With SF Ellis Act Bill dead, local housing advocates forced to look elsewhere

Ellis Act reform would have required waiting period before evictions

by Brian Leubitz

Well, after a lot of drama getting out of the Senate, the SF Ellis Act reform legislation died in the Assembly:

The Ellis Act reform bill introduced by Sen. Mark Leno, D-S.F., will not be moving forward this year, according to his office. The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1439, sought to limit evictions in San Francisco by requiring new property owners to wait five years before invoking the Ellis Act, a state law that allows a landlord to evict their tenants if they intend to leave the rental business. …

“I am profoundly disappointed that the Assembly Housing Committee failed to pass critical legislation that would help mitigate the negative impacts of a recent surge in Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco,” said Leno in a statement following the Assembly Housing Committee vote. (SF Examiner)

The bill took a couple tries to get it through Assembly, and ultimately trying to make law for one county at the state level was just too high of a hurdle to clear. The bill only applied to SF because of the unique housing conditions, something of a perfect storm. Rising housing costs in both the rental and ownership markets, combined with a complicated rent control system leave a lot of loopholes to exploit and a lot of incentive to exploit them for speculators.

But ultimately, this was never any sort of silver bullet. It dealt with a small, but high-profile, loophole. San Francisco needs to look at a kitchen sink approach to try to bring housing costs under something resembling control, or the beautiful City by the Bay will lose the diversity that helped make it great.

4 thoughts on “With SF Ellis Act Bill dead, local housing advocates forced to look elsewhere”

  1. This was reasonable legislation.  The impact was small as there have been an average of about 220 evictions under the Ellis Act each year for the past decade.  Tom Ammiano supported the bill and sits on the Assembly Housing Committee.  The bill was not voted out of Committee on a 3-4 vote.  Two Democrats- Sharon Quirk-Silva and Cheryl Brown voted against the bill.  Huh?

    Either Ammiano and/or Leno and/or San Fran has made some enemies within the Party or this makes no sense.

    Did LoCal just say “stick it” to SF? It would appear so.  With friends like this, who needs a super-majority?

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