In San Francisco, tenant advocate groups and some local lawmakers are quick to blame the State’s Ellis Act* for their city’s housing affordability problems. They would have you believe that property owners are causing an “eviction crisis,” even though there were only a 120 Ellis evictions in 2013, in a city with over 175,000 rent controlled units.
Here are some real solutions to San Francisco’s housing affordability problems:
Build More Housing - The single largest cause for the increased cost of housing in San Francisco is a lack of supply. In 2013, there were nearly 70,000 new jobs in San Francisco, but only 112 housing units built between 2010 and 2012. Building more housing and adding supply to lower demand and rent prices is the real solution.
Improve Construction Process - The process of obtaining planning entitlements and permitting to build housing in San Francisco is extraordinarily difficult. People who oppose housing have been given a long list of tools to delay, postpone, shrink, or prevent development. The City should consider expediting and streamlining its housing construction processes.
Create Affordable Housing - Working with the state, cities like San Francisco must build more affordable housing. CAA recognizes this and supports efforts such as Senate Bill 391 (DeSaulnier, D-Concord), the “California Homes and Jobs Act” to establish more funding for affordable housing projects throughout the State.
Fund a State Renter’s Tax Assistance Program - For decades, California allowed low- income tenants to claim a renters’ credit on their taxes. The program was defunded in 2008 as a result of the state budget problems. CAA has supported and continues to support efforts to restore funding for the renters’ credit.