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  1. Last 7 days
    1. Asaha Inc. filed as a Articles of Incorporation in the State of California on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

      WTF

  2. Jul 2019
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  4. Oct 2018
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  5. Jun 2017
  6. Apr 2017
  7. Mar 2017
    1. university president public years center research million national latimes san executive major project board humanities

      The word humanities appears in this third-largest topic of the model. It is an institutional topic, with words about organizations, officers, governing structures, development and resources.

  8. Nov 2016
    1. Heminger estimated that it would take “over a million” new housing units “to make a dent in the shortfall.” The real challenge, he said, is “to fit that growth in the communities we cherish,” adding, in a non sequitur: “We need to change what the Bay Area looks like.”

      That's not a non-sequitur at all. If you build a bunch of things, it will change the landscape.

      This statement was totally on point and to the point: defending "neighborhood character", as more conservative voices often do, is at odds with major development.

    2. Strictly speaking, this is true. No jurisdiction can be legally compelled to designate a Priority Development Area. The region’s 191 PDAs were all nominated by local jurisdictions. San Francisco’s PDAs were unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2007.

      And yet, earlier in this article, the process is criticized for being undemocratic. Which is it, dude?

  9. Jul 2016
  10. Jun 2016
    1. You'll see a residential theme park for tech workers, surrounded by areas of poverty and misery that have seen no benefit and ample harm from our presence. We pretend that by maximizing our convenience and productivity, we're hastening the day when we finally make life better for all those other people.

      Love how Marcej grounds his argument in the everyday geography of the tech world.

  11. Apr 2015
    1. San Francisco's population density is 1,400 people per square kilometer. There are many beautiful, beloved cities throughout the world that manage to accommodate far greater density numbers

      So neat to see Barcelona on this list having just returned from spending a few days there in January. As I was walking through the streets there I was thinking to myself, "Wow, wouldn't it be amazing if San Francisco could have multi-story apartment buildings block after block like this. This feels like a real city!"

  12. Feb 2015
    1. Ironically, the same colleague who has criticized Calle 24's recommendations, recently introduced similar development controls on what he calls "monster houses" being built in his own neighborhood. Free marketeers often try and stop poor communities from having a voice in development, but are happy to exchange their 'supply and demand' hat for a nimby hat when it comes to protecting their own backyard.

      This is true and needs to be called out.

    2. Federal HUD housing and state-funded affordable projects make up the majority of our affordable housing stock, with a smaller portion built using city dollars and fees on market-rate housing. Housing advocates have said for decades that if we don't prioritize building affordable housing on San Francisco's limited land we'll face a serious housing crisis. After years of deregulation and general apathy for building affordable housing, here we are.

      I think a lot of that stock was built when federal funding was higher. Now it's not. So what do we do?

      Also, what deregulation?

    3. Free marketeers are claiming that if we build enough luxury housing it will eventually trickle down and turn into housing for the poor and middle class. This is the failed policy of Reaganomics at its worst.

      The value of a unit depreciates with time (normalized for any trend in overall prices). That's a very different scenario than taxes.

    4. If the invisible hand of simple supply-side economics worked, then the overwhelming demand for affordability would lead developers to build housing that actually meets the needs of the majority of our residents. Unfortunately, affordable housing is difficult to build and sometimes more expensive to finance than high profit pied-à-terres and luxury apartments. In the last 7 years we've built over 23,000 luxury units, and only 1,200 units for middle class families.

      The issue with this paragraph is that it assumes regulation is not to blame for the high cost of affordable housing. It may well be the case that it is.

  13. Dec 2014
    1. This is an article about the problems with unregulated markets, or markets regulated for the benefit of the wealthy. The headline is frustratingly negative and one has to read all the way to the bottom for proposed solutions, nearly all of which actually do involve building more housing (while regulating the market so that a large chunk of that is affordable).

    2. Creating a Workforce Housing Equity Fund: Tech companies taking advantage of tax breaks should pay into a Workforce Housing Equity Fund for building affordable housing as part of their Community Benefits Agreements.

      Now we're talking. Welcome the new wealth, tax the hell out of it, and re-invest that in equitable developments.

    3. Take the units by eminent domain for the public good and tie this to Section 8 tenants.

      Yes!

    4. Aggressively buying land: The City should buy as many developable sites as possible to reserve them for affordable housing. Land around transit hubs and other strategic locations should be rezoned for affordable housing.

      We should also be vigilantly opposing any development near transit hubs that has a significant amount of parking. There is no excuse for having parking in a luxury building near transit when there could be affordable units.

