Supes scramble to find TIC deal

Sup. Norman Yee is in the middle of talks on the TIC bill

Some San Francisco supervisors are scrambling to find an acceptable compromise that would prevent condo-conversion legislation by Sups. Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell from becoming a bitter battle that could be a no-win situation for centrists.

Board President David Chiu is meeting with tenant groups and trying to craft an alternative to the proposal, which would allow some 2,000 tenancy in common units to convert to condominiums. Wiener says the legislation is needed to provide housing stability to people in the almost-but-not-quite-a-condo world of TICs. Tenant activists who have met with Chiu say he's discussing ways to limit speculation, which might include a five-year ban on the resale of converted condos. But that won't be anywhere near enough for the tenant groups.

In fact, tenant and landlord groups are both talking to Sup. Norman Yee, who will be one of the swing votes, and who could introduce a series of amendments to the Wiener/Farrell bill that would be more palatable to tenants.

"They've had a couple of meetings," Yee told me. "We're just examining the issues to see if there's a compromise. It would be great if we could work something out so the supervisors could feel better about voting on this."

But any deal, Ted Gullicksen of the San Francisco Tenants Union told me, would require "structural reform of the future condo-conversion process."

Yee could probably get away with that -- he's never relied on landlords or real-estate interests for his campaign money, and there aren't that many TIC owners in his district, which is largely single-family homes. This won't be a vote that will make or break his future in District 7.

On the other hand, it could be a huge issue for Sup. London Breed, who represents a district with a huge majority of tenants and the most progressive voting record in the city. Breed insists that she hasn't made up her mind on the issue, and she told me she agrees she's on the hot seat here: Much of her political and financial support came from Plan C and real-estate interests that want more condo conversions, but she would face furious policial fallout if she voted against tenants. "I am open to a compromise, but only if it's good policy for the city," she said.

Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos are strongly against the TIC bill, and it's likely that Sups. Eric Mar (who got immense support from tenants in his recent re-election) and Jane Kim (who didn't support the measure in committee) will oppose it unless it's altered in a way that tenants can accept.

Naturally, Farrell and Wiener are on the yes side, as is, almost certainly, Sup. Carmen Chu.

That leaves Breed, Chiu, Yee, and Sup. Malia Cohen -- and three of them have to vote Aye for the bill to pass. Chiu wants to run for state Assembly from the tenant-heavy side of the city, but, as always, he's looking for a way to avoid an ugly fight.

The problem is that the tenants aren't going to sign off on anything modest; if they're going to accept the conversion of 2,000 units that used to be rental housing, they're going to want to be absolutely certain it doesn't happen again -- and that there are new rules in place that halt the rampant assault on existing rent-controlled housing.

So either the folks in the center -- Yee, Breed, Chiu, and Cohen -- are going to have to force the landlords to accept some long-term reforms that they won't like, or politicans like Breed are going to be forced to take a yes or not vote that could come back to haunt them.






This post, like many others from SFBG, seems like a warning shot toward the BOS to remind them how they need to fall in line or face the wrath of some constituency SFBG purports to speak for.

Funny how Wiener seems to ignore this stuff and was profiled in 3 magazine articles this week.

Posted by The Commish on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

"This post, like many others from SFBG, seems like a warning shot toward the BOS..."

Ha ha ha that's not the warning shot Commish. This is...

"A Wikileaks Cable Explained The Money Laundering Formula That Turned Macau Into A Gigantic Economic Success"

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 7:58 am

"Shares of Macau-based casinos got slammed in the last day amid reports of the mainland cracking down on the junket operators that ferry rich players into high-roller rooms.
Junket operators are widely believed to be associated with organized crime and money laundering."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 8:16 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 8:39 am
Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 3:17 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

The SFTU should focus on issues that might actually affect tenants rather than try and hurt a large class of homeowners who are all recent tenants anyway.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

You've made this comment how many times now? 40? 60? Over 100? Do you really think most of the people who read these posts are so mindless?

