Archive for January, 2008

Don't miss rally to support condominium conversion reform on Feb. 6th!

San Francisco will hold its annual condo conversion lottery one week from now, on Feb. 6th – if this is of interest to you,  you might want to show up and let them know that this outdated lottery method unfairly penalizes first time homeowners.  Join organizers Plan C and the SF TIC Coalition at this rally to support condominium conversion reform.

Peet’s coffee will be waiting for you, provided by Plan C, as well as petitions for you to sign to let the City know that you are in favor of reforming the lottery process. Meet us at the steps of City Hall at 8:15am to enjoy your coffee and sign the petition, then just a little before 9am you’ll head to the Board of Supervisors’ offices to drop of the freshly signed petitions requesting condo conversion reform…then on to Room 400 where the lottery will be held.

So many are waiting for the good news that you have “won the lottery”, but the sad fact is that only 200 “winning” units are chosen each year and it could take many years, perhaps more than a decade, for your building to “win”. The odds are just getting progressively worse and are definitely not stacked in your favor. In 2003 there were only 994 units, climbing to 1736 units in 2007 – that’s an average of just 186 unit increase per year, definitely not coming anywhere near close to keeping up with our housing demands.

Plan C is opposed by those who think that condo conversion reform would increase evictions and lessen rental stock. Those supporting Plan C have alternate opinions. San Francisco passed a law in May of 2006 which banned all condo conversions in buildings with more than one “no fault” evictions or in buildings with “protected” tenants. This legislative act pretty much negates what opponents of Plan C most fear. 2007 eviction numbers were down significantly over 2006, and are down over 60% from the numbers recorded in the late 1990s – this proves the opponents wrong.

7770 units, according to the San Francisco Business Times, were under construction in 2007 and expected to be completed by the end of this year. This number includes 2052 rental units, 717 of which are classified as “affordable”.

Now is the time to make a stand and fight for rights of first-time homeowners. We need condo conversion reform and we need it now. TIC owners need to do their part and show up on February 6th at 8:15am on the steps of City Hall – we can “fight City Hall” and win, if we are organized and do it together, it will only take an hour – join us!

Whether or not you can attend on Wednesday, please click this link to email all of the city supervisors and Mayor at one time and let them know that you are for Plan C and condo conversion reform!!!


San Francisco One step away from becoming Solar City

Earlier this month San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission approved a plan to grant healthy incentives to help cover the costs of installation for solar panels. The plan, would grant between $3000 – $5000 per private residence, depending on whether you use a local installer and how close you are to a local power plant, and $10,000 per business. I’m not clear on whether the myriad of non-profit Home Owner Associations throughout the city qualify under the business category, but one would assume they will.

The plan, which has one final vote to get through next month by the Board of Supervisors is expected to win handily. It would make the cost of installing solar near to half the price by the time one includes a $7000 state tax rebate and a federal $2000 tax rebate.

‘For a typical homeowner in San Francisco, installing a 3-kilowatt, rooftop solar electric system costs $24,000, according to Barry Cinnamon, president of the California Solar Energy Industries Association.’

The proposed rebate collectively could close to half the costs of installation and help put San Francisco in the forefront of one of the most progressive solar incentives by a city in the nation.


How many Contractors does it take?

Stay safe and drive out there folks….gonna be hairy for a couple of days.