Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 28, 2015

Big Three

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Neighbors, Business, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Across the Bay, here’s what Mayor Ed Lee is doing to help out the folks defined as making too much money to qualify for below market rate units and too poor to afford market rate units, from the San Francisco Business Journal:

If voters approve Mayor Ed Lee’s $250 million housing bond in November, they will unlock a stream of cash that the city will use to subsidize rental housing units for middle-class residents for the first time.

Under the plan a new housing program would use a small slice of the bond money to pay real estate developers that are building new market-rate buildings to restrict some rental units for households that make roughly $100,000 to $140,000 a year.

this would be the first program using public money for new rental units. It may also throw a new income bracket into the frantic world of housing lotteries, where thousands of applicants vie for dozens of spots in new market-rate buildings.

Instead of just talking about how there is a gap, Mayor Ed Lee recognizes that the only way to make units affordable, short of build build build, is to subsidize the units like the below market rate units, creating another tier of subsidized housing.  According to the article, New York has long had a program to subsidize middle income housing:

But there is some precedent for cities subsidizing middle-income housing, such as a 60-year-old New York program that offers “low-cost financing and property tax abatements to developers who agreed to cap their profits and submit rent increases for approval,” according to New York is also mulling a new program to subsidize units within reach of the middle-class.

In fact Mayors of the three largest Bay Area cities (Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose) recently appeared together to discuss the housing crisis.  All talked about the need to build more housing, but that a regional discussion was necessary, because building housing only in those three cities would not solve the regional housing crisis:

The last question focused on regionalism, and the possibility of taking away the ability of local, municipal governments to make decisions on housing, perhaps in a model that mimics what had been done in Portland and Seattle.

”In some ways [that] is easy for us, because we embrace housing, and we want to be urban centers, and our neighbors don’t. So, it’s always easier for larger cities to say yes to regionalism,” said Liccardo.

He explained that the composition of our region and its 99 jurisdictions adds to the issue. ”In some of these towns and cities, our interests are so diverse; it’s not easy,” he added.

”There is a range. You’re talking about something that’s pretty punitive and regulatory, and that’s the stick, right? I like how Sam [Liccardo] was talking about the carrot—if you don’t do your fair share, no transportation funds for you. To find more carrots is something that is more politically feasible,” said Mayor Schaaf.

Mayor Lee called on the concept of advanced citizenship and participation in the regional discussions. While there could be changes made in the land use policy that may create delicate changes that can be more incentivizing than regulatory, smaller cities should make their fair share contribution to good transportation as well as fair housing.

”We have to have that regional conversation,” he concluded.


  1. One of my favorite comments from the Mayor Ed Lee:
    In San Francisco, which is experiencing its biggest building boom since the 1920s, Mayor Lee is faced with an economy that has perhaps outgrown the physical place, the housing stock and the transportation system. At the same time, the city may be outgrowing the ability of its citizens to deal with the changes, said Metcalf soliciting a response from the mayor.

    “This is a very different time for San Francisco, historically,” said Lee. “We have to have those delicate conversations with historic NIMBY attitudes.”
    “A lot of people instantaneously forget that we’re still coming out of [the] recession. And we’re very fortunate to have come out of it quite quickly. We’ve always had strong tourism, we’ve kept that, but we didn’t know that tech and healthcare would be such drivers of strong economic vitality,” said Mayor Lee.

    The strong Bay Area job growth is what’s driving the housing crisis – a fact that I don’t think many people understand. We are fortunate to have come out of the recession so quickly, but as a result like every other city in the bay area we are impacted by the same issues – housing and transportation, and we must join in the regional conversation and be part of the solution.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 28, 2015 @ 7:45 am

  2. Regarding the housing bond, San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee is working to get to the root of the regional housing crisis by creating more affordable housing for the middle class. This bond program should serve as a model for the entire region.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 28, 2015 @ 8:00 am

  3. The growth that we are experiencing now will not sustain itself for more than the next 18 – 24 months. Once we get to that point, there will be a huge amount of people who can no longer afford the rent or home loan payments they have. Though we may not experience a 2008 situation, we will certainly experience a 2001 situation. San Francisco will be at the epicenter of the economic downturn, and that will not be pretty.

