Tenants

The myth of a pro-tenant city

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There are always bad tenants. Always will be. Human interactions are imperfect, and renting out a room in your flat or a flat under your apartment to a stranger is always a bit of a gamble. I've lived with housemates, and it's always been great, but not everyone has that experience -- one old friend of mine lived with a guy who threatened to kill him by writing demonic messages in blood on the bathroom wall and then smashed his car to bits with a street sign.Read more »

Rival condo conversion measures finally up for board vote

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Controversial condominium conversion lottery bypass legislation is finally headed for a vote by the full Board of Supervisors this Tuesday. Befitting legislation that has stirred strong emotions and traveled a twisting political path over the last six months, there are new dramas and uncertainties cropping up at the last minute, including the lingering unknown of where Mayor Ed Lee stands.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 bypass legislation now before the full board

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Controversial condominium lottery bypass legislation -- sponsored by Sups. Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener but substantially modified by tenant group that strongly opposed the original legislation, with the help of Sup. David Chiu, Jane Kim, and Norman Yee -- is finally coming to the full Board of Supervisors today (Tues/7, starting at 2pm).Read more »

You want scary? We've got an eviction map

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You want to see something frightening on a lovely afternoon? Check out this amazing interactive map of Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco put together by Brian Whitty.Read more »

The vultures of greed

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A small but enthusiastic crowd marched through the Castro April 20 to bring some attention to the rash of Ellis Act evictions that are forcing seniors and disabled people out of the city. The activists stopped at the home of Jeremy Mykaels, whose plight is symbolic of the state of housing in San Francisco today. Mykaels insists he's not a public speaker, but his remarks were poignant; we've excerpted them here:Read more »

No progress in condo conversion standoff, despite the Chron's spin

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Perhaps it was just an unfunny April Fool's Day joke or some wishful political spin, but the San Francisco Chronicle's April 1 article about how tenancy-in-common owners and their political supporters are pushing legislation that would allow them to bypass the condo conversion lottery seriously misrepresented the city's biggest current political standoff.Read more »

The human price of Catholic conservatism

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A new book by local historian William Issel explains the key role the Catholic Church played in funding and supporting progressive causes in 20th Century San Francisco, and Randy Shaw's take on it is accurate: For a while, in the 1970s and 1980s, the Church funded a lot of the tenant advocacy and poverty work in this city. The other side of that is a piece of the debate over the new Pope that we're not hearing much.Read more »

Condo conversion compromise in the works despite Realtors' resistance

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[UPDATED BELOW] Negotiations between tenant advocates and real estate interests (including the political advocacy group Plan C) over the controversial condo lottery bypass legislation haven't gone well or found common ground. But sources tell the Guardian that Sup. Read more »

Supes scramble to find TIC deal

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Some San Francisco supervisors are scrambling to find an acceptable compromise that would prevent condo-conversion legislation by Sups. Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell from becoming a bitter battle that could be a no-win situation for centrists.Read more »