    5. Preserving existing affordable housing: The City needs to continue to work with State legislators to restrict the use of the Ellis Act for landlords who have owned the property for less than 5 years to discourage “flipping.”

      Yes. And San Francisco did just pass a tax on houses sold within 5 years of purchase. Good, work!

    6. So 30,000 units aren’t going to bring prices down to the level working class people can afford.

      Right. So build 100,000.

    7. Add that with many others with the same good fortune, so goes that the higher the average salary in a city, the higher the average cost of a house.

      Throughout this article a basic statistical reasoning error is made. The reasoning goes: the average cost is higher, so there is less affordable housing. Seriously affordable housing often comes with subsidies and income restrictions. It doesn't matter how much more expensive the high end is, that housing is still going to be affordable, and the people with high salaries cannot live there. The average price goes up, but the price of income-controlled housing does not, necessarily, go with it, because that price is controlled by regulation.

      Of course, the rates for affordable housing are pegged to a percentage of the media income, but if enough of the new building is affordable housing the median doesn't change.

      Affordable housing advocates should be fighting for lots of building because there are people who are not wealthy that want to move here, too, and there are not enough units for them, either. Not building accomplishes nothing for lower-income residents.

    8. Building doesn't happen if developers are forecasting they're going to lose money.

      This is why in a boom time we should be milking the developers for every last unit they're willing to build. When the inevitable bust happens, this will be our middle class housing stock. In fact, the more we build now, the cheaper each unit will be if demand does fall sharply. If things end up really bad, maybe the city can even pick up foreclosed buildings for cheap and turn around and make them into affordable housing.

    9. "If, let's just say, the tech economy slows down and people's incomes aren't going up and they're not getting big stock options," Engmann says, "they may be thinking well, 'For this unit I'm not going to pay $4,000. For this unit, I'll pay $3500.' But it's not going to go down to $1500. It's not going to happen."

      This person has never heard of Detroit.

    10. Myth 4: As long as you can upzone and deregulate, you can build and build to the point where prices will go down.

      Straw person arguments!!!

      Upzone and regulate!!

    11. If you increased the zoning on land that already has buildings on it, the property's owner needs a financial incentive to tear down what's there. Because of this barrier, past efforts have proven to be futile.

      Like building something bigger with rentable units? Upzoning creates the financial possibility that zoning is otherwise prohibiting the owner from realizing.

    12. The second reason upzoning won't make prices fall is that building costs go up the more storeys are added. Physics and building codes make it so that as buildings get taller, they go from wood construction (the cheapest), to concrete (more expensive), to steel (most expensive), says contractor Robert Carpenter in an email. So units in high-rise buildings aren't really cheaper to build.

      This cost curve just has several phases. Building up does mean that prices can be lower, up until the phase change where materials shift and architecture changes.

    13. If building costs were lower and incomes stayed high, developers would just make more profit.

      Only in an unregulated market is this true. So regulate it, stupid!

    14. Will the developer be able to make enough money at the end of the day after suffering all these costs? The reason so much development is happening in San Francisco is that the answer is "Yes!"

      Right. That means there is a margin. That margin could be reduced, such as by requiring more affordable units. As long as it doesn't go to zero, building will still happen.

    15. People argue that the cost of building in San Francisco, with all of its activists, environmental regulations, union labor and permitting hurdles, is making it so developers can only build luxury housing. If building costs were lower and the approval process was streamlined, developers would provide housing working class people could afford. But this reasoning assumes developers are going to pass on the savings. With so much demand at the high end of the market, they're just not going to.

      This reasoning does not have to assume developers will pass on the savings. San Francisco could instead use policy to regulate the number of affordable units. Streamlining the development process would lower the cost so that new building can still generate a return with a larger percentage of available units.

    16. "The fact that more market rate housing is built is not going to impact the demand at the lower income levels," Engmann says. "The trickle down effect doesn't work because all that housing will be taken up by people who can afford it higher."

      The "trickle down effect" doesn't have to "work" here. The purpose of building more housing is not to have the price of affordable housing be lower. It's to have the price of market-rate housing be lower. That will happen if you build more housing.

    17. The average techie can easily pay for an apartment that current tenants who are teachers, government workers, nurses or baristas can't afford.

      And without new buildings to rent, they will pay for the ones where the teachers, government workers, nurses and baristas are currently living.

      Or, new buildings could be built, leaving existing tenants to stay where they are.

    18. Landlords of existing properties and developers of new housing will charge as much as they can.

      However, there are limits on what you can charge for a piece of property. Being in a desirable location is not the only factor. If you have an old, small, wood building next to a large, new build luxury loft, guess which one is going to be cheaper?