Yesterday on the steps of City Hall a coalition of Tenants Rights Groups and Supervisors Jane Kim, Norman Yee and Board of Supervisor President, David Chiu announced they’d come up with an amended plan for converting Tenant-in-Common(TIC) property to condos that’ll work better than the current, hotly contested and polarizing Wiener/Farrell proposal.
As the Biscuit has been posting the original proposal set out by the Castro’s Sup. Scott Wiener and his fellow BOS member Dist. 2′s Mark Farrell stated that TIC’s could now skip the City lottery conversion program, pay a one time fee of $20,000, and convert the property to Condo status immediately.
Tenant groups opposed this idea as Condo’s aren’t covered by current City rent control parmaters, will reduce the number of affordable houses available on the already beyond tight housing market, allow real estate speculators to continue to abuse City loop holes and policies currently in place and increase Ellis Act led evictions.
The new amendment to the Wiener/Farrell bill comes from a coalition of Tenant Unions and Supervisors. It allows the 2000 TIC units wishing to convert currently enrolled in the City’s lottery to do so after paying the proposed fee to become condos-BUT-after that a ten-year moratorium will be put in place stopping any new conversions from occurring.
The idea behind the 10-year suspension on condo conversions is it would allow time for permanent, affordable units to be built-in place of the rental units that would be lost to the one-time conversion.
The 10-year suspension is based on current regulations that TIC owners hate that hold condo conversions at 200 per year. It would last a decade because there are 2,000 units waiting to be converted, but the suspension could last longer than that. If more TIC’s get added to the list the moratorium would increase as well: 2,200 TIC units wanting to convert equals 11 year wait. 2,400 equals a 12 year hold and so on.
The 2000 TIC’s currently on the City’s lotto wait list for condo conversion would have their change in status staggered over the course of three years so a giant sucking sound in the housing market wouldn’t be created by all of them to go condo at the same time.
In future lotteries, only buildings with four units or less would be eligible, unlike the five and six-unit buildings that currently qualify. The amendments would also change occupancy requirements for conversion from one owner occupant to two in three-unit buildings, and three owner occupants for four-unit buildings. This will help keep speculators from buying up buildings and evicting tenants out of hand.
“Condo conversions are the number one reason why people are being evicted from the city,” San Francisco Tenants Union executive director Ted Gullicksen said at Monday’s tax day rally.
SF Mayor Ed Lee had said earlier last month he wanted to see a compromise put forth as negotiations between tenants advocates and the Wiener/Farrell camp had broken down and gone no where.
The new proposal is a move toward finding more common ground though many are still dissatisfied and skeptical of how this will all work out in the end. It now moves before the Land Use Committee for discussion and then the full Board.