Dump the “Density Bonus” Plan

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STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR NEIGHBORHOODS!

Join us Thursday Jan. 28th 2-5pm at City Hall #StopBonusPlan
Press Conference on the front steps at 2pm
Pack the Planning Department Hearing 3-5pm (Rm. 400)

The “Affordable Housing Density Bonus Program” threatens the future of thousands of residents and small businesses. We must stop this monster and demand affordable development without displacement!

DETAILS:

The Mayor and City Planning Department are fast tracking a zoning change that undermines existing safeguards in all neighborhoods and promotes the demolition of over 30,500 buildings. If your house, favorite venue, organization or local business is on the map, the city is incentivizing speculators and developers to demolish it in the guise of building “affordable housing.” Their “affordable” buildings are defined as 88% luxury-rate units for the wealthy. Where is the housing for lower-wage workers? Even if you win the lottery and get one of the few “Below Market Rate” units, you will be kicked out should your salary ever increase above set limits.

DON’T BUY THE HYPE! The city is rushing this destructive plan through saying that state law requires it. But Sacramento hasn’t said we are out of compliance. This is a smoke screen to benefit developers.

Are you on the map? 30,500 parcels affected!

DESTRUCTION AND DISPLACEMENT
•Existing housing, venues and livelihoods will be destroyed.
•There is no way to fight a demolition eviction.
•The city will not adequately compensate thousands of individuals and local merchants that will be displaced from the area.
•The rights of return after redevelopment = politicians’ false promises.
•Doesn’t stop demolition of rent-controlled housing, our largest stock of affordable rents in the city. (Sup. Breed’s amendment only postpones demolition of rent-controlled units for one year.)
•Low-income and working-class residents will be pushed out because luxury units dramatically increase rents and evictions in the surrounding blocks.

SPEAK OUT & STAY PUT TOGETHER!
Tell your Supervisor to vote the Density Bonus Program down. Demand a community-based planning process to develop affordable housing without demolishing neighborhoods and displacing local residents and businesses!

District 1 – Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org 415-554-7410
District 2 – Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org 415-554-7752
District 3 – Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org 415-554-7450
District 4 – Katy.Tang@sfgov.org 415-554-7460
District 5 – London.Breed@sfgov.org 415-554-7630
District 6 – Jane.Kim@sfgov.org 425-554-7970
District 7 – Norman.Yee@sfgov.org 415-554-6516
District 8 – Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org 415-554-6968
District 9 – David.Campos@sfgov.org 415-554-5144
District 10 – Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org 415-554-7670
District 11 – John.Avalos@sfgov.org 415-554-6975
Mayor Ed Lee – mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org 415-554-6141

Sample Letter:

Dear Supervisor __________,

I am writing to urge you not to pass the “Affordable Housing Density Bonus Program”. This program promotes the demolition of over 30,000 buildings and, thus, the displacement of thousands of residents and businesses. This would make our housing and affordability crisis even worse! Many of our homes, favorite venues, organizations and local businesses are on the map. Don’t incentivize speculators and developers to demolish them. If the program goes through, the city has no plans to adequately compensate thousands of individuals and local merchants who will be displaced. Since even the cities surrounding SF are unaffordable, this plan would effectively kick people out of the entire Bay Area.

“Affordable housing” should not be defined as 88% luxury-rate units for the wealthy. Having to earn 140% AMI (or well over $100K) is not “affordable” to most San Franciscans. Where is the housing for lower-wage workers? Even if people win the lottery and get one of the few “Below Market Rate” units, they could be kicked out should their salary ever increase above set limits. Also, there is no effective regulation on short-term rentals. Thus, this plan could essentially demolish current buildings to add more illegal hotels instead of homes.

We need to preserve rent-controlled housing, our largest stock of affordable rents in the city. (Supervisor Breed’s amendment doesn’t assure that these units will be permanently off the chopping block.) Why is the city is rushing this destructive plan through saying that state law requires it? Sacramento hasn’t said we are out of compliance. This is a smoke screen to benefit developers. Don’t fast track a zoning change that undermines existing safeguards in all neighborhoods. Implement a community-based planning process to develop affordable housing without destroying neighborhoods and displacing local residents and businesses!

Sincerely,

________

 

Our Eviction Law Needs an Upgrade Now

(The following page is under construction.  Additional content will be posted shortly).

The SF Board of Supervisors is now considering legislation that would substantially increase protections against evictions.   Eviction Protections 2.0 would address and correct loopholes in the rent control ordinance that result in the evictions of hundreds of tenants each year (see our previous report on this page).

The real experiences of tenants best explains why we urgently need these changes.

