Liza Veale | KALW

Liza Veale

Reporter

Liza got her start in radio with KALW's Audio Academy. Now, she is KALW's housing and homelessness reporter and a mentor for one of the Audio Academy fellows.

Richard Marcantonio

Rents have increased 40 percent across the Bay Area in the last three years. Six of the country's 11 most expensive rental markets are in California.

Even in the Bay Area, there are some properties that are so dilapidated they can’t sell. Many have been languishing since the foreclosure crisis a decade ago. But instead of letting them just take up space, the city of Richmond is flipping the homes that investors won’t touch.

Muss0 / Wikimedia Commons

 

San Jose’s Measure B, and the counter-amendment Measure C, would affect housing development and zoning.

Measure B would rezone the Evergreen Hills area in San Jose to allow for large housing development on what is now undeveloped hillside.

The zoning change wouldn’t just apply to this site, but many sites like it that are currently zoned non-residential.

SUPPORTERS:

Zepheus / Wikimedia Commons

Emeryville’s Measure C is a $50 million bond to fund affordable housing. It was put on the ballot by the Emeryville City Council by a unanimous vote.

It would tackle housing affordability in a number of ways: By building permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness, buying existing housing and converting it to affordable housing, and providing first-time home loans to low and middle income households.

 

THE MONEY

 

It’s clear that owning a home is becoming unaffordable for many Californians — but there’s no single simple explanation for what’s driving up prices.

Liza Veale

 


When winter comes, Bay Area cities open temporary shelters to keep unhoused residents warm and dry. But, as winter comes to an end, these shelters close down. In Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco about 500 homeless people will be back on the streets.

Liza Veale

 

If you’ve heard of Proposition 13, you probably know that it cut property taxes back in 1978, which reduced funding for public schools and other services. It also has a lot to do with the state’s shortage of housing and, many argue, the fact that rents are so darn high.

Joe Fitz of SF Examiner

Yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to formally oppose a state bill which is being called the most controversial housing bill in decades. The Transit-Rich Housing Bonus, if passed, would force cities and counties to allow for dense and tall housing near public transit—no matter what local laws say. Here’s why San Francisco leaders are putting up such a fight against it. 

Liza Veale

An East Oakland warehouse is ground zero of a unfortunate standoff between art and marijuana. Over 30 artists are facing possible eviction, after a cannabis investment fund bought their building—one of Oakland’s oldest live/work artist housing.

Liza Veale

 

Today, San Francisco began construction on a housing development in Mission Bay, a complex that will house 62 homeless veterans and 59 low-income families.

The weather did not stop housing leaders from gathering under a muddy tent to celebrate.

 

“Thanks for coming out in the rain,” said Michael Blecker of Swords to Plowshares, the veterans' services organization. “And, of course the folks who will be living here will be out of the rain.”

The Guardian

One of our listeners, Consuelo Faust, recently asked us a question through our Hey Area project: “Is it fact or urban legend that other cities or even States send their homeless people to San Francisco?”

Liza Veale / KALW News

 

As the mayor that presided over a wave of gentrification and displacement, Ed Lee took a lot of heat from the public. But, he also easily won reelection.

Liza Veale / KALW News

Many San Franciscans have the impression that homelessness has been growing in recent years. In 2016, residents called 311 to complain about encampments five times more than in the previous year.

What’s confusing is — the population of homeless people in San Francisco has actually stayed relatively flat.

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

After the destruction of the North Bay Fires, most Sonoma County residents could get financial assistance to help rebuild. But for the more than 40,000 undocumented immigrants living there, access to financial support has been limited.

"PRO401(K) 2012" by CC Flickr user 1040 - US Tax Return, resized and recropped

 

The Republican tax bill will likely be up for a vote by the end of the week. The final version is expected to be released on Wednesday. These tax changes will hit California harder than much of the rest of the country, and it will likely hit us in a weak spot: the housing crisis.

