Angela Alioto points to 10-year plan to abolish chronic homeless she crafted in 2004 as a model of success that the city needs to revive. She blames the late Mayor Ed Lee for letting the plan wither and siphoning away money for other programs. Third in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.
District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim represents the city’s wealthiest and poorest ZIP codes. She has focused much of her political energy on inclusionary housing — programs mandating a percentage of apartments in new developments be set aside at below-market rates — and set a new standard by securing higher-than-normal affordability ratios on several mega-projects. On homelessness, she says that if elected mayor, she would treat it more like a public health crisis than an economic problem. Second in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.
Five men and women of color are challenging four incumbent judges on the state Superior Court in San Francisco. The insurgents — four of whom are public defenders — say the veteran jurists are vestiges of a legal system that punishes minorities disproportionately. The candidates faced off May 5 at a forum focused on African-American issues, and sparks flew. Second of two articles.
A trio of African-American organizations aimed to get some answers from aspiring local leaders at “Facing the Voters,” a candidates’ forum hosted by the Public Press and moderated by its publisher. The candidates were given the opportunity to lay out their bona fides with respect to this city’s dwindling, marginalized African-American community; some did that and some did not. First of two articles.
As the father of San Francisco’s inclusionary-housing ordinance, which requires developers to build below-market-rate apartments or pay a hefty fee, mayoral candidate Mark Leno calls for mandatory higher percentages for developers building on transit corridors or city-owned parcels. He also has vowed to “end street homelessness by 2020,” in part by filling vacancies in private, single-room occupancy hotels. First in a series analyzing the mayoral candidates’ records and pledges on housing and homelessness.
Last week on his blog, Beyond Chron, Tenderloin Housing Clinic Executive Director Randy Shaw belatedly referred to my Fall 2017 Public Press cover story about vacancies in single-room occupancy hotels as “extremely misleading” and “false.” I was disappointed, but not surprised. And I am not alone.
The fall 2017 issue of the Public Press, which focused on some possible solutions to homelessness, inspired graphic designer Erik Schmitt to create informational labels he posted on single-room occupancy hotels listed as empty.
The symposium, organized by the Public Press, was an all-day gathering of advocates, architects, journalists, activists, service providers, innovators, city officials, policymakers and homeless men and women. But, before you can solve a problem, you have to know what the problem is. And, when it comes to addressing homelessness, there’s a lot the general public should know.
Dozens of residential hotels have rooms to spare, but it is a seller’s market, and city officials cannot force owners to rent. At last count, 4,353 people were unsheltered in San Francisco, with 1,827 empty rooms in private SROs.
Master leasing of single-room occupancy hotels in San Francisco has housed thousands of homeless people — and done so in hotels that are, by and large, a huge improvement over those of a generation ago. But hings could be better.