Infrastructure

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.

Potentially Earthquake-Unsafe Residential Buildings — a (Very Rough) List

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Jan 14 2013 - 1:51pm

This story appeared in the Winter 2012-2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

San Francisco’s Department of Building Inspection has kept a preliminary list of potentially dangerous soft-story buildings since 2009, but inspectors say it has not been verified by actual building inspections, and was never intended for public consumption. Some of the addresses the city generated might be wrong. The Public Press is publishing the list so that residents who might possibly be at risk in their homes can participate in the debate over how best to retrofit thousands of properties in coming years.

Earthquake Retrofit Delays Leave Thousands at Risk

Noah Arroyo and Barbara Grady, SF Public Press — Jan 7 2013 - 6:38pm

It will take at least 7 years to secure older wood buildings dangerously perched above windows or garages

This story appeared in the Winter 2012-2013 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

One in 14 San Franciscans lives in an old building with a first floor that city inspectors say could be vulnerable to collapse if not retrofitted soon to withstand a major earthquake.While officials have had a preliminary list of nearly 3,000 suspect properties for more than three years, they have not told landlords, leaving the estimated 58,000 residents who live there ignorant that their buildings could be unstable.

Housing Solution: Increase Density in Western Neighborhoods and Fix Transit

Evelyn Wang, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 27 2014 - 3:15pm

New housing construction is blazing through the city’s eastern side, but not the west. Why? Residents say existing public transit is too poor to accommodate denser housing, which might also disrupt the neighborhood’s character. But minor tweaks to zoning regulations could add thousands of new apartments, and many would be priced below the market rate.

Heinberg: Localize Economy or Face the Consequences

Paul Lorgerie, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 9 2014 - 6:48pm

Author Richard Heinberg and other experts spoke at the Economics of Sustainability conference, at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Heinberg said communities must become more self-sufficient in order to mitigate the coming climate crisis.

Some S.F. Leaders Want Failing Streetlights Added to Seismic Safety Bond

Josh Wolf, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 29 2014 - 2:26pm

A $400 million bond to improve emergency-response services and other public safety infrastructure in San Francisco will be on the June ballot, but Supervisor Scott Wiener said the bond should be expanded to fix hundreds of streetlights that have fallen into disrepair. The bond would include $70 million to repair and retrofit fire stations, $30 million for improvements to police stations and $65 million toward the construction of a new seismically sound medical examiner facility. It would also include $70 million in upgrades to the city’s alternative water supply system used to fight fires and $165 million for a new police building for traffic and forensic services. The proposal is the second in a series of Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response bonds that the city has proposed in order to cover the costs associated with retrofiting buildings and other infrastructure in preparation for a large earthquake.

New Responses to City Housing Crisis Include Eviction Protections, Construction Incentives

Josh Wolf, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 15 2014 - 5:22pm

Supervisor Eric Mar on Tuesday floated a plan to protect tenants from eviction by property owners selling units within multifamily buildings under tenancy in common agreements. It is the latest in a series of attempts to reduce displacement and increase affordable housing opportunities. David Campos called on Mayor Ed Lee to join him in regulating the tenant “buyouts” that often allow landlords to evict without invoking the Ellis Act, and Scott Wiener introduced new legislation to encourage developers to build more affordable units.

Mapping California’s Biggest Polluters

Darin Jensen, Mike Jones and Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 2 2013 - 3:59pm

Carbon dioxide, as everyone knows, is invisible. But with a little mapmaking magic, the greenhouse gas comes into sharp view in a rainbow of colors, and shows clearly how and where California contributes to global warming. California’s cap-and-trade program requires the largest emitters of greenhouse gases to pay to pollute. Each metric ton of carbon dioxide (or other greenhouse gas equivalent) requires an “allowance,” with the total supply (the “cap”) falling each year. These maps show the largest emitters. This is part of a special report on climate change in the Summer print edition of the San Francisco Public Press.

Rent-Control Tenants May Foot the Bill for Mandatory Seismic Retrofits

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Apr 3 2013 - 4:53pm

Tenants in 3,000 rent-controlled buildings could potentially pay all the costs of retrofitting those structures against earthquake damage unless they receive a financial hardship waiver from the city’s Rent Board, under the provisions of a new law approved Tuesday by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors will vote again on the retrofit law on April 9, and it will need the mayor’s signature before becoming law.

Mandatory Earthquake Retrofit Proposal Advances Quickly in San Francisco City Hall

Noah Arroyo, SF Public Press — Feb 5 2013 - 5:38pm

San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu Tuesday unveiled legislation to make seismic retrofits mandatory for so-called soft-story buildings throughout the city. Chiu called the proposal to make retrofitting mandatory in stages by 2020 the “next major step to ensure that we are prepared for the next big one.” He said he expected a major quake, which could happen anytime, could be two to three times stronger than the 1989 Loma Prieta quake that destroyed 7,000 buildings statewide. (Listen to Public Press reporter Noah Arroyo on KQED Radio’s “Forum”)

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