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Rental glut sends chill through the hottest housing markets

September 8, 2018

nationalmortgagenews – excerpt

Seattle is known for its hip neighborhoods, soaring home prices, and being home to Inc., the world’s most valuable company. So why is its rental housing market experiencing the most severe slowdown in the U.S.?

Seattle-area median rents didn’t budge in July, after a 5% annual increase a year earlier and 10% the year before, according to Zillow data on apartments, houses and condos. While that’s the biggest decline among the top 50 largest metropolitan areas, it’s part of a national trend. Rents in Nashville and Portland, Ore., have actually started falling. In the U.S., rents were up just 0.5% in July, the smallest gain for any month since 2012…

“This is something that we first started to see two years ago in New York and D.C.,” Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow, said in a phone interview. “A year ago, it was San Francisco and most recently, Seattle and Portland. It’s spreading through what once were the fastest growing rental markets.”

Tenants are gaining the upper hand in urban centers across the U.S. as new amenity-rich apartment buildings, constructed in response to big rent gains in previous years, are forced to fight for customers. Rents are softening most on the high end and within city limits, Terrazas said. Landlords also have been losing customers to homeownership as millennials strike out on their own, often moving to more affordable suburbs… (more)



Court says California cities can’t arrest homeless for sleeping outside

September 6, 2018

Grassroots Actions

By :curbed – excerpt

Boise, Idaho case sets policy for San Francisco

In a case that extends to San Francisco and all California towns, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that cities may not punish the homeless for sleeping outside if they do not have access to shelter elsewhere.

The case, Martin versus the city of Boise, dates to 2009 and went before the appeals court last year. The plaintiffs, six homeless or formerly homeless Boise, Idaho residents, alleged that laws prohibiting them from sleeping outdoors within city limits amounted to cruel and unusual punishment and violated their rights under the Eighth Amendment.

The Ninth Circuit ruling notes, “In 2014, after this litigation began, the ordinances were amended to prohibit their enforcement against any homeless person on public property on any night when no shelter had an available overnight space.”… (more)

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The Battle in Brisbane: Is It Our Battle, Too?

September 3, 2018

The Battle in Brisbane: Is It Our Battle, Too?

Tiny Brisbane, population 4,700, is fighting for its right to determine its local land use. The Committee for Renewable Energy in the Baylands (CREBL), a citizen action group, researched options and agreed they wanted the Baylands to be a model for renewable energy. But big developers/big business have other plans: to build 2,200 – 4,400 housing units and 7million square feet of commercial development.

Watch this 10- minute video for the inspirational story of the work of CREBL and the Brisbane Planning Commission and the challenges they face.

Join Livable California on Saturday 9/8 and meet the Brisbane community leaders. Learn about the pressures on Brisbane residents to vote to change their General Plan to accommodate the wishes of developer Universal Paragon, Inc. and big corporations who seek to keep costs low and profits high, by foisting workforce housing into communities other than their own. They congregate under the threadbare banner of “It’s a housing crisis and we have to do something!”

In addition, Senators Scott Wiener and Jerry Hill have said if Brisbane voters don’t vote to change the General Plan, in 2019 they’ll consider legislation to force compliance.

If you think about the 13 housing bills passed in 2017 that erode local control and the dozen or so already passed in 2018, you have to ask yourself, what kind of regional and top-down government are we moving towards? How do communities of any size support one another? What can we do about Brisbane?.

Background Information: – Excellent background for the 9/8 meeting. Watch MTC/ABAG ED Steve Heminger describe the emerging supremacy of regionalism; July, 2017

Join us. People start gathering at 9:30 to network, help set-up the room, enjoy coffee, and meet old and new like-minded community leaders. Our meeting starts promptly at 10:00 am.

Organization: Livable California Contact: Susan Kirsch Contact Phone: 415-686-4375 Contact Email: Website: .. (more)

Trump Has Hurt American Workers, Charges AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

September 3, 2018

By Mary Papenfuss : huffingtonpost – excerpt (including video)

President Donald Trump has done more to hurt American workers than help them, the leader of the largest federation of unions in the nation declared on Sunday. Union workers will likely support Democratic candidates in November, predicted AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.

Trumka also said that Trump’s proposed replacement for the North America Free Trade Agreement won’t work without Canada. That pointedly contradicts claims by Trump that Canadian participation isn’t necessary in his new trade pact… (more)

Livable California: Stepping Up As a Statewide Organization

August 27, 2018


Posted by Susan Kirsch : marinpost – excerpt

PRESS RELEASE: Livable California received unexpected recognition as a statewide organization from an unlikely source this week: Senator Scott Wiener.