Consider the testimony of this San Francisco teacher at the July hearing on the legislation.

Also see: SF Tenants  Groups Fight ‘Gotcha’ Evictions (or download: SF Chronicle July 29 2015)

Full legislation is available here: Leg Ver2.

Eviction Crisis 2015: Trends, Impacts, Real Stories

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San Francisco’s Eviction Crisis 2015: A Report by SFADC

From the report:

“San Francisco’s housing and affordability crisis has been bad for years but new data and reports from the field show that it about to get even worse.  New data from the Rent Board shows that efforts to evict tenants are reaching levels not seen in over a decade..   This report provides new insights into the eviction trends, discusses emerging patterns in landlord abuses, and the price that the evictions are having on every neighborhood in the city.

“San Francisco Rent Board’s most recently published data on evictions reflects the extent and nature of the crisis.  According to the Rent Board’s Annual Eviction report, there were 2120 notices of evictions filed with the rent board for the year ending February 28, 2015 — a 54.7% increase over the past five years

“This report, based upon published and unpublished data from the Rent Board, provides more specific insights into the types of evictions justifications that are forcing tenants from their homes.   We review the historic trends in evictions and discuss how landlords are abusing loopholes in the city’s rent control ordinance to evict innocent tenants.  And we seek to provide some of the stories of real people whose lives are being impacted…

Finally we conclude with a forecast for the future.  Based upon present trends and absent a more robust policy response to the present crisis, it appears likely that the rates of eviction will dramatically increase this year, resulting in even more massive displacement and gentrification.

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What Would Harvey Do?

Supervisor Harvey Milk was a forward-thinking, progressive person, and this carried over to the legislation he backed as a district supervisor in the Castro. He was committed to ensuring that everyone in the city had a voice and that those who had more money would not have undue influence on San Francisco. Shortly before his assassination, he noticed the troubling trend of speculation displacing people from their homes and he wanted to do something about it. Before his death, Milk proposed an “anti-speculation” plan that would heavily tax profits generated by quickly flipping homes in San Francisco. He reasoned that it would be a way to keep the housing stock of San Francisco as a place for people to live, not a means for people to make money.

With the assistance of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the Housing Rights Committee, Causa Justa / Just Cause, San Francisco Tenants Union, Tenants Together, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Chinatown Community Development Center, and many more, we at the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition are working to make Supervisor Milk’s dream a reality.

We are excited to announce that our proposed legislation for a speculation tax that would only affect real estate sales made when the owner of a home makes a profit on a home they have possessed for five years or less has been given the blessing of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and will be on the ballot this November! If we work together, we can make one of Harvey’s last wishes come true.

Before his death, Supervisor Harvey Milk proposed an “anti-speculation” plan that would have heavily taxed profits generated by quickly flipping properties in San Francisco. – See more at: http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2014-02/activists-call-for-revival-of-harvey-milks-anti-speculation-proposal#sthash.1BTS9ENH.dpuf

Foundational Artists Responsible for Making the Mission a Destination Being Evicted from their Mission Apartments

One of the problems with talking about evictions and displacement is the tendency to examine it on a case-by-case basis: a series of individuals making logical decisions about where they want to live, buying property, and forcing those who were renting the property to leave. The problem with evictions is not found at this level but rather at the systemic level, when we examine who is coming in and who is being forced out, and notice that this is a problem that disproportionately affects seniors, people with disabilities, low income population, queer people, and people of color. While anyone losing their home is tragic, it is particularly upsetting when those being evicted are responsible for putting their neighborhood on the map, as with the Yañez family evictions currently happening in the Mission.

René Yañez and Yolanda López, two prolific artists whose contributions shaped the Mission into a destination for locals and tourists alike. Yañez is responsible for making the Día de Los Muertos celebration in the Mission the citywide, show-stopping spectacle it is today, and is an accomplished visual artist, as well. López’s work has garnered international acclaim, especially for her Virgen de Guadalupe series depicting working-class chicana women in a bold, positive manner.

López is making the best of her eviction by putting it on display: she is selling off her possessions in garage sales that happen in art galleries. Her goal is to publicize what is happening to her and to her beloved neighborhood. Her other goal? To find somewhere else to go, as she acknowledges that living in San Francisco on Social Security will likely be impossible. It’s cruelly ironic that two of the people responsible for making the Mission district synonymous with arts and culture are now being forced out to make room for those who can afford to pay a premium for a place in a trendy neighborhood.

They’ll have to content themselves with the the decorative Día de Los Muertos themed tree grates left behind on Valencia Street as a testament to their legacy while they depart for destination unknown.