    Fair market value at withdrawal must consider the viability of the property, so such purchases would, if managed halfway competently, be profitable and improve the city’s finances.

    That is in the case of the SFHA quite an ‘if’.

  57. On the plus side, turning the Mission turn into a wealthy enclave makes it easy to know where to begin the revolution. I suggest making the Mission District the regional focus of all future demonstrations regarding injustice, social inequity, etc. in the Bay Area. You wanna live there in units where long-term tenants and businesses have been evicted? Fine – just sit back and enjoy the entertainment.

  58. If it were easy to enforce such things, we would already do it. The truth is that an entity can own a property, and you may never be able to discover who owns that entity.

    An offshore trust, for instance.

  59. Vacancy is extremely difficult to prove, and differential rates of property tax might run foul of Prop 13, if not the constitution.

  60. WC, the city could not justify eminent domain or such a purely ideological and political purpose. It is generally only used for major construction projects that compellingly benefit the whole city, and not just a few lucky individuals.

    However, what the city could do is bid in the open market for any property under eviction or transition to TIC. If the offer was good enough, I feel sure the owner would freely sell.

    However, these would be the very least viable properties in the city, and a large portfolio of them could affect the city’s credit rating and its ability to borrow.

  61. That is good she abated all her NOVs because that is what tenants expect from a landlord. Like that Chris Rock comedy routine, when a parent says, “I take care of my kids”… whatdayamean?!? You supposed to take of your kids! that is not an option… or something you are supposed to take credit for.

    My beef with the Tamale Lady is she played the small entrepreneur card while she was making boatloads of money selling a product that the may or may not be produced in a sanitary kitchen… No health inspections, no taxes, etc…
    Her story touched the hearts of many in the Mission who wanted to help her out and even set up an online fundraising page. Not only did she not need money, she made enough money to purchase an apartment complex!
    The irony is that she wants to move in but she has rent controlled tenants that don’t pay enough for her to service the mortgage and take care of the maintenance. Anyways

  62. 94103R, we’re not talking about mortgages. If we were, I’d have used the word ‘cramdown’.

    Where did OMI eviction come up? I suggested that if the city were really committed, it could purchase at market rate buildings that owners planned to withdraw from the market. If a new owner did an OMI and couldn’t bring himself to wait twelve months to Ellis, he would receive market value and become a tenant like everyone else.

  63. W.C. Whiner, how did using eminent domain work for the City of Richmond (buy up underwater mortgages)? here’s the SF attorney speaking against using eminent domain use to buy out mortgages… (displacement of owners with underwater mortgages is the same as displacement of renters). Article written 2/5/15 so it’s not old news…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-06/san-francisco-controller-s-report-discourages-eminent-domain-use

    Prop 99: I would love to see the court fight against a building owner trying to move into their building but the City using eminent domain to buy up that property (because the building owner has not lived in their building for more than 1 year).

  64. 94103R, political risk is a fact of life. That doesn’t mean I can’t suggest public policy I think could work.

    Eminent domain is acceptable. If a property owner withdraws from the rental market, it is in the public interest to buy him out to maintain housing stock. What the city does with the property thereafter is a policy question, not overreach.

    Solutions have to be constitutional; this is. Prop 98 failed in 2008. If passed, this would not be. Prop 99 passed; it prohibits only acquisition of owner-occupied residences.

  65. Yeah, and in those places where there is crime, squalor, poverty, and food you don’t like, people band together, because that’s all they have. They make community. Share culture. Overcome. They create value and art. Then, hipsters, and now techies come and visit. See that it’s edgy, and cool. They want the the persona, but not the culture. They move in because it’s cheap, and the whole process starts again.

  66. Guest9:36, true, lenders generally do not enforce the owner-occupancy clause in their contracts, but they can.

    94103R and I were not talking about BMR lottery units, but some notional, non-lottery ‘affordable’ units. Owner-occupancy would deter the speculation he mooted.

    Rather than require primary residence for SFRO, BMR or any other units, I’d rather tax vacancy.

  67. “Lots and lots of building with tax incentives for building more densely” Are these tax incentives going be protested once a developer takes the bait like the Mid Market tax break? Bait and switch much?

    Eminent domain is for governments to take over private land for PUBLIC USE. If the tenant wants to have his living space and bathroom open to the public then eminent domain is right for them. =) Taking over private land to keep a tenant in place is overreaching…

    An analogy to your ‘these aren’t good solutions, but are something.” is the Police stopping and frisking anyone they want because they want to reduce crime.