On Thursday afternoon, August 23, Wiener tweeted, “A new statewide anti-housing group called “Livable California” has formed. Its primary goal is to prevent the State from setting housing standards & thus let cities block new housing. Let’s keep organizing for *more* housing & a bright CA housing future.”

Like so many other things, Wiener got it wrong about Livable California.

He uses an emotional, inflammatory statement to discredit Livable California’s reasonable efforts to provide housing within the framework of sound land-use planning. Far from being anti-housing, Livable California supports local agencies working collaboratively with regional and state agencies. We reject Wiener’s aggressive and antagonistic efforts that put lawmakers at odds with residents and cities.

The Senator’s tweet of alarm comes as Livable CA is flexing its legislative know-how with support from its own lobbyist, and help from the Coalition to Preserve LA.

On Friday, thanks to MVM Strategy Group, Livable California visited staff of a dozen Assembly members to discuss reasons to oppose SB 828…

Livable CA is rapidly expanding the network of elected officials, candidates, and volunteer community leaders, who support housing development within a framework of sound land-use planning, and are finding like-minded colleagues around Livable California’s non-partisan table.

At a recent Livable California meeting, five candidates running for public office in November, attended.

Eva I-hua Chao is a BART Board candidate, District 2, who opposes AB 2923 that takes land use planning away from cities like Berkeley and puts it into the hands of BART.

Lou Ann Bassan is running for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 4, and writes, “Turning neighborhoods into Manhattan is not a solution.

T. Keith Gurnee, a mayoral candidate, won the award for driving the greatest distance, traveling from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco to learn about the growing coalition of leaders opposed to misguided laws that benefit developers and corporations at the expense of long-established, well-run communities with a perspective of stewardship.

Cathy Jenkins is a candidate for the Orinda City Council.

Julie Testa is a candidate for the Pleasanton City Council, running on the theme, “Standing for Residents, Not Developments.”

In addition, frequent Livable CA attendee Liang Chao, founder of Better Cupertino, is a candidate for City Council as a “pro-resident council member.”…

As the 2018 legislative session winds down, please make two calls NOW, before you go on to the next email.

The Assembly will vote on SB 828 on Monday or Tuesday and it will be voted on in the Senate by the end of the week.

If you live in Marin, please call Assemblyman Marc Levine at 916-319-2010 and call Senator Mike McGuire at 916-651-4002 with a brief message. Urge them to stand in support of collaborative local/state planning and vote NO on the top-down, autocratic mandate of SB 828. If you live outside Marin, please call your Assembly member and Senator to urge a NO vote on SB 828.

Susan Kirsch is Chair of Livable California and former candidate for the Marin Board of Supervisors.

Livable CA meetings provide an opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues. Susan Kirsch, Livable CA; Eva I-hua Chao, BART Board candidate; T. Keith Gurnee, mayoral candidate, San Luis Obispo; Julie Testa, City Council Candidate, Pleasanton; Steve Scharf, City Council member, Cupertino. Not shown: Lou Ann Bassan, SF Board of Supervisors, District 4; Cathy Jenkins, City Council Candidate, Orinda; and Liang Chao, City Council, Cupertino.



Tech and Prop. C

August 26, 2018

By John Elberling : 48hills – excerpt

Ron Conway’s against it — but where are Zuckerberg, Benioff and the other “philanthropists” who put their names on city buildings and landmarks?

The “” website shows 29 Bay Area tech companies as members. Almost all the big guys are there (except Apple and Oracle) — Facebook, Google, Amazon — plus all the SF headquartered companies that might face a hefty new tax if Prop C wins — Salesforce and the rest — plus of course Ron Conway’s own AirBnb.

Those companies are now associated with a No on C ballot argument that is based on a false assumption that existing approaches — more housing, more shelters, more bathrooms/showers, more mental-heath services/facilities, more drug treatment, etc. — don’t work well enough, and what is needed is “innovation.”

In other words, stuff that is to be figured out … later, maybe someday… (more)

It will be interesting to see how various pro-housing groups approach this pro-housing funding bill. Some groups will have problems with their followers regardless of their position. Big tech executives are accused by many of being responsible for failing to hire locally and causing the housing shortage. Who will own that accusation and who will deny it?

Press Here: Solving gentrification that results from tech hiring practices.

August 26, 2018

pressheretv – excerpt (includes video)

Press Here looked at gentrification in our cities that is often blamed on the hiring practices of tech companies, and explores ways governments may use opportunity zones to change that legislatively. It appears there was some language written into Obama era federal legislation that set them up.

Oakland’s Opportunity Zones

Posted On: August 24, 2018
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Cross Culture Ventures’ Marlon Nichols encourages investing in under-served neighborhoods.


http:/Straight Talk for Startups

Straight Talk for Startups

Posted On: August 24, 2018
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Kleiner Perkins’ Randy Komisar tells startups how to beat the odds.

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