San Francisco Supes Pose as Renters' Best Friends

Plans to help families, unemployed faces likely veto

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009  |  Updated 2:30 PM PDT
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San Francisco Supes Pose as Renters' Best Friends

New measures won't make renting a room in San Francisco any less tricky.

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San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is having lots of fun proving how tenant friendly they are with multiple bills intended to expand protections to renters in the city.

But are they toying with renters' heartstrings -- not to mention purse strings?

None of their proposals are likely to pass muster with Mayor Gavin Newsom, a landlord himself, or his allies on the board necessary to override an executive veto.

Most San Franciscans live in rental housing, and the bills would do everything from capping rent increases for the unemployed to preventing evictions of families with children.

Of course, with the economy in the tank, landlords aren't doing as well as they have -- fewer jobs mean higher vacancy rates and therefore lower rents, and the credit crunch combined with falling real estate values mean fewer buyers for buildings.

So in the end, it's windmill-tilting -- but like the eccentric Don Quixote, it should prove to win the hearts of voting renters in the next round of local district elections.

Actually accomplishing anything is besides the point.

Jackson West is pretty broken up about having to leave his sweet, rent-controlled studio thanks to underemployment.

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