Housing

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 »

Compromise measures

Housing and business tax propositions don't solve the city's problems, but both sides say they're the best we can expect

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news@sfbg.com

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 »

Activists rally for alleged victim of illegal foreclosure

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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 »

Thick petition against a big project

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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 »

Putting 8 Washington on the ballot

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The fall ballot's going to be crowded -- and one of the issues that may face a vote is the future of the 8 Washington condo complex, the waterfront multi-zillionaire housing that the city doesn't need.Read more »

Gosh, we need more condos for millionaires

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I guess it's really, really important for San Francisco to build more housing for the very rich because there's just such a profound need for it. In fact, the demand for million-dollar condos is so high, and the supply so tight, that the folks at Rincon Tower (which is hideous) are bringing in celebrities to try to sell the last few units.Read more »

Guardian voices: The zombie condo converters

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What is the shelf life of  a really bad public policy concerning housing in  San Francisco?

When it comes to condo conversions of existing rent controlled apartments, the answer is that there is no limit on how many times this bad idea is taken off the shelf. Like a bad summer zombie movie, this undead keeps  walking, no matter what San Franciscans say.

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The 8 Washington embarrassment

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I wasn’t shocked by the vote on 8 Washington. I knew it was happening; I knew we’d lost when the EIR went through. I knew we couldn’t count on a solid progressive bloc any more. I knew that the lobbying was intense.

But I have to say, at the end of the day I was embarrassed. Because the supervisors sold the city cheap.Read more »

8 Washington isn't getting much better

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When the Board of Supervisors approved the environmental impact report for the most expensive condos in San Francisco history, several members of the board said they weren't entirely happy with the project. Supervisors Christina Olague and Eric Mar both complained about the height and bulk and Olague said she wanted a parking fee.Read more »