On a hilltop at the Hunter's View housing project, overlooking the San Francisco skyline, Governor Jerry Brown signed 15 bills into law on Sept. 29 that will help increase the supply and affordability of housing in California. The legislative package provides funding for affordable housing, reduces regulations, strengthens existing housing laws and boosts construction. The State Assembly passed the package of bills at the end of the legislative session Sept. 14.
The San Francisco Planning Commission approved developer Forest City's plan for Pier 70 at its Aug. 24 meeting. The 28-acre development east of Illinois St. between 18th and 20th streets will include housing, commercial and retail space, and publicly accessible waterfront parks.
Laborers Local 261 member and former labor representative Joshua Arce took over as the new director of San Francisco's CityBuild program on September 11. Arce will bring experience from his background as a civil rights attorney and affordable housing advocate to the position, leading efforts in construction training coordination.
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Local Union 83 member Hugo Mejia and United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 68L member Rodrigo Nuñez went to their Solano County job site, a hospital within Travis Air Force Base, on May 3. An otherwise ordinary day of working on the job, they were detained by military base staff and subsequently by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when they presented their California driver's licenses and tax identification numbers instead of social security numbers. Held by ICE for months at jails in Elk Grove and Yuba County without any formal hearings regarding their cases, many groups across the country have been rallying in support of their release.
The continued hope for inmates in the California prison system is that they will one day become productive members of society. In that regard, the building trades are doing what they can to help move that narrative forward. The transition from incarceration to trades worker goes through the Inmate Ward Labor training program.
Contractor Roberts-Obayashi is building a new 61-unit apartment complex at 5050 Mission that includes non-union contractors. The 100,700 square foot building at the corner of Mission Street and Seneca Avenue in the Mission Terrace neighborhood is wood frame over podium – a type of construction often done by non-union subcontractors.
Modernization work at several San Francisco Unified School District sites is progressing on schedule this summer. San Francisco voters approved a $531 million Facility Bond Measure in November 2011 to fund projects to modernize and improve safety in SFUSD facilities. The 2011 bond funded modernization work at 65 school sites, expansion of the green schoolyard program, and construction of the new Willie Brown Middle School.
Union member insurance provider and investor Ullico recently invested a total of $206.5 million into financing construction for the Folsom Bay Tower located at 160 Folsom Street. The investment is in the form of a participation loan, of which $90 million of the total has been participated to other lenders.