SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Amid a housing shortage throughout the Bay Area, San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday approved an ordinance amending buyout regulations for landlords in order to help tenants stay in their units.
Supervisors approved the ordinance, initially introduced back in December by Supervisor Hillary Ronen, unanimously.
The ordinance requires landlords to file a declaration under penalty of perjury prior to starting buyout negotiations; requires a 30-day minimum between buyout negotiations and an agreement; and requires landlords clarify whether an eviction settlement agreement filed within 120 days of the start of buyout negotiations is a Buyout Agreement, which is subject to regulation.
“With speculative rents and sale prices continuing to break records, landlords have a powerful incentive to remove and replace tenants,” Ronen said. “But some landlords see cash buyouts as a way to get long-term tenants to move out quickly and avoid our condo conversion restrictions.”
Ronen said tenants sometimes feel pressured to accept cash buyouts.
In 2018, the city reported 379 buyouts, with the greatest number of buyouts happening in the city’s Mission District, which is located in Ronen’s supervisorial district.
During Tuesday’s meeting, supervisors also approved the city’s purchase of 1939 Market St., the future site of a housing complex with units that will all be affordable.
Once built, the building will provide housing for low-income seniors, with a focus on LGBT residents.
Also, during the supervisors’ meeting, Supervisor Matt Haney announced he’s introducing a ballot measure for the November 2020 election. The measure, called The Clean City Act, aims to reform the way the city’s streets are cleaned.
The measure would create a new department of Street Cleaning and Sanitation to cover street cleaning, taking over for the large Public Works Department, according to Haney.
Additionally, the measure would mandate basic cleaning of streets, and the management of trashcans and public restrooms.
“I don’t have to tell anyone that our current system for keeping San Francisco clean has completely failed,” Haney said in a statement.
“Public Works just isn’t doing the work that common sense dictates they should be doing to make our streets clean. Just putting a new ‘Mr. Clean’ in place is not going to change that, we have to design a system that can deliver results,” he said, referring to the appointment of Interim Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinried.
Degrafinried replaces former Director Mohammed Nuru, also known as Mr. Clean. Nuru resigned Monday, following his arrest by FBI agents late last month in connection with an alleged scheme to bribe a San Francisco International Airport commissioner for help in obtaining a restaurant concession.
Lastly, Supervisor Shamann Walton introduced a resolution calling for reparations for the city’s African-American community. Back in December, the NAACP San Francisco branch called for reparations for African-American residents using income from the city’s hotel and marijuana taxes.
“Reparations are a financial recompense for African Americans whose ancestors provided free labor for hundreds of years and lived through the Jim Crow era. The enslavement and overall persecution of African Americans in the U.S. has enriched the U.S. and created disparities in income, wealth and education between blacks and whites and almost every other population,” Walton said.
Walton’s resolution calls for a working group to convene, tasked with developing a reparations plan.
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