Rent Control

Rent Board Commissioner called a bad landlord, sued for $125,000 in damages

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San Francisco renter Deborah Silverman has found herself in a kind of mousetrap. Silverman says she was driven out of her apartment of more than 10 years because of a mouse infestation caused by the unit below her, and she alleges that her landlord, Bart Murphy – who is also a Rent Board Commissioner – failed to address the problem after numerous complaints.Read more »

Week One

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I took this gig a week ago---multiple posts a week, basically a news-based version of what I did for the SFBG in the 90's. It's already kicking my ass, as the old "PISSED" columns were once a week and based in music. This is way tougher and way more gratifying. Thanks.Read more »

Why rent control works

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I shouldn't even bother to talk about this, because all it will do is stir up the trolls, but I'm getting sick of all the talk about rent control being a source of San Francisco's housing problem. The latest is an editorial in the Business Times, which I buy to read J.K. Dineen's stories about commercial real-estate, among other things. I should treat it like the Wall Street Journal; nobody takes the Journal's editorial page seriously.Read more »

Condo conversion legislation on hold for now

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Following a contentious five-hour hearing, a committee of the Board of Supervisors postponed voting on a controversial housing proposal, and agreed to revisit the issue on Feb. 25. Over the next few weeks, opposing sides are expected to negotiate a possible alternative.

Authored by Sups. Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell, the proposed condo conversion impact fee would have allowed as many as 2,000 tenancy-in-common (TIC) units to be immediately converted to condos for a fee, allowing owners to bypass a housing lottery system that places an annual cap on conversions.Read more »

The rent is too damn high

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You look at numbers like this and you go: Whoa. The rent really, really is too damn high. Median rent in San Francisco is now over $3,000 a month. WHo can pay that? Seriously.Read more »

Olague attacks led by billionaires and a consultant/commissioner with undisclosed income

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Understanding how political activists are being paid is important to understanding what their motivations are. For example, is Andrea Shorter – a mayor-appointed former president of the Commission on the Status of Women – leading the campaigns against Sup. Christina Olague and Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi out of concern for domestic violence, or is it because of their progressive political stands, such as supporting rent control and opposing corporate tax breaks?Read more »

WTF, Chuck: Those poor exploited landlords

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In my continuing attempt to make sense of the politics of the Chron's C.W. Nevius, I present: What The Fuck, Chuck -- the saga of the poor landlord.

I'll try to be fair: There's nothing inherently wrong with this story. I don't like rich people taking advantage of anything, particularly rent control. It's true that there are a few people who are cheating, good for Chuck to expose them (tho he didn't exactly name names). You can't make better copy than a family that moves to Hawaii (!) and keeps a rent-controlled house in the Richmond. (Of course, maybe the parents needed to be there for a couple of years for work, and were hoping to return to their family home and the landlord wouldn't allow sublets, but whatever. Sounds horrible.)

And I'm not excusing it for a minute.

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