    Comment by Bill — May 28, 2015 @ 8:09 am

  4. “Across the Bay, here’s what Mayor Ed Lee is doing to help out the folks defined as making too much money…”

    An even better way in San Francisco to help the “folks”, that I’m sure Alameda will embrace, is to just have the folks in need of housing commit a crime:

    ” Several dozen good-sized studio apartments with new kitchenettes, furnishings and flat-screen televisions will soon be available in the heart of San Francisco — and in today’s frothing real estate market, they could probably fetch $1,500 a month or more.”

    But these apartments in a spruced-up single-room-occupancy hotel in the Tenderloin neighborhood will not be part of the rental listings on Craigslist. Instead, they’re reserved for a perhaps surprising population: people who have committed crimes.

    Comment by jack — May 28, 2015 @ 9:58 am

  5. There are 9,500 households receiving Section 8 vouchers in San Francisco.

    The vouchers’ value – $1,473 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,858 for two bedrooms – is set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development using a complicated formula. Last changed in 2011, it is based on fair market rates from 2008 to 2010.

    How affordable is Section 8 Housing?

    The formula used in determining rental payment is the highest of the following:

    -30% of monthly adjusted income (after allowed deductions)
    -10% of monthly gross income
    -$50 minimum rent
    -Flat Rent (varies by property as determined by market survey)

    How Long a Wait for Section 8 Housing?

    The Waitlist is currently CLOSED.

    Would you like to contact our Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program? Click here

    If you do not have access to a computer, you may call:
    (415) 715-3280 or (415)-715-3287-fax

    In Oakland, as in many cities, more people are in need of help paying rent than there is money to go around. The need hasn’t decreased, which is why the Oakland Housing Authority is expecting as many as 100,000 people to ask for Section 8 vouchers when the agency begins taking applications later this month.

    “We know that our families have been hard hit. We know there is a large need out there,” Housing Authority Executive Director Eric Johnson said.

    In the end, only a fraction — about 10,000 — will make it onto the waiting list.

    More than 11,000 Oakland families currently receive Section 8 subsidies, according to the Housing Authority’s figures. A family of three, for example, whose annual income does not exceed $40,650 could qualify for the federal program. The family would be responsible for paying 30 percent of their monthly income for rent and the voucher would make up the rest.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 28, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

  6. Section 8 wait list opening in Alameda on Jan. 29

    According to HUD’s records Alameda has 1,845 units in their Section 8 inventory.

    Those who apply for the housing assistance vouchers will be placed into a random lottery selection. As many as 750 individuals or families will be chosen by lottery to be placed on the wait list out of the 70,000 expected applications that may be filed. Click here for more information:

    I guess all those kids and families who attend school here are enjoying our boom. Only 58% in California students live in Poverty.

    Boom Boom Boom

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 28, 2015 @ 1:57 pm

  7. How Soaring Housing Costs Impoverish a Whole Generation and Maul the Real Economy
    by Wolf Richter • May 11, 2015

    How many years would it take first-time homebuyers, earning a median household income, to save enough money for the standard 20% down payment on a median home? Are you sitting down?

    An impossibly long time in many cities, Lindsay David of LF Economics (and a contributor on WOLF STREET) found in his report on mortgage stress. He looked at 30 large US cities, using their local median incomes and median home prices. It assumed that young households could accomplish the tough feat of saving 5% of their income, year after year, through bouts of unemployment, illness, shopping sprees, family expansions, or extended vacations.

    The results are stunning – if just a tad discouraging for first-time buyers.

    In my beloved and crazy boom-and-bust town of San Francisco, where a median home (for example, a two-bedroom no-view apartment in a so-so neighborhood) costs $1 million, it would take – are you ready? – 37 effing years.

    Given its higher median income, San Francisco is only in second place. The winner by a few months is another Bay Area city, San Jose. In San Diego, it would take 33 years. In Los Angeles, 32 years. First-time buyers might be retired before they scrape their theoretical down payment together. Theoretical, because in reality, too many things change, and they’re chasing after a moving target.