    Solutions have to be constitutional or else you are just spinning your wheels.

  68. The fact that Campos was omitted from the Chronicle’s special report on the Mission’s changes a few weeks ago, and that he was not invited to be a panelist last night, are reminders of just how unimportant he is right now to the conversation about the housing crisis.

    He blew hot air for four years about the LGBT shelter on South Van Ness, usually blaming “City Hall” without telling folks who to pressure to open those 24 beds. There was more Campos hot air about getting the great Tamale Lady a restaurant on 16th Street. Didn’t happen.

    How about his proposal two years ago to change SFO’s name to Harvey Milk Airport? It didn’t fly.

    Despite having three paid staffers at City Hall, probably a few interns, and his various educational degrees, Team Campos is terrible about engaging with the public and Mission community via social media.

    He updates his Twitter and FB platforms maybe 4 to 7 times a week, days go by without updates, as if all the battles of his district and around the city aren’t happening. It’s easier at times to figure out the thinking of the Kremlin than whatever Team Campos is working on.

    Campos’ last newsletter came out in October 2013: http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=2122. He and his staff should take lessons in how to communicate regularly with the public. Social media engagement might win him some support for whatever his confusing agenda is for the next for months.

  69. Yes, and those constructs also enable the property to be conveyed to another without changing the deed or triggering a Prop 13 revaluation.

  70. You obscure your ownership status with LLC, Trust, Counsel etc.. and just check the “owner occupied”… not really a big deal (for now)… anyways way to early to speculate on legislation that haven’t been drafted and only a twinkle in a supervisor’s eye.

  71. Barry commits the same error as many do on the left, in thinking that he can get away with being racist as long as it is against whites and Asians.

    Good catch.

  72. True. As the Mission becomes safer, cleaner and more successful, there are other areas that are becoming more like the Mission used to be, like Oakland.

    If people really like grime, crime, squalor, poverty and nasty food, then there will always be places where that is available.

    It’s easier to change your situation than change the world around you.

  73. Although lenders do lend subject to owner-occupancy, it really isn’t monitored or enforced. I’ve rented out such properties a couple of times and, in practice, as long as the lender gets his monthly check, it’s all good.

    But if we’re going to enforce owner-occupancy for BMR units (I thought we already did) then let’s do that for rent-controlled units as well. You can’t get rent control unless it is your ONLY home (and not just your principal home, as at present).

  74. Gee, why invoke Hong Kong when talking about a Chinese-American mayor? If that isn’t blatantly racist, I don’t know what is. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  75. Require owner occupancy by contract, just like lenders do to owner-occupants. Failing to occupy as primary residence would trigger a forced sale.

    Done and done.

  76. The Mission is changing, the Lexington bar on 18th street in between Mission and Valencia is closing Plump Jack from the Marina is moving in.
    If you don’t like all the changes that is occurring in the Mission then move, your wasting your time complaining SF has changed it is not changing.

  77. One more thing, if by miracle “affordable” housing were to be built, these “affordable” houses will be open to the public and whats to stop someone from buying 5 of these units? Since they don’t fall under BMR requirements they are not subject to maximum income requirements. Any attempt to stop the buying of multiple properties would be unconstitutional.

  78. Yes, the “our people” statement is truly stunning.

    It’s ironic that it is people on the far-left that are now the racists.

  79. “make sure our people are able to stay” has got to be the most brown supremacist quote of the night!

    Campos comparing his legislation to Weiner’s was also laughable… Weiner’s ban on big trophy homes is fair since those homes provide no value to the neighboring homes and no affordable housing… while Campos’ legislation bans market rate housing (which would provide BMR housing) in favor of “affordable housing” for the masses. First of all what’s affordable?… they said the median income for a Latino family was 45-75k? If we use that and figure 30% of their gross income towards housing. That’s $1125 to $1875 towards housing. That equates to about a 250k to 400k condo (w/o HOA). At those prices you cannot even build a unit in the City (per SPUR). Now if they were somehow able to build “affordable” housing for people making 45-75k houses the builder will have to make 20% still BMR… What builder (for profit or non profit) can survive on those terms? Remember the high prices for new condos subsidize the low prices of the BMR’s.

