Senate’s Housing Committee rejected Ellis Act Bill (SB 364) in a 6-5 first vote

Today the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing heard and rejected the Senate Bill 364 by Senator Mark Leno. Positioned as a bill to “strengthen” the Ellis Act, this legislation would require a five-year “hold period,” during which it would prevent the owner of any rental unit to utilize the Ellis Act.

While the bill might sound like a positive solution in theory, in actual practice it will only create more Ellis Act evictions and worsen the housing affordability crisis. As new property owners are temporarily paused from performing evictions, SB 364 will create market forces that will push long-term property owners to evict their tenants when choosing to put their property on the market.

Sellers in the market can still evict their tenants because they’ve owned the property for more than five years. They will be compelled to perform Ellis Act evictions before selling the property because of the significantly higher market price for a vacant residential unit.

Today, local housing advocacy groups like BetterHousingPolicies.org and Small Property Owners of San Francisco are brought hundreds of people to Sacramento to express their opposition to SB 364. Among those who traveled to Sacramento to oppose SB 364 are first-generation immigrants, Chinese-Americans, and low-income and middle-income families. Over 1500 petitions and letters have been written to State Senators and Mayor Ed Lee asking them to oppose SB 364 and work on a local solution for San Francisco’s housing affordability crisis.

“The San Francisco Association of Realtors stands with BetterHousingPolicies.org and Small Property Owners of San Francisco in opposing SB 364,” said Walt Baczkowski, CEO of the San Francisco Association of Realtors. “It’s bad for all San Franciscans and will only make housing affordability and evictions worse. We call on Mayor Lee to focus on rational, local solutions to address San Francisco’s housing affordability crisis.”