    So lower your expectations and step down to buy a below-median home? Here is what TwistedPolitix found on the market in that price category:

    Yes folks, step right up and get your 700 sq. ft. home in Redwood City, California, heart of the Silicon Valley, for just $649,000! The American Dream! 1 bedroom, 1 bath for just $3,154 per month on a mortgage with super low interest rates if you put down 20%.

    If you pay the mortgage back according to the standard 30-year schedule, in April 2045 you will have paid $1,135,721 for a tiny little [bleep] shack. Brilliant!

    And that 20% down payment would still amount to $130,000. How long would it take first-time buyers with a median household income to save up this much money? About a quarter century!

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 28, 2015 @ 2:14 pm

  8. Seems this blog comment section has been co-opted.

    Comment by Li_ — May 28, 2015 @ 5:03 pm

  9. “this would be the first program using public money for new rental units. It may also throw a new income bracket into the frantic world of housing lotteries, where thousands of applicants vie for dozens of spots in new market-rate buildings.”

    LI when your quoting information like this sometimes it is good to look at whole picture…. We have been using Public money to build many New Units in this Country… To the tune of 2.1 Million who get assistance for housing in US just thru section 8’s

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 28, 2015 @ 5:45 pm

  10. #7 I guess this is why the Big Three met to focus on solutions and invite the entire region to participate.

    #3 Yes, there are business cycles and real estate cycles, but this doesn’t mean you stop planning.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 28, 2015 @ 5:52 pm

  11. 8
    It’s the black keys Li, there’s fewer of them so john’s gotta play em more often. Keep playing John.

    Comment by jack — May 28, 2015 @ 6:13 pm

  12. Jack I always get a laugh out of what the Grifters Say…..Like our Resident Developer Grifter Karen “Were Worried about affordable housing for the MIDDLE CLASS”…..What she does is a knee slapper.

    Because Most Middle Class Income people deserve a break so she only charges 1500.00 Per Week to Rent her place. Or 225.00 Per Night…..Middle Class and affordable.,:)

    Bedrooms: 2
    Bathrooms: 1
    Sleeps 4
    Per night $225
    Per week $1,500
    Type: Apartment
    Description of the Alameda vacation apartment rental

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 28, 2015 @ 7:43 pm

  13. Choose this charming Queen Ann Cottage apartment as your vacation base for experiencing all that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer.

    Karen Bey

    Area Info
    Located 5 minutes from the beach, 7 minutes from the heart of downtown Alameda, fine restaurtants, our newly restored theater, and shopping. Walking distance to the Crab Cove Visitor Center and lovely hiking, biking and walking trails.

    Jan 01 2015 Dec 31 2015 $225 – $1,500

    Check In: 3 p.m. Check Out: 10 a.m.
    Lodging tax: 8.75%
    Deposits: $500.00 Deposit ($100.00 cleaning fee retained)
    Payment Options: Visa, Mastercard, Personal Check
    Page Views This month: 4 This year: 4 Since listed: 1,375

    Find a Rental | Traveler Login | Owner Community | About Us
    Sitemap | Become An Affiliate | Contact Us | Terms | Privacy Policy Copyright© 2015 Vacation Home Rentals. All rights reserved

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 28, 2015 @ 7:54 pm

  14. Well heck, John she’s gotta make a living. And she is providing housing…one day at a time and she’s inviting the entire world to participate.

    Comment by jack — May 28, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

  15. Not sure what your point is — whoever you are? This post is about leaders getting together to solve the housing crisis, and yes I believe that given the right housing policy and incentives, real estate developers are in the best position to tackle the housing crisis and provide more low and middle income housing. Because that’s what they do — they build housing.

    And by the way, what a coward you are!

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 28, 2015 @ 10:19 pm

  16. Karen you want to create and support a NEW Bond to PAY Real Estate Developers that are building new market-rate buildings to restrict some rental units for households that make roughly $100,000 to $140,000 a year.

    We have 100’s of Thousands of families in Oakland, Alameda, San Francisco Bay Area that qualify for Low Income Housing and can’t even get on waiting lists.

    We have Propped up the Housing market by buying all the mortgage backed securities and floating bonds that were totally underwater spending Trillions thru all the QE’s with Public Money.

