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Rent Control Boosters and Bashers Both Base Claims on Incomplete Research

Nathan Collins, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 17 2018 - 11:33am

As Californians battle this fall over a ballot measure to allow cities much wider leeway to impose all sorts of rent control, both sides of the debate throw around citations to academic papers, economic studies and seemingly compelling statistics. But a review of the available research shows that both sides are wrong.

S.F.’s Largest Landlord Draws Fire in Prop. 10 Fight

Liza Veale, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 4 2018 - 1:20pm

Veritas Investments owns nearly 200 buildings in the city. It's been a target for tenant advocates, who accuse the company of building a business model that relies on pushing tenants out of rent-controlled units so they can be re-rented for much more.

Oct. 11 update: More tenants sue Veritas.

Voters OK’d Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction — Now Comes the Hard Part

Andrew Stelzer, San Fancisco Public Press — Aug 27 2018 - 8:19am

In June, San Francisco voters guaranteed legal help to anyone facing eviction, regardless of income. Now comes the hard part: Meeting the deadline to set up the multimillion-dollar program by July 2019. The results will likely to push forward a growing  “right to counsel” movement for civil litigation nationwide.

Hey, Can We Talk? Mediation Might Help Reduce Evictions

Andrew Stelzer, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 27 2018 - 8:16am

Amid the city’s growing housing crisis, some now see mediation as an alternative to nasty, expensive court fights to keep tenants housed and property owners content. For more than 20 years, that approach has staved off evictions in the capital of Wisconsin. Why isn't it in wider use here?

Housing Speculators Again in Political Crosshairs

Liza Veale, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 22 2018 - 9:17am

In their 2018 mayoral campaigns, former state senator Mark Leno and Supervisor Jane Kim emphasized the role of speculators in driving gentrification and displacement in San Francisco. But what constitutes speculation? And would efforts to curb it pass political and legal muster?

Remaking Rent Control — if Voters Approve

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — Aug 14 2018 - 7:05am

Proposition 10 asks voters to nullify Costa-Hawkins, which would give cities new policy tools to try to curb soaring rents and displacement while getting more housing built. One approach would apply rent control gradually to additional apartments years after they're built. But would repeal help or hurt the affordability crisis?

Spare Room? Mayoral Challenger Zhou Says You Could Help Homelessness Crisis

Noah Arroyo, San Francisco Public Press — May 21 2018 - 7:05am

Ellen Lee Zhou has a plan to help end San Francisco’s homelessness crisis. And it could involve you. Zhou, a public-health worker, said that if elected mayor, she would pay homeowners monthly stipends to house and mentor some of the city’s estimated 4,300 unsheltered residents. Interested? Sixth in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.

As Mayor, Kim Would Try to Expand Inclusionary Housing Citywide

Joe Eskenazi, San Francisco Public Press — May 9 2018 - 7:00am

District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim represents the city’s wealthiest and poorest ZIP codes. She has focused much of her political energy on inclusionary housing — programs mandating a percentage of apartments in new developments be set aside at below-market rates — and set a new standard by securing higher-than-normal affordability ratios on several mega-projects. On homelessness, she says that if elected mayor, she would treat it more like a public health crisis than an economic problem. Second in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.

Proposition F: Free Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction

Andrew Stelzer, San Francisco Public Press — May 1 2018 - 6:00am

On June 5, city voters could make history by guaranteeing legal help to anyone facing eviction, regardless of income. If Proposition F passes, it would make San Francisco the first city to pass such a law through a voter-approved initiative, and boost the national “right to counsel” movement.

New York Reform Effort Shows How San Francisco Rent Control Dialogue Lags

Caroline Cakebread, San Francisco Public Press — Jun 19 2015 - 2:08pm

Reforms to rent control are finally a topic of hot debate — but not in San Francisco.

Last year the Public Press wrote about the city’s curious rental laws, which somewhat arbitrarily helps some tenants by limiting yearly rent increases but not others, depending on when the building was put up.

Since then, not much has been done to revisit the issue, even though local leaders have been grasping for ideas to ease the housing crisis here, such as a housing bond of at least $250 million, and additional taxes on home sales to fund affordable housing programs.

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