[Noisebridge-discuss] Bay Area Renter's Federation @ Noisebridge

Zach R organicunity at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 5 08:57:21 UTC 2015

Hey, I think I've seen something like this before!  It looks a little like this:


lol I'm burnt out on this discussion.  We all know that no one is going to change our minds, so lets leave the politics aside.  Since we're all here, anyone want to talk about the laser cutter stuff?  I sent an email out yesterday about it.

From: Corey Johns <corey at x64.co>
Sent: Thursday, November 5, 2015 12:14 AM
To: Zach R
Cc: NB Discuss; Torrie Fischer
Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] Bay Area Renter's Federation @ Noisebridge

Let’s not conflate grass-roots with being right or good. Consider that the policies affecting housing supply, construction, etc, will have effects both numerous and poorly understood. I wouldn’t say that paying economists and commissioning studies is the way to ensure effective policy, but in other scientific areas we are always very quick to look to authoritative figures, it’s only in issues of politics where we all feel the authority within, that we can fix something with righteous indignation alone.

Consider how expensive any construction of new buildings is in San Francisco—proccesses and permits beyond reason, community appeasement, a litany of regulation and pitfalls. And maybe it should be hard to build, maybe this regulation keeps bad things from happening. But the end result of making it so hard to build is that it becomes very very expensive to build.

When people use “market-rate housing” it’s not some glib double-speak. Market rate housing is what new buildings must charge in order to balance their books, in order to make it economically viable to undertake the enormous up-front cost in building in the first place. So while it may seem ridiculously out of reach to you, the reality is that this is what the market looks like.

When new construction has affordable housing, what that means is that they have been able to offer lower rent units, usually by doing one of two things: either they get a healthy subside from the city, which has a keen interest in reducing the burdens for the poor, or they raise the prices on some other units to balance the cost.

Put simply, the average price of a unit doesn’t change, only the range of prices when affordable housing is in the mix. Ironically, you could make an argument that the luxury housing so reviled—the million dollar condominiums or what have you—make the affordable units possible for the rest.

This is the reality, this is the situation, this is what the market looks like. Any amount of feeling that this is unfair or unjust doesn’t change what is happening, but does potentially make things worse. Rent control is a prime example of public policy that is well-meaning but ends up creating more problems than it solves (in exchange for tenant protection we got tenant/landlord rivalry, Ellis Act evictions, and you could argue it contributed to the current housing crisis). Prop I would have done the same thing.

Corey - @stackptr, github/stackptr, freenode/mu

On Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 9:59 PM, Zach R <organicunity at hotmail.com<mailto:organicunity at hotmail.com>> wrote:

I wasn't debating that. I just think it helps to be clear on the point of building luxury condos.
Most of the "affordable" housing these units offer is in the $40k-a-year salary range. This means zilch to me and 90% of my friends.

From: Torrie Fischer <tdfischer at hackerbots.net>
Sent: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 9:45 PM
To: Zach R
Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] Bay Area Renter's Federation @ Noisebridge

I can see how that can be interpreted that way.

I ask then, how is this incompatible with being pro-affordable housing at the
same time?

On Thursday, November 05, 2015 05:36:59 AM you wrote:
> Building condos and luxury housing seems to be something the Bay Area
> Renter's Federation (or SFBARF) supports. I just took a look over at their
> website (http://www.sfbarf.org/) and saw this:
> http://www.trauss.com/flyers/slate_final.png
> They clearly say No on Prop I (in the largest font no less), which is
> nothing but a very modest short-term measure at limiting luxury condos in
> the Mission. Myself and others in the community collected signatures to
> get it on the ballot, as it was entirely a grass-roots effort to stop more
> monstrosities like Vida (on 21st) and the Maximus (10-story 175 million
> dollar) condos planned for 16th Street BART.
> (some brief info on Prop I for those that don't know:
> http://abc7news.com/politics/sf-voters-reject-prop-i-moratorium-on-building
> -in-mission-district/1067337/
> They also clearly say Yes on Prop D which does nothing but remove the height
> limits that were fought in last year's Prop B:
> http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2015/11/mission-rock-prop-d-sa
> n-francisco-giants.html
> With these height limits removed, more condos and ultra-expensive buildings
> can now be built in that area. One of the points of height limits is to
> keep that from happening.
> How is this stance not in support of the building of condos and luxury
> housing in this area?
> ________________________________________
> From: Torrie Fischer <tdfischer at hackerbots.net>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 6:38 PM
> To: noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> Cc: Zach R
> Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] Bay Area Renter's Federation @
> Noisebridge
> On Wednesday, November 04, 2015 07:18:34 PM Zach R wrote:
> > So it is amazing for me to read here that NB-ers
> > support 100% the building of condos and luxury housing in this area. Kind
> > of blows my mind.
> That kinda blows my mind too! I don't even see anyone in the thread making
> that sort of statement.
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