    Lastly please remember the City has the Ellis Act Housing Preference Program which allows displaced residents that have been Ellis’ed to get priority into affordable housing… (see link)
    http://sf-moh.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=7921

  80. If Campos could, he would impose racial quotas for the Mission, with Hispanics guaranteed to be a perpetual majority.

  81. Why doesn’t Campos grow a set of balls and just propose what he really wants to do. A moratorium on all non-hispanic people and businesses moving into the mission.

  82. Exactly. No one who is against the moratorium is going to show up and be brow-beaten be a bunch of lunatics.

  83. The more extremist NIMBYs believe that more supply = higher prices. So they presumably should advocate that we destroy homes, as that will reduce prices!

  84. Yes, the thing about the just causes for eviction is that they are all, er, just.

    Non-payment of rent, persistent late payment of rent, breach of contract, nuisance, criminal or illegal behavior, noise, demolition, merger, rehab, condo conversion, owner wants to live there, owner’s family wants to live there and of course a desire to close the business.

    All perfectly fair and reasonable scenarios.

  85. Russo, feel goods don’t equate to reality. But hey I’m on your side. I own a few bldgs in the mission and would love for the moratorium to pass, as it will absolutely increase my property values (last time I checked, limiting supply didn’t reduce prices.) so please, by all means, keep fighting the good fight!

  86. There is also less blight and graffiti, better restaurants and stores, and a more educated. refined and sophisticated populace.

  87. Progressivism is predicated on a self-deluded ability to carve everyone up into good and bad. Without scapegoating and stereotyping others, its policies cannot be coherently formulated or promulgated.

  88. And yet Ed Lee will be easily re-elected standing for everything you oppose, Barry.

    Obviously the people in your community do not share your extremist NIMBYist policies.

  89. Notice how much Tim needs there to be “bad guys” Here he laments the view that:

    “The disaster of displacement in the Mission seemed almost like an act of God — it just happens, and there are no bad guys.”

    It’s all so easy for Tim. There are good guys and bad guys. Never question that.

  90. The 16th and Mission Bart Plaza is the heart of the North Mission. I used to live down the block on Mission between 15th & 16th. In a city with a real social conscience (we have one here but not when it comes to money, big money), BART would clean up and redesign this public plaza so that it was a more wholesome and creative space for the people, many of whom live in dingy sro’s like the one I used to live in. There could be a space for a small stage for music and the like (no cacaphonous street preachers welcome please). This is what it means to maintain and build a community. People are the heart of any city and we have great diversity in San Francisco, one of the best things about our town. We should preserve and upgrade what we have in the Mission, the liveliest and most colorful part of the city. Displacement, the law of the jungle (I got more cash than you so git!), the greeediness of landlords like Sam Spam, now masquerading here under the moniker of Guest—this is not the true spirit of Sam Fram. You want “development” up the gazoo? Go to New York please (my old hometown), And please, when you go please take Ed Lee with you. He wants to turn SF into Hong Kong. Anything for money. Such myopia! AMMIANO FOR MAYOR 2016.

  91. The Mission is now a much much better place than it was 10 or 20 years ago.

    NIMBYs and regressives are on the wrong side of history and liberty.

  92. Russo, a small clique of whiners gathering together while the other 99% of us go on with our lives is not anything of significance.

    In fact the voters will this year re-elect a Mayor who runs on a pro-growth platform.

  93. You have to love the hypocrisy in play here.

    SF Progs are all for equal rights and full inclusion, so long as you are not one of THOSE people.

  94. The SFRO never passes without the ability to evict for cause. Even tenants expect other tenants to pay their rent.

  95. Whats the difference between outlawing monster homes and outlawing all new construction period? Apparently nothing if you listen to Tim…
    Here is the crux of this entire argument: “People who live in the neighborhood now, and don’t want to leave, shouldn’t be forced out to make room for people with more money.”

    This is about preserving status quo and about keeping the “right people” in an area while actively trying to make sure the “wrong people” dont get in.

    The funny thing is, if Composts idiotic proposal ever sees the light of day, there will be such an accelerated wholesale removal of poor people in the mission that people wont even know what hit them. The people of more means will continue to seek housing in the mission and will outbid people of lesser means. Landlords will raise their rents to continue to seek the highest bidders.
    Its amazing that someone who is ivy league educated all the way can be so profoundly stupid.