    In California We had over 1,000,000 homes Foreclosed on. Nationally I can’t imagine the number. But I have talked to many people who have moved here to work who lost their homes in other states thru foreclosure. Not counting the millions of kids nationally who have been couch surfing at their parents house who are also in need of housing.

    Last time I read on here you were working for a developer and have in the past.

    Saying we now need to float new bonds and subsidize real estate developers as a remedy after bloating and inflating the real estate market with more local public money seems crazy.

    I understand your authentic and sincere concern for our low income and middle income families with housing issues who are in crisis by throwing your Apartment up for Rent for 1500.00 a week. On Behalf on them we thank you.

    You have a right to charge anything you want. But at least be up front about what you stand for and do.

    A coward doesn’t call out people who mislead and tell half truths and have financial interest in pushing something like this thru. In fact it takes courage.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 29, 2015 @ 3:16 am

  17. Your vigilante style of attacking people who don’t agree with you in this town while hiding behind a white sheet — makes me sick!

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 29, 2015 @ 6:30 am

  18. “I don’t appreciate someone attacking me with mis-truths ”

    Karen tell me what exactly are the Mis-Truths you claim I said .

    If I misread or misinterpreted what you said, and that isn’t you who is renting out their apartment for 1500.00 a week and you are not a part of the development community and you don’t think we ought to subsidize developers I apologize. I’m not very bright and get a lot of things wrong. Sorry for being human.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 29, 2015 @ 11:24 am

  19. Vigilante

    a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.

    Calling me a Vigilante is ridiculous. I hardly fall into any group. I speak my mind and stand up for what I think is right even if I am the only one in that line.

    If you understand how people think we are all changing everyday.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 29, 2015 @ 11:31 am

  20. Comment by MI — May 29, 2015 @ 11:54 am

  21. Bravo, MI. Thanks for posting the video. I agree with Campos. Wiener is out of his mind; he has no realistic plan.

    Comment by vigi — May 29, 2015 @ 12:05 pm

  22. What happens when the interest rates go up? I’ve heard no discussion of that — yet another crash? How is the ‘affordable” $700,000 home going to remain that way if interest rates increase substantially, if they begin to approach the norm? I’m afraid that the Fed has set us up for another bursting bubble.

    I read somewhere that if rents, at this point, should begin to return to anything normal, that is, affordable by the average renter, that in itself would translate as a crash for the housing market. It looks like a rock and a hard place — and once again the housing market is driving the local economy, very likely into the ground. Either thousands of people are displaced or we have another housing crash.

    People never tire of pointing out all the lovely things about living here — the weather (weather, weather, etc) — I don’t care. There is so much garbage going on here, with the droughts, the threat of earthquakes, the insane housing market, the tech booms and busts, the intrusion of foreign investment in the housing market — I’d take the cold weather again, just to be rid of all this, And all the planning (planning, planning, etc) — like it’s all under control, some day, maybe, we hope. That isn’t possible.

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — May 31, 2015 @ 2:03 pm

  23. #22. I think you will find that no matter where you go, you will get situations that are difficult. Each community or area of the world has its drawbacks and its advantages; we just have to do our best to influence good outcomes by positively influencing the policy makers and by working to elect good ones to start with. Not much we can do about earthquakes or droughts, except to prepare ourselves by making sure our property is secured, physically and financially, and by conservation of resources. Personally, I prefer them to tornados and floods and snowstorms and hurricanes.

    Comment by Kate Quick — May 31, 2015 @ 3:54 pm

  24. Another industry erected in California with concupiscent support being sterilized into mundanity by eunuchoids. People will stop coming here.

    “Porn stars could soon be forced to don far more protection than just condoms in California. New rules proposed last week by the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) would require adult film actors to wear eye gear for many scenes.”

    Comment by jack — May 31, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

  25. I’m confused Jack, why would they need eye-

    Comment by John P. — May 31, 2015 @ 7:19 pm

  26. ” according to the proposed rules. “Employers shall ensure that cleaning and disinfection methods that are used for sex toys and other objects that may have contact with an employee’s genitals, eyes, skin, or other mucous membranes do not cause irritation or other harm to the employee.”

    Comment by jarfree — May 31, 2015 @ 8:25 pm

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