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Indybay Feature

Protect Affordable Rental Housing; No Fast-Track Condos!

Monday, January 28, 2013
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Senior & Disability Action
Location Details:
SF City Hall Steps

Protect Affordable Rental Housing; No Fast-Track Condos!
Press Conference before Supervisors Land Use Committee Hearing
Monday, January 28, noon
SF City Hall Steps

Supervisors Scott Weiner (District 8) and Mark Farrell (District 2) are sponsoring legislation that would allow 2,000 buildings that are Tenancies-in-Common to immediately convert to much-higher-priced condominiums.

Their law would allow 2000 Tenancies-in-Common to by-pass the usual lottery process which limit condo conversions. Condo conversions provide the incentive for real-estate speculators to buy up buildings, evict the tenants, get would-be home-owners to move into a building together and share a mortgage (Tenancies-in-Common), promising them they can then convert the building into much-more-valuable condominiums, where the owners of each unit hold a separate mortgage and have the flexibility buy and sell their units as individuals. Affordable rental housing advocates fought and won a lottery process to slow this condo-conversion process way down, but Weiner and Farrell want to give speculators 2,000 buildings worth of free passes to condo conversion, on a "one-time" basis. Yeah, right!

Low- and very-low-income seniors and disabled people are particular vulnerable in this gruesome process, because they are more likely to have lived a while in rent-controlled housing, which is the only way they can afford to live in the City. When they are evicted as the first step in this condo process, there is nowhere they can afford to live. The same goes for low-income working families.

The legislation to support fast-tracking is sponsored by supervisors Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell. The hearing where people can give testimony is Mon., Jan. 28 at 1pm. Press Conference at noon on steps of City Hall.

Some talking points:

Tenants make up about 62% of the city's residents.

There are over 200,000 rent control units in SF. If a tenant vacates, the landlord can raise the rent to whatever he wants. New construction has not been covered by rent control since 1979.

Rents are rising steeply with many studios renting for $2100 a month and one bedrooms for $3000.

The condo conversion law allows 200 TICs to be converted a year, but as many as 500 are actually converted.

TICs become TICs by evicting tenants with Owner-Move-In Evictions, or the Ellis Act (landlord supposedly goes out of business) or by buying tenants out.

The way to condo conversion is to cannibalize rental units by getting tenants out, selling the units as TICs and then getting on a waiting list for condo conversion. NOTHING IS ADDED TO THE HOUSING STOCK.

There are about 25,000 new privately financed condo units slated for construction in SF in the coming years. The overwhelming majority of San Franciscans cannot afford them

Some TIC owners complain they can't get their units refinanced because of the way their loans are structured. It's only fair that they get refinancing. But, they must organize themselves into standing up to the banks collectively to win better mortgage deals. To open up the floodgates for more conversion and push lower income people out of the city is not the answer
Added to the calendar on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 11:22AM
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