Liza Veale | KALW

Liza Veale

Reporter

Liza got her start in radio with KALW's Audio Academy. Now, she is KALW's housing and homelessness reporter and a mentor for one of the Audio Academy fellows.

Liza Veale

In a special presentation from KALW News, it’s a story about radical reforms in foster care, from the new podcast 70 Million.

By age 17, over half of young people in foster care have already been convicted of a crime or spent a night in jail. After they age out, a quarter will go to jail or get in trouble with the law within the first two years. California is determined to keep foster youth out of jail.

Creative Commons. Cropped and resized.

This proposition would allow cities to expand their rent control ordinances by repealing the 1995 law known as Costa Hawkins.

 

Liza Veale / KALW News

Many advocates say the Bay Area needs to build a lot more housing to solve its affordability crisis. Of course, that’s easier said than done, and the high cost of labor is often cited as one of the obstacles. But construction trades workers also need to live in this expensive area and they say wages, though higher than elsewhere, still barely cut it.

Flickr, TaxRebate.org.uk

 

Proposition 5 would amend the controversial 1978 law known as Proposition 13, which freezes property tax rates as homes appreciate over time. The new proposition would allow homebuyers who are over 55 or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments when they move homes — that means, instead of paying the higher tax rate that often comes with a new purchase, they’d keep paying taxes at the rate that was set when they purchased their last home. As long as the new home is of equal or less value.

 

Melinda Stuart / Flickr user melystu, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Cropped

The fall semester has just begun at colleges and universities across the Bay Area, which means hundreds of thousands of undergrads and grad students are squeezing themselves into the region’s tight housing market right now. 75% of University of California, Berkeley undergrads live off campus — at San Francisco State University it’s much more than that. The waitlists for dorms are thousands of students long. So most of them are looking for rental housing like everyone else. Somehow, some way.

Public domain

Proposition 1 is the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act. If passed, it would authorize the sale of $4 billion in bonds to finance a bunch of existing low-income housing programs, build new, state-owned housing and match local housing trust funds dollar-for-dollar as they pilot new programs. One-quarter of this $4 billion would help veterans purchase homes, mobile homes and farms.

Richard Marcantonio

Rents have increased 40 percent across the Bay Area in the last three years. Six of the country's 11 most expensive rental markets are in California.

Even in the Bay Area, there are some properties that are so dilapidated they can’t sell. Many have been languishing since the foreclosure crisis a decade ago. But instead of letting them just take up space, the city of Richmond is flipping the homes that investors won’t touch.

Muss0 / Wikimedia Commons

 

San Jose’s Measure B, and the counter-amendment Measure C, would affect housing development and zoning.

Measure B would rezone the Evergreen Hills area in San Jose to allow for large housing development on what is now undeveloped hillside.

The zoning change wouldn’t just apply to this site, but many sites like it that are currently zoned non-residential.

SUPPORTERS:

Zepheus / Wikimedia Commons

Emeryville’s Measure C is a $50 million bond to fund affordable housing. It was put on the ballot by the Emeryville City Council by a unanimous vote.

It would tackle housing affordability in a number of ways: By building permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness, buying existing housing and converting it to affordable housing, and providing first-time home loans to low and middle income households.

 

THE MONEY

 

It’s clear that owning a home is becoming unaffordable for many Californians — but there’s no single simple explanation for what’s driving up prices.

Liza Veale

 


When winter comes, Bay Area cities open temporary shelters to keep unhoused residents warm and dry. But, as winter comes to an end, these shelters close down. In Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco about 500 homeless people will be back on the streets.

Liza Veale

 

If you’ve heard of Proposition 13, you probably know that it cut property taxes back in 1978, which reduced funding for public schools and other services. It also has a lot to do with the state’s shortage of housing and, many argue, the fact that rents are so darn high.

