Condo bypass legislation now before the full board


Controversial condominium lottery bypass legislation -- sponsored by Sups. Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener but substantially modified by tenant group that strongly opposed the original legislation, with the help of Sup. David Chiu, Jane Kim, and Norman Yee -- is finally coming to the full Board of Supervisors today (Tues/7, starting at 2pm).

Those involved in the negotiations say the legislation will likely to be returned to the Land Use Committee because of amendments being introduced today that the City Attorney’s Office has deemed substantial enough to require another public hearing. [UPDATE: The board voted unanimously to send this back to committee, which will consider it on Monday the 13th].They include a provision pushed by tenant groups that would scuttle the lottery bypass if the 10-year lottery moratorium is challenged in court. 

That moratorium was pushed by tenants and their supporters as a tradeoff for letting a backlog of around 2,000 tenancy-in-common owners buy their way out of the city’s lottery for the annual allowed conversion of 200 TICs into condominiums, which are more valuable and easier to sell and finance than TICs.

Farrell told the Guardian late last week that he was still negotiating with both sides and hopeful that he might be able to support the