Housing Solution: Allow Denser Housing in Exchange for Affordable Units

Cori Brosnahan, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 16 2014 - 11:23am

If San Francisco adhered strictly to state laws that grant residential developers considerable flexibility, it could increase housing density in upcoming projects by up to 35 percent. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Following S.F.’s Lead, Cities Leapfrog State in Race to Raise Minimum Wage

Alex Kekauoha, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 9 2014 - 11:02am

The momentum to increase the minimum wage that is building in San Francisco and other localities across California has not caught on for similar statewide efforts. Part of the summer edition of the San Francisco Public Press. Get yours today.

Housing Solution: Update Local Rent Control Law to Prevent Mass Displacement

Harry Gibbons, San Francisco Public Press — Sep 3 2014 - 12:06pm

By extending rent-control status to all existing apartments, like it did 35 years ago, the city could save the residents of as many as 50,000 apartments from today’s ballooning rental costs. But doing so might not make the city more affordable for the most economically vulnerable residents. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Housing Solution: Build Dorm-Style Nano Apartments for Newly Arriving Tech Workers

Robin Ngai, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 27 2014 - 2:15pm

In Seattle, developers are racing to build miniature studios that average 150 square feet to absorb skyrocketing housing demand from young professionals. San Francisco could follow that example — but first, it would have to strike down a law passed two years ago. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Housing Solution: Activate S.F. Ballot Box Again to Fund Affordable Housing

Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 25 2014 - 11:44am

Nonprofit housing developers across the city say they have been waiting for years to begin building more than 800 planned, permanently affordable homes. A housing bond could get those projects off the ground, but politicians have other priorities. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Housing Solution: Revisit the Much Maligned Live-Work Loft to Build Nonprofit Artist Housing

Victor Valle, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 19 2014 - 3:05pm

What if San Francisco took another stab at promoting live-work lofts by effectively targeting actual working artists? With enough funding, nonprofit organizations could house them in old, retrofitted commercial properties. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

San Francisco and New York Affordable Housing Plans Compared

Paayal Zaveri, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 4 2014 - 12:13pm

San Francisco is not the only city in a housing crisis. The multi-year plan proposed by Mayor Ed Lee bears some similarities to those proposed by Bill de Blasio, the new mayor of New York, where even last week a major initiative advanced to fix older affordable buildings. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

‘Laura’s Law’ No Quick Fix for Strained San Francisco Mental Health System

Robin Ngai, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 11 2014 - 10:33am

The challenge of preserving civil rights while providing mental health care dominated debate about “Laura’s Law,” a controversial measure adopted this week that gives family members and law enforcement a legal means to compel treatment. Proponents say the law will help families frustrated by their loved ones’ refusal to seek treatment, but service providers and activists say it is not a panacea for San Francisco's overstretched mental health system.

Education Reformers Say Students Need a Voice in State Funding for Equity

Paayal Zaveri, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 8 2014 - 3:25pm

With California public schools set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding in the coming school year, education reform groups say Bay Area school districts have not done enough to bring students — not just parents and other district residents — into the decision-making process.

Working Groups Envision Plans for an Affordable San Francisco

Justin Slaughter, Harry Gibbons, Victor Valle, Liz Enochs, Josh Wilson, Noah Arroyo and Lisa Weinzimer, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 16 2014 - 6:42pm

City residents, advocates and experts gathered at “Hack the Housing Crisis” to come up with ways to make San Francisco more affordable and create space for new tenants. Possible solutions included building portable houses and creating social media websites where renters and landlords could connect. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Pitching Visions of an Affordable San Francisco at ‘Hack the Housing Crisis’

Justin Slaughter, Noah Arroyo, Cori Brosnahan, Harry Gibbons, Lyndal Cairns, Liz Enochs and Josh Wilson, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 13 2014 - 5:35pm

San Francisco has become the epicenter of the Bay Area’s affordability crisis, with high-tech corporations moving in, rents climbing skyward, and despair and evictions sweeping through long-established but lower-income communities. Yet for the sold-out crowd of 140 housing-policy visionaries, advocates, experts and activists at Hack the Housing Crisis, San Francisco’s struggle to house its citizens is an opportunity to build a better city for all. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Housing Solution: Allow Off-the-Shelf Homes in San Francisco’s Underused Spaces

