Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Funny grumping at the SF housing trust fund plan

On the @Socketsite real estate blog, there's a good writeup of Mayor Ed Lee's proposal for a San Francisco housing trust fund.

Then there's an odd little unmoored-seeming debate in the comments thread below, as readers in the real estate business try to figure out if they should dislike the proposal and, if so, why. Most manage to dislike it, but for divergent reasons, from concern about gentrification to tooth-and-claw endorsement of "survival of the fittest."

Commenter "nancydrew99" writes, "To me this seems as if it is and end-run around Jerry Brown's elimination of redevelopment agencies...." She's probably right but she says it like it's a bad thing.

The Socketsite bloggers, and several commenters too, want to tie the trust fund to a "lottery bypass fee" that would ease the conversion possibilities for multi-unit buildings from tenancy-in-common to condo status. That wouldn't be good for affordability at all -- though it might be good for things like fire safety, since condo-converted buildings have to be brought up to code and TIC's don't.

It's sad that one writer says, "I don't want to use public funds '[to] help distressed homeowners stay in their homes.' People who can't afford their homes should sell them." The writer may not have met any of the elderly ladies on fixed income whose homes and micro-neighborhoods represent everything they are and all the social support they have. People's homes aren't modular. Old-fashioned people's aren't, anyhow.

The current last comment on the thread concludes an anti-"commie" screed with a hymn to natural selection: "...die off or get eaten."

Frevvinsakes, y'all. Natural selection, like human nature, is what we are put in this world to rise above.

Photo above, btw, is in the Muni subway part Civic Center Station. It's one of Owen Smith's wonderful pictures for BART about the world-blurring experience of reading on the train. This one is The Call of the Wild en route to the office.

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