This article was posted on Saturday, Sep 01, 2018

June 28 was the final day to withdraw the misnamed “Affordable Housing Act,” which repeals Costa-Hawkins and opens the door for local legislative bodies to expand rent control and preside over the demise of rental housing, particularly for us small property owners. It is essential that this measure on the November 6 ballot be defeated. Think of the likely effects: current rentals converted to ownership, deteriorating buildings, and new rental construction bypassed in favor of building ownership units. The screaming tenant groups that our hundred-plus members encountered at the final hearing in Sacramento on June 21 are totally misguided, not realizing that they are effectively campaigning for less housing.

The hearing, required by law, was an opportunity for the state legislative analyst to discuss the possible effects of a Costa-Hawkins repeal. The analyst stated, first and foremost, that it would result in less housing.

Then he discussed some potential fiscal effects to state and local governments: decreases in tax revenue, increases in transfer taxes to make up for the loss—we simply cannot predict the impact with any certainty. But this much is certain:

Two political action committees (PACs) are structuring our public messages: the CalRHA-affiliated PAC and the PAC formed by the California Apartment Association (CAA). The two are sharing data and cooperating in other ways, but our messages are slightly different.

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appeal to everyone. Please dig deep if you possibly can, and ask yourself: “How much per unit can I contribute to protect my investment and my income?” It is essential that this measure on the November 6th ballot be defeated!

 Court Victory for SPOSFI

There was some good news for us recently. One of our lawsuits against restrictive legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors was declared successful when the California Supreme Court refused to hear the City’s appeal of its loss. The case involved remodeling work on “non-conforming” units that have been removed from the rental market through the Ellis Act. The Board of Supervisors imposed a 10-year moratorium on any work requiring a City building permit, but the Courts found the legislation to be illegal.

Noni Richen is President of SPOSFI.  Reprinted with permission of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI) News.  For more information on becoming a member of SPOSFI or to send a tax-deductible donation, please visit their website at or call (415) 647-2419.