  96. The planned Corona Heights action is not a moratorium but merely a temporary tightening of planning controls in that area. The aim is to preserve the character (but not the individual residents) of that area. The average home in that delightful enclave is probably around 2 million. The people complaining are affluent and secure, and simply want to keep their neighborhood delightful.

    What Campos wants for the Mission is much more sinister – social engineering. And it will in fact preserve much of what is not delightful about the Mission – crime, blight and low-quality retail.

  97. No, Spam, you’d rather turn the Mission into a soulless, homogenous theme park for the super-rich. “Fascist”? You’ve really got a persecution complex going!

  98. ‘”There is no solution.'” Don’t believe you for a second. Will not “get used to it.” The Mission Forum, community engagement, and political representation is a great start. So is a moratorium on high-end housing.

  99. Tim, did it ever occur to you that the kind of people who go to a meeting like this are the kind of people who share your extreme left-wing views? Those who are happy with the changes in the Mission, such as myself, see no reason to attend a whining session like this.

    You got a totally biased view of what Mission residents want by attending a politically skewed meeting like this, the entire premise of which is that something is wrong. It isn’t. What is happening is a natural process for a successful city.

    Personally i love that crime is down, the homes are better maintained, the restaurants are better, my neighbors are educated and successful, and that the feel of the place is upbeat and optimistic.

    I don’t want to live in a theme park maintained only by fascist regulations that attack personal freedoms.

  100. Agree. It’s clear that building homes for successful people who want to live in the Mission any way actually reduces evictions by easing the demand for existing housing.

    Every Ellis/TIC transition happens because someone with money could not find a vacant home for sale that they wanted.

    You preserve the poor by building for the rich. Or at least extend the time before they leave.

  101. SFR, threre are always solutions. Lots and lots of building with tax incentives for building more densely and more modestly and renting more reasonably are one. There are alternatives, if unrealistic ones. For example, the city could purchase at market rate all buildings with an Ellis filing by eminent domain and allow their tenants to remain in place, or it could write all displaced tenants a check large enough to buy an apartment, or otherwise juggle incentives to make evictions prohibitively expensive (this would be Mr. Campos’s solution). These aren’t good solutions, but are something.

    Strong regional coordination to start building enough in the whole area to get rents back to 1990s or 1980s levels might even work. A cynic, I doubt we’ll see it, but you can’t say it’s impossible. Last night I posted: http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

    Cities need not be expensive.

  102. Any attempt to reduce the number of just cause evictions could easily render the entire rent ordinance unconstitutional. Those just cause evictions are in there not because the politicians wanted them but because they were necessary to keep the ordinance on the right side (just) of constitutionality.

  103. It is incoherent to call in one breath for ‘an end to the evictions’ and ‘a halt to development.’ When you have too little housing, you have to build more. Displacement in any neighborhood happens because housing prices rise when there is not enough housing. There are bad guys: the bad guys are the ones calling for a halt to development.

    The view that non-BMR housing causes displacement and can never bring prices down is based on an exceptionally myopic post-hoc view in the rear view mirror. Rather than looking relying on anecdote, let us examine the numbers. Here, inflation adjusted rents in the area:
    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=121l

    Inflation adjusted rents peaked in 2002, more than ten years ago. Rents troughed 10% below this peak in 2011. What brought rents down? It wasn’t a spare few BMR units. All building a few more BMR units does is slightly increase the small pool of BMR lottery winners.

    With supply restrictions, high-end housing seems to lead to displacement. The post-hoc observation misses the dynamic: if you constrict supply, you have to ration. You can ration by price, tenure (i.e., rent control), lottery (BMR, SFHA) or fiat, but you will ration.

    24th Street property values are up already. If you don’t want them to go up further, you should support development, not call for it to end. The best rent control is abundance.

  104. Ok guys, one more time…try to get this:
    1- the progressives position: if you build more high end units, it only attracts the wealthy. Thus overall prices go up in the mission, displacing poorer folks. Correct!
    2- the free market position: if you limit new housing, wealthy people will still buy existing housing stock (and renovate it to their high end taste.) Thus overall prices also go up in the mission, displacing poorer folks. Also correct!

    For those insisting on preserving the mission in Amber, you’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Solution? There is no “solution.” People that do not own their properties cannot expect to live there forever, no matter how much social and economic engineering politicians invent. Unless you barricade the mission with police towers, and do not let any wealthy people live here, the neighborhood is going to reflect people’s will and pocketbook. Get used to it.

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