Jon Funabiki

(Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of KALW.)

It’s said that breaking bread together is a good way to get to know the people around you.

 

When it comes to San Francisco’s Excelsior District, breaking green onion pancakes can be equally effective.

 

Ninna Gaensler-Debs

CalFire has named the blazes that devastated Sonoma and Napa Counties earlier this month the October Fire Siege. FEMA says this is the worst fire disaster in California’s history.

Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE)

It’s been decades since this country has had anything like a tenants' movement. If you’re young enough you might not even be familiar with the phrase. But today a movement is forming to fight for policies that preserve and create affordable housing. Last week, renters and their advocates coordinated more than 50 political actions in 45 states as part of national renters' week of action. In the Bay Area, Alameda hosted a weekend-long, statewide gathering of over 400 California tenants and organizers in the movement.

Screenshot of City Council public footage

A year ago, San Jose's homeless advocates were excited by city-approved plans to build the Bay Area’s first "tiny home" villages for homeless people.

Yet now that the city has to pick locations for these proposed villages, objections from nearby residents have become a major stumbling block.

Liza Veale

 

You may know Lake County for the nude retreat center Harbin Hot Springs. Maybe you know it for its marijuana farmland. Or maybe your first association with the place is just fire.

President Trump appointed Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This week the Senate advanced his nomination, bringing him one step closer to becoming secretary.

Liza Veale

 

Cheap rental housing can feel like a vanishing resource in San Francisco. Property owners are selling buildings for multiples of what they originally bought them for, and who can blame them? But the consequence is that almost all the units are getting fixed up and turned into luxury housing. It’s the way of the market, and it can seem inevitable. But what if it’s not?

Liza Veale

 

Eva Castillo* thinks of herself as a strong person. She was raised in the Sunnydale projects in San Francisco, sharing a bedroom with three brothers. Now, she works construction — often as the only woman on the job. But when she was evicted, she says she felt truly helpless for the first time in her life.

Liza Veale

 

Though we’re all understandably consumed by the news at the national level, the last election also came with consequences for the Bay Area locally—especially for the region’s ongoing housing crisis.

Liza Veale

 


About a dozen people have returned to sleeping on the sidewalk, after an unpermitted settlement in a public park was cleared out by the City of Oakland last Thursday.

"1st Ave. at International Blvd., Oakland" by flickr user AC ServiceInfo. Cropped and used under CC: http://bit.ly/2il0hOA

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. While trafficking might seem like an issue we’re all on the same side of, when it comes to how we should go about combating the problem, people don’t always agree.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the web text and the current audio falsely states that SF BARF is mostly funded by "ordinary renters." In fact, over $86,000 of the group's funds were contributed by real estate and corporate groups. They also described the site as being "less than a mile" from the Bayshore Caltrain stop. In fact, the border of the site reaches all the way to the station. Lastly, we did not mention that the Baylands Site includes land that is not landfill. 

 

A few months ago, when it became clear that the small town of Brisbane was looking to build up a huge development that would not include any new housing at all, San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim floated the idea of basically annexing part of the town into her city, so that San Francisco could make sure housing got built. 

Photo courtesy of flickr user Fabrice Florin: http://bit.ly/2gDBEcy

UCSF is conducting one of the first ongoing studies on the experience of homelessness among adults over 50. It’s called the Health Outcomes of People Experiencing Homelessness in Older Middle Age, or HOPE - HOME. 

Courtesy of DISH SF

Some of the only housing that’s gentrification-proof in the inner cities of the Bay Area are SRO’s or Single Room Occupancy buildings. They’re the residential hotels you see mostly in neighborhoods like the Tenderloin and SOMA and in downtown Oakland.

Photo courtesy of the Chinatown Community Development Corporation

 

As of this month, San Francisco’s public housing is now all privately run. 3,500 units have been transferred from the city’s ownership to various housing groups: some non-profit, and some for-profit.

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