The issue with this legislation is that it sends a loud and clear signal to the real estate industry that this is the future path for converting tens of thousands MORE rent-contolled units. If this group of supervisors can be persuaded it's a good thing to do now, why wouldn't they or another group of future supervisiors think it should be okay 5 or 10 years from now too? The carnage against SF's most affordable long-term housing - and the attack on the tenants in 2-6 unit buildings who currently reside in them - would be long and persistent until another big build of up TIC units could be converted en masse.

These units are for the city's future, not commodities that specualtors and current politicians can play around with to give economic windfalls to the converters. These are the housing units that let SF be a world class city, allowing waves upon waves of smart, often young and talented people wash through the city, learning and growing as they pass through. They often leave some small or large permanent contribution to SF in their wake, just as the next wave of people who will pass along its shores living in these relatively long-term affordable housing units protected by rent-control.

Before anything is done with these units the city should be demanding state law changes to require that whenever a former rent-controlled rent (pre June 1978) is rented out ANYTIME in the future, regardless of its condo or any other "post-conversion" status, it becomes subject to the price protections of the rent-control law. And if the unit is rented out within the a 10-year window after condo conversion, it automatically reverts back to the rent of the last tenants, plus whatever annual rent increases that would have been allowed over the years, giving first occupancy preference to the former tenants if they were evicted without cause.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

be repeated with any frequency? There isn't any. It is a one-time thing to clear the backlog and make millioms for the city, while harming nobody.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

These units are already in the pipeline. They will get converted soon enough since the longer a building is in the condo pool the more chances there are it will be selected. The relatively small amount of extra fees paid to allow this conversion are literally chump change compared to the minimum $2-5 HUNDRED million dollars in value created by the conversion of 2,000 units, at an increase of $100-250,000 per unit after condo conversion.

You either don't understand the easy money that can be made in the real estate industry by converting rent-controlled buildings to TICs, or you know it all too well and are just playing dumb with the audience. I suspect the latter.

Without absolute prohibitons on converting ANY rent-controlled units to condos in the future, of course we'll continue to see the subtle and not-so-subtle evicitons of people from rent-controlled units in the process of eventual condo conversion. On a 4-unit building it's an easy increase of over $500-1,000,000 just on the condo conversion, so of course lots of people are drawn to the easy money.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 4:18 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

This will demonstrate the existence of light at the end of the tunnel and give the green light for the creation of even more TICs.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 4:56 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

Criminal banksters were rewarded instead of punish and they've more than doubled down on their stupid TBTF business model and are now given passes on criminal liability related to their financing of the illegal drug trade.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

Saves having to actually think.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

"allowing waves upon waves of smart, often young and talented people wash through the city"

...and then allow these people to age indefinitely in place in these units, denying them to new "young and talented people".

Because nothing says "young and talented" like a 55 year old, whose only significant life achievement is to hang on to a rent-controoled apartment for decades!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

"Because nothing says "young and talented" like a 55 year old, whose only significant life achievement is to hang on to a rent-controoled apartment for decades!"

...except perhaps a 55 year old whose life achievement is to lose everything to a slimy real estate hustler.

"NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Despite rising home prices, more than 30% of borrowers, or close to 16 million homeowners, were underwater on their mortgage during the first quarter, according to Zillow."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

And there always will be.

The rest of us just get on with our lives, and don't try and tell others what they should do.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

That's most of what you do here.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

LESS telling people what they can and cannot do.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

the consistent authoritarianism of your commentary.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

"No, I'm a strong supporter of less government"

Less government means your real estate crashes.

