Housing

Investigation shows outsider ownership of SF's luxury condos

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Former Bay Guardian editor and publisher Tim Redmond has a great new investigation on his 48Hills site showing how many new luxury condos in San Francisco are owned as investments by out-of-towners, puncturing the myth that unfettered market-rate housing development will help with the city’s affordability crisis. Check it out. 

Moderate politicians push "affordable housing" definition up to higher income brackets

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San Francisco, its General Plan Housing Element, and various city codes have always had a very specific definition of what they mean by “affordable housing”: homes that are affordable to those making 120 percent of area median income (AMI) and below, the kind that generally require public subsidies to build from scratch in San Francisco. That group is defined annually by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development using the latest data, and this year in San Francisco, it is defined as individuals making $81,550 or less year, or households of four people making $116,500 or less, according the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development. Read more »

Rising tenant buyouts in SF targeted by new legislation and map

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A new interactive map published today by the Anti Eviction Mapping Project shows the spike in tenancy buyouts over the last year in San Francisco, just in time to raise awareness for Sup. David Campos’ proposed legislation to document and regulate tenant buyouts, which has a hearing later this month.Read more »

San Francisco rent explosion: Median rent for two-bedroom apartment tops $4K

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Hold onto your butts, a new study on San Francisco's rental market (yes another one) reveals the city's newest most expensive neighborhoods. 

Priceonomics went pretty darn viral last year upon release of its first study of San Francisco's rental explosion, and round two is certain to blast through SF social media as well. And deservedly so, as the new high rental numbers are staggering.Read more »

Tenants target Airbnb rentals before hearings on regulatory legislation

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As the San Francisco Planning Commission prepares for an Aug. 7 hearing on Sup. David Chiu’s widely watched legislation to legalize and regulate short-term apartment rentals through Airbnb and similar companies, the San Francisco Tenants Union tomorrow [Tues/29] launches a “citizen enforcement” campaign against these currently illegal rentals.Read more »

SF bankers now exporting tenant-displacing TIC loans

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Fractional mortgage loans used to convert apartments into owner-occupied tenancies-in-common have fed the eviction and displacement crisis in San Francisco, where the median home price just surpassed $1 million for the first time. Now, some of the same San Francisco banks that pioneered fractional loans here have started offered them in the East Bay and on the Peninsula.Read more »

Angry building owners threaten lawsuit over anti-speculation tax

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Opponents of the anti-speculator tax that will appear on the November ballot blasted the proposal in a City Hall hearing yesterday [Thu/10] — pledging to defeat the measure in court even if voters approve it — but they were overwhelmed by a strong turnout from supporters who said real estate speculation drives up the cost of housing without adding any value.Read more »

SF to consider joining Richmond in fighting banks over underwater mortgages

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Plans to ease San Francisco’s often overlooked home foreclosure crisis will have to wait a bit longer. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors this week delayed a resolution that would show the city’s “intent” to save underwater mortgages in favor of a resolution that might actually have begin to intervene in underwater mortgages.Read more »

City agencies defend their slow response to Airbnb's illegal rentals

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More information has been coming out about how Airbnb is used to convert San Francisco apartments into tourist rentals — including an interesting study reported by the San Francisco Chronicle last weekend — in advance of next month’s hearings on legislation to legalize and regulate short-term rentals.

But questions remain about why the city agencies in charge of regulating such “tourist conversions,” which have long been illegal under city law, have done so little to crack down on the growing practice. For more than two years, we at the Guardian have been publicly highlighting such violations, which have finally caught fire with the public in the last six months. Read more »

Supervisors consider affordable housing half-step

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While the Board of Supervisors today considers placing a measure on the fall ballot that would slow market rate housing projects when affordable housing development drops below 30 percent of total production, it is also slated to quietly approve another item showing San Franciscans actually need more than double that amount of housing.Read more »