SF Apartment : December 2016
Testing the Water
In a water conservation effort, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 7, which requires multi-unit residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings constructed after January 1, 2018, to include submeters for every rental unit to measure the water use of and bill individual units accordingly. This bill is supported by the California Apartment Association, the Sierra Club, and Friends of the River, among many others.
Currently, most California renters pay for water usage as a flat-rate included in their rent. Because renters don’t see monthly statements of their water consumption and aren’t incentivized financially to reduce water usage, their water consumption has remained mostly unchanged through the drought. A 2015 survey of Los Angeles tenants made clear that Governor Brown’s call to cut back water use by 25% was widely ignored.
The intention of the submeters is to make tenants aware of and responsible for their water use. The EPA conducted a study in 2004 that showed water
consumption was decreased by approximately 15% after submeters
Property owners will be responsible for installing, reading, testing, and maintaining the submeters; however, no extra fees to tenants are permitted. This Bill doesn’t pertain to low-income housing developments, long-term health care facilities, time-share properties, student housing at schools and other places of education, or elderly residential care facilities.
Public Housing to Private Owners
As of October 2016, the San Francisco Housing Authority transferred all but 60 public housing units to private developers and nonprofits. The city has sold 29 buildings since 2014, 14 of which were sold this October.
San Francisco had managed public housing for 76 years, and due to large federal budget cuts and general oversight, the buildings were neglected and in need of major repair and maintenance.
The buyers usually pay under market rate, but they’re required to make the needed repairs and improvements to the properties and take over maintenance, including mold cleanup, infestations, repairing broken gates and security issues, upgrading elevators, replacing fire alarm systems, outfitting buildings to withstand earthquakes, and installing missing sprinkler systems. The developers are funding these investments through a mix of federal funds, city funds, and private loans.
According to SFGate, the residents of these buildings earn less than 25% of the city’s median income, or $17,850 annually per person.
Throughout the country, housing representatives are seeking private investors to help with the backlog of public housing repairs through the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration program. The program converts public housing to the Section 8 rental subsidy program, making it easier for the private owners to use debt and tax credits to pay for upkeep and repairs. According to the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco has generated $1.1 billion of investments in public housing, more than a third of the $3.2 billion that has been invested nationwide.
Housing for the Homeless
Mayor Ed Lee and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing plan to make available 244 new permanent supportive housing units to chronically homeless San Franciscans within the next three months. The SROs are within the Crown Hotel at Valencia and 16th, the Winton Hotel at O’Farrell and Taylor, and the National Hotel at Seventh and Market.
The Tenderloin Housing Clinic will manage the buildings and include access to social services. The organization oversees 22 other supportive buildings in the city (www.thclinic.org).
The new units will add to the 6,200 units currently being used to house the chronically homeless. “These new units will end homelessness overnight for 244 San Franciscans,” Mayor Lee said in a press release. “We are thrilled to provide new housing opportunities and hand over the keys to the news units to those who deserve the chance at a fresh start.”
According to the Chronicle, there are 1,303 homeless families in San Francisco’s public schools with a total of 2,097 children, more than double the total nine years ago. Fifteen families, including 20 children, live in tents or cars on the city’s streets.
This effort will be funded jointly by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the San Francisco Housing Authority, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, and the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
Neighborhood Development Fund
New legislation was announced that will designate mandatory affordable housing fees from residential developments (of 25 units or fewer) within the neighborhood where the new development is being constructed. The legislation was written by Supervisor David Campos and is co-sponsored by Mayor Lee.
Under the current law, developers have the option to either build affordable housing on-site or off-site, or pay a fee to the general housing fund—the fee is about $300,000 per unit. The new legislation adds another option, giving the fee-paying developers a say regarding where specifically the money will go: either the general Affordable Housing Fund or, now, the Small Sites Acquisition Program.
The Small Sites Program helps housing organizations purchase apartment buildings with existing, good-standing tenants who are facing eviction; in return, the organizations must allow the tenants to remain, and continue to keep the units affordable thereafter. The new legislation requires that the funds be used to purchase a building within one mile of the new development; if an appropriate building isn’t found within two years, the funds will be added to the general, city-wide Small Sites fund. According to Supervisor Campos, “We need to make sure that the development benefits actually stay in the neighborhood where the development is taking place.”
SFAA Holiday Party
Please join us for the San Francisco Apartment Association’s annual Holiday Party on Monday, December 19, 2016, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club, 1630 Stockton Street, San Francisco.
Help us continue San Francisco Apartment Association’s holiday tradition by bringing a new, unwrapped toy that will be donated to the San Francisco Fire Department’s Toys for Tots Drive. All guests who bring a toy will be entered into the SFAA holiday raffle. One toy gets you one raffle ticket.
Parking near the Italian Athletic Club:
- the North Beach Garage at 735 Vallejo Street
- the Vallejo Street Garage at 766 Vallejo Street
- the Portsmouth Square Garage at 733 Kearny Street
For more information, visit www.sfaa.org/events.
Calling all Writers!
If you’re a San Francisco resident or property manager with a lot to say, we’d love for you to continue Theodore’s legacy and take over the Onsite-Insight column. If this sounds like you, and you have the writing skills to back it up, please contact the magazine’s editor, Pam McElroy, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The column runs trimonthly.
October 24th SFAA Members Meeting
The October 24th SFAA member meeting, held at the Jewish Community Center in Kanbar Hall, was sponsored by Northern Pacific Roofing and moderated by Eric Andresen, SFAA Board President.
The meeting began with a welcome from Eric Andresen and followed by an informative lineup of politicians, political candidates, and representatives including District 3 Supervisor, Aaron Peskin; District 1 Candidate, Marjan Philhour; BART Board District 9 Candidate, Gwenyth Borden; Superior Court Judge Office No. 7 Candidate, Victor Hwang; Chamber of Commerce Senior VP Public Polidy, Jim Lazarus; District 8 Supervisor and District 11 State Senate Candidate, Scott Wiener; Rob Chua; Ben Leong; Community College Board Trustee, Alex Randolph; District 7 Candidate, Joel Engardio; and SFAA Manager of Government Affairs, Charley Goss.
The speakers focused on the November elections, detailing their positions on the numerous Propositions on the ballot, and San Francisco housing.