Setbacks for Proposed Measures Aimed at Curbing Rising SF Rents - NBC Bay Area
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Setbacks for Proposed Measures Aimed at Curbing Rising SF Rents

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    A pair of measures rental assistance groups say would help stem rising rents in San Francisco recently suffered political setbacks. Mark Matthews reports. (Published Thursday, May 28, 2015)

    A pair of measures rental assistance groups say would help stem rising rents in San Francisco recently suffered political setbacks.

    The measures are a bill authored by State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) to amend the Ellis Act and San Francisco Supervisor David Campos' proposal to temporarily halt the construction of market rate apartments in the Mission District.

    Leno's bill was designed to put a damper on flipping San Francisco real estate by requiring landlords to hold a property for five years before selling it.

    "The mayor supports it, 11 out of 11 supervisors support it," Leno said. "We have significant business support from the broader business community."

    Requiring landlords to wait five years would only apply to property in San Francisco, but Leno's bill was shot down by a single vote in committee. Leno blames the financial influence of the real estate industry.

    "They decided that this is the most important thing for them to stop," Leno said.

    In the Mission District, Campos is proposing a temporary moratorium on residential development because low-income housing advocates say there is only 13 buildable lots left in the area.

    Housing Rights Committee members on Wednesday night watched as the Democratic County Central Committee voted against supporting the moratorium.

    Jay Cheng,  who serves as deputy director of government relations for the San Francisco Association of Realtors, scoffed at the idea that financial clout killed Leno's Ellis Act amendment.

    "It's interesting that he would single out one particular industry as opponents when clearly the opposition is a broad base of folks from all across the city," Cheng said.

    Cheng added the Democratic Central Committee did not back the Mission moratorium because it is not a good idea.

    "It makes sense that you can not solve a housing crisis without building housing," Cheng said. "And the moratorium is the exact definition of not building housing."

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