Joe Fitz of SF Examiner

Yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to formally oppose a state bill which is being called the most controversial housing bill in decades. The Transit-Rich Housing Bonus, if passed, would force cities and counties to allow for dense and tall housing near public transit—no matter what local laws say. Here’s why San Francisco leaders are putting up such a fight against it. 

Liza Veale

An East Oakland warehouse is ground zero of a unfortunate standoff between art and marijuana. Over 30 artists are facing possible eviction, after a cannabis investment fund bought their building—one of Oakland’s oldest live/work artist housing.

Liza Veale

 

Today, San Francisco began construction on a housing development in Mission Bay, a complex that will house 62 homeless veterans and 59 low-income families.

The weather did not stop housing leaders from gathering under a muddy tent to celebrate.

 

“Thanks for coming out in the rain,” said Michael Blecker of Swords to Plowshares, the veterans' services organization. “And, of course the folks who will be living here will be out of the rain.”

The Guardian

One of our listeners, Consuelo Faust, recently asked us a question through our Hey Area project: “Is it fact or urban legend that other cities or even States send their homeless people to San Francisco?”

Liza Veale / KALW News

 

As the mayor that presided over a wave of gentrification and displacement, Ed Lee took a lot of heat from the public. But, he also easily won reelection.

Liza Veale / KALW News

Many San Franciscans have the impression that homelessness has been growing in recent years. In 2016, residents called 311 to complain about encampments five times more than in the previous year.

What’s confusing is — the population of homeless people in San Francisco has actually stayed relatively flat.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

After the destruction of the North Bay Fires, most Sonoma County residents could get financial assistance to help rebuild. But for the more than 40,000 undocumented immigrants living there, access to financial support has been limited.

"PRO401(K) 2012" by CC Flickr user 1040 - US Tax Return, resized and recropped

 

The Republican tax bill will likely be up for a vote by the end of the week. The final version is expected to be released on Wednesday. These tax changes will hit California harder than much of the rest of the country, and it will likely hit us in a weak spot: the housing crisis.

Jon Funabiki

(Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of KALW.)

It’s said that breaking bread together is a good way to get to know the people around you.

 

When it comes to San Francisco’s Excelsior District, breaking green onion pancakes can be equally effective.

 

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

CalFire has named the blazes that devastated Sonoma and Napa Counties earlier this month the October Fire Siege. FEMA says this is the worst fire disaster in California’s history.

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)

It’s been decades since this country has had anything like a tenants' movement. If you’re young enough you might not even be familiar with the phrase. But today a movement is forming to fight for policies that preserve and create affordable housing. Last week, renters and their advocates coordinated more than 50 political actions in 45 states as part of national renters' week of action. In the Bay Area, Alameda hosted a weekend-long, statewide gathering of over 400 California tenants and organizers in the movement.

Screenshot of City Council public footage

A year ago, San Jose's homeless advocates were excited by city-approved plans to build the Bay Area’s first "tiny home" villages for homeless people.

Yet now that the city has to pick locations for these proposed villages, objections from nearby residents have become a major stumbling block.

Liza Veale

 

You may know Lake County for the nude retreat center Harbin Hot Springs. Maybe you know it for its marijuana farmland. Or maybe your first association with the place is just fire.

President Trump appointed Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This week the Senate advanced his nomination, bringing him one step closer to becoming secretary.

Liza Veale

 

Cheap rental housing can feel like a vanishing resource in San Francisco. Property owners are selling buildings for multiples of what they originally bought them for, and who can blame them? But the consequence is that almost all the units are getting fixed up and turned into luxury housing. It’s the way of the market, and it can seem inevitable. But what if it’s not?

Liza Veale

 

Eva Castillo* thinks of herself as a strong person. She was raised in the Sunnydale projects in San Francisco, sharing a bedroom with three brothers. Now, she works construction — often as the only woman on the job. But when she was evicted, she says she felt truly helpless for the first time in her life.

Liza Veale

 

Though we’re all understandably consumed by the news at the national level, the last election also came with consequences for the Bay Area locally—especially for the region’s ongoing housing crisis.

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