Sunday, April 27, 2014

Affordable Housing: "We've written it off"

Also from the current (May 2014) issue of the Marina Times, I interviewed Andre Shashaty, an expert and advocate for affordable housing and sustainable communities (and my former boss).

Andre Shashaty
‘We’ve written it off’
Affordable housing expert Andre Shashaty on the state of housing policy and sustainable communities

(May 2014)

As San Francisco residents and their political, business and social leaders try to get a handle on housing affordability in the city, they must do so at a time when governments large and small in this country have largely tried to wash their hands of involvement with the housing problem. Long gone are the days when the federal government partnered with cities to build and manage homes for middle- and low-income citizens. Today, federal monies have gone elsewhere, as has federal interest in even dealing with the challenges. The key federal tool for helping develop affordable housing is the three-decades-old tax credit set up to help private developers — for-profit and nonprofit — do what the government used to do.

This all happens at a time when there are still many people who need affordable housing — rental or ownership. To learn more about the issues involved, we spoke with affordable housing expert and advocate Andre Shashaty. The former editor and publisher of...

San Francisco's "Growing Pains"

In the latest (May 2014) issue of the Marina Times, I begin a four-part series looking at San Francisco's ongoing population growth, which is projected to take the residential count above 1 million in the future.

As San Francisco’s population continues to expand, some people are worrying about the changes that are being wrought (photo: darkwind / flickr)
Growing pains: How much San Francisco is too much San Francisco?

(May 2014)

This is the first of a four-part series exploring the growth of San Francisco.

The downtown-bound BART train was particularly full one recent morning, when yet another group of commuters boarded at a station. Among them was a man in his early 40s, who immediately began complaining loudly about all of the “[bleeping] tech workers filling up my city.” As surrounding commuters tried to look away, one office-bound commuter began arguing with the newcomer, demanding to know what his problem was. There ensued a diatribe by the 40-something, who complained about San Francisco being ruined by new residents. There were lots of bleeps, as well as a threat to fight the man who dared to question him.

Across San Francisco, conversations in much nicer tones have been taking place for months and even years, with longtime residents wondering about the changes occurring...

Read the entire article