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Housing justice, affordability, evictions, regulation — read all of KALW's coverage of housing in the Bay Area and California. 

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.

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.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel/Released

Proposition 2 deals with funding a housing program for people who have mental health issues. Back in 2004, Californians voted in favor of something called the Mental Health Services Act.

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.

Oakland is gearing up for a major election

Jul 11, 2018
Cate Calson, used under CC BY-ND 2.0 / Resized and cropped / Red Cross Bay Area Chapter

San Francisco just wrapped up an intense mayoral election. There’s another major race for mayor coming up. This time in Oakland.

Liza Veale

 

The Village began as an illegal, direct-action program to provide tiny homes for homeless people. It has since gained the city of Oakland’s official blessing. But, the activists say the collaboration with the city has been unnecessarily rocky — and the feeling is mutual.

Can Tuff Sheds help Oakland ease the housing crisis?

Jun 28, 2018
Charlie Mintz

Oakland’s trying a new response to its growing communities of homeless encampments: replacing some with gated communities of Tuff Sheds meant to help residents find their way to permanent housing.

Photo courtesy Hospitality House

  

On this edition of Your Call, we ask: What changes when a nonprofit serving the homeless is led by people who used to be clients?

Courtesy of Giorgio Angelini

 

The history of home ownership in the US is a complicated one, but a look at that history can help shed light on why today’s housing economy is the way it is —especially if you go back to post-World War II America.

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:

Liza Veale / KALW News

Last year, more than 1,600 San Francisco renters received eviction notices. Some of them fought back in court, but many — even those who had a good case — gave up and moved out because they didn’t know their legal rights.

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

 

 

San Francisco’s Proposition F would ensure free legal representation to anyone in San Francisco facing eviction.

 

You know how when someone gets arrested, the police tell them they have a right to an attorney and if they can’t afford one, one will be provided for them? Well, that’s true all across the country, but only if that person is facing criminal changes.

If you’re in eviction court — which is civil, not criminal — there’s no free lawyer.

Image via wikimedia commons


On this edition of Your Call, Richard Walker returns for another discussion about Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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.

Photo couresty of Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon covers state politics and policy for the LA Times. He spoke with KALW's Ben Trefny about the split roll campaign to reform Proposition 13 — which was just postponed to the 2020 ballot — and how that reform fits in with other proposed initiatives to address the state's housing crisis. 

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.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland

  

It’s been 50 years since the Fair Housing Act was signed into law. It was meant to outlaw discrimination on the basis of race, but people of color still face disparities in access to homeownership.

How will SB 827 reshape California?

Apr 10, 2018
Photo by David Crummey via Flickr under CC BY 2.0

  

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll discuss Senate Bill 827, a sweeping proposal intended to build more housing near public transportation in California.  

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. 

THE INTERSECTION: The Future of Googleville

Mar 13, 2018
David Boyer

 

THE INTERSECTION looks at change in the Bay Area through physical intersections and street corners — where different cultures, desires, and histories meet every day.

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.”

 

Did you know that Richmond, Milpitas, and Palo Alto all had subdivisions where it was illegal for African Americans to own a house?

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?”

David Baker Architects

  

On this edition of Your Call, we're talking about building affordable housing. Families cramming into RVs to survive illustrate how bad the need is inCalifornia. There’s demand for an estimated 1.5 million units, but the new federal tax plan is expected to reduce California’s housing budget by 20 percent. How will California build these units?

Did you know that Richmond, Milpitas, and Palo Alto all had sub-divisions where it was illegal for African Americans to own a house? On this edition of Your Call, Richard Rothstein discusses The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, which details how laws and policy decisions promoted the very discriminatory patterns that continue today.

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.

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