- We’ve Nationalized the Home Mortgage Market. Now What? -

Posted by Guest on Feb. 18, 2013 @ 12:02 am

I would support provisions which attempt to limit speculation. This is about creating more secure and stable home ownership.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

any property owner to sell their property at any time if they wish to.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

The unit can sell multiple times, no problem, but tight restrictions to ensure the unit stays under rent control if ever rented out in the future is a reasonable regulation.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

You people really are clueless. Do you even understand why the Ellis Act came about in the first place?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

the language of a bigot.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

"You people" as in "you Progressives". Following your logic Eddie, all the Progressives here are bigots because they use terms like "you right-wingers" or "you moderates" as pejoratives.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

Enough with all the divisiveness. This isn't about progressives and moderates. We need to stop the bickering and acrimony and come together in our common interests, like the Guests are saying. So let's just scrap this divisive class warfare legislation altogether. All it's done is reopen old landlord-tenant battles.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

practicing class warfare. Envy is no rational basis for public policy.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 8:06 am
Posted by Eddie on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 8:17 am

And increasing those property values once sends a flashing green light to future rent controlled apartment-to-TIC flippers that the more they bait into these crappy deals, the bigger the constituency demanding special treatment and laxer conversion rules over and again.

"They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate countless worlds, and we fall back. Not again. Not this time. The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther! And I will make them pay for what they have done!"

Posted by marcos on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 8:37 am

says Marcos from the comfort of his Mission condo. Hypocrite

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2013 @ 11:26 am

No hypocrisy at all, the people who converted our building played by the rules, did not scream and whine to demand special treatment by changing the rules to bestow upon them six figures in equity measured in evictions.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 21, 2013 @ 11:38 am

You are depriving tenants of affordable housing.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

he wilfully refuses to make his unit available to low-income tenants at an arrodable rent. And because he occupies a unit that used to be a rent-controlled unit.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 21, 2013 @ 11:48 am

condo owners envy the ever greater security of a SFH. Everyone wants what they don't have, but nobody is harmed by a TIC converting to condo.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 9:27 am

They should have moved to Oakland. Plenty of cheap condos there. I can't affrod a condo in Aspen either.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 9:59 am

move to Oakland. don't ask a SF owner to subsidize your rent.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 10:25 am

Renters are subsidizing their mortgages. I'm fine with paying a fair price for their product -cover expenses, maybe even make some money; but I don't think it's right to ask me to subsidize landlords' whole lives.

There's a big difference between rent control and TIC conversion legislation. I don't support rent control just because it helps poor people. I support it for primarily two reasons:
1. It's good for *all* of us collectively, because it ensures diversity in the city
2. It regulates prices to something more fair. I believe in the ancient principle of "fair price for goods."

TIC conversion does neither of these things. It's just a giveaway to a tiny special interest, at the cost of the common good.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 16, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

The fact that it is his landlord doing it via an enforced control of rent rather than the government via a Section 8 voucher makes little difference, except that the taxpayers don't have to find the cash.

Nobody really cares about diversity, least of all the endless parade of white male liberals with rent-controlled flats who support rent control just so they can live in a place that they cannot afford.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

the same lie about what constitutes a subsidy after every article. In my neighborhood, numerous Latino and other minority families live in rent-controlled apartments.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

Or all your neighbors? Is it a common thing for you to talk to your neighbors about how much they pay for rent, mortgage etc...?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

I was just countering the argument that only white people live in rent-controlled apartments. I talk with my friends and neighbors about all kinds of things. I know for sure that anyone living in our 20 plus unit apartment building lives in a rent-controlled apartment, and Latino families live in many of those units.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 6:03 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

But I know that I don't like you.

Posted by Eddie on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

You do judge people on the basis of their ethnicity and you're fascinated by me - your comments clearly illustrate both.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

It is pretty easy to figure out the tenancy of a building.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

I wouldn't know as I own a SFH. But I have friends who make a lot of money who live in rent controlled units in buildings which I'd previously never believed were filled with programmers and attorneys making $150,000+ per year and bragging about their rent controlled dumps.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

Tenancy as in rental, condo or TIC. You can always look a parcel up to see if it has been subdivided into condo.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 17, 2013 @ 6:36 pm