Cori Brosnahan, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 13 2014 - 12:50pm

Two Bay Area designers are re-imagining the home as a simple consumer good. If they and other entrepreneurs are successful, San Francisco’s marginal land — including parking spaces — could theoretically be retrofitted to accommodate hundreds or thousands of these barebones, movable living spaces. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Easy Solutions to S.F.’s Housing Crisis? Beware Unintended Consequences

Nathan Collins, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 12 2014 - 3:25pm

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and, very often, good urban planning policy ideas too. San Francisco and the Bay Area are no strangers to that road. Yet as talk of a housing crisis grows, the region may need a new attitude more than new ideas to avoid the mistakes of the past. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

New In-Law Suite Rules Boost Affordable Housing in San Francisco

Rob Poole, Shareable.net — Jun 11 2014 - 7:09pm

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently approved two significant pieces of legislation that support accessory dwelling units, also known as “in-law” or secondary units, in the city. The first, introduced by District 3 Supervisor David Chiu and passed on April 17, enables existing illegal units to be legalized. The second, introduced by District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener and passed on April 16, allows for the construction of new accessory dwellings in his district.

Housing Solution: Backyard Cottages Could Add One-Third More Homes to San Francisco

Cori Brosnahan, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 5 2014 - 4:00pm

San Francisco could boost its housing stock by as much as one-third — if only homeowners were allowed to build tiny, freestanding cottages in their backyards. This would satisfy the city’s policy of “infill development,” putting more housing on existing underutilized land. But first, the city would have to tweak existing building regulations tailored to mid-20th century lifestyles. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Stanford Divests, Bay Area Still Spews Carbon

Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press — May 30 2014 - 4:18pm

With Stanford University dumping its coal investments, and Plan Bay Area’s “smart growth” strategy aiming to reduce regional greenhouse-gas emissions by 2035, has the Bay Area finally turned the corner on climate change? Far from it. In fact, Stanford’s divestment won’t even sting coal companies, and, as reported by the Public Press, Plan Bay Area will actually result in an increase in carbon pollution in the atmosphere.

Groundwater Depletion Is Destabilizing the San Andreas Fault and Increasing Earthquake Risk

Katherine Bourzac, San Francisco Public Press — May 14 2014 - 10:01am

Research published today also links seasonal water levels to seasonal patterns in seismicity

Depletion of groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley is having wide-ranging effects not just on the agricultural industry and the environment, but also on the very earth beneath our feet. Massive changes in groundwater levels in the southern Central Valley are changing the stresses on the San Andreas Fault, according to research published today.

S.F. Mayor Counts Existing Homes to Hit Affordable Housing Goal

Noah Arroyo and Josh Wolf, San Francisco Public Press — May 13 2014 - 10:48am

Nearly 40% of subsidized units cited already exist

In his plan calling for 30,000 units of “new and rehabilitated” housing over six years, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee left many news organizations with the incorrect impression that one-third of those apartments would be additional units that most city residents could afford. Details of the plan actually show that a large fraction of the total consists of already-occupied public housing units that would be repaired, but add little the city’s overall affordable housing stock. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Linking the Google Bus With the Housing Crisis

Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press — May 9 2014 - 3:28pm

While San Francisco’s 350 private corporate buses take thousands of well-off tech employees to work in Silicon Valley every morning, and home to their urban apartments and flats every evening, the service gap in late-night public transportation leaves many of the city’s service workers without a ride to their homes far out of town. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.

Seeking San Francisco Affordable Housing Solutions, 20 Seconds at a Time

Cori Brosnahan and Harry Gibbons, San Francisco Public Press — May 7 2014 - 7:49pm

A slew of housing experts each sped through 20 slides lasting 20 seconds apiece Tuesday night in a search for solutions to the affordable housing crisis in San Francisco. Not all of their ideas were entirely new, but some of the presenters fleshed out concepts that have been floating around San Francisco political and development circles. Part of a special report on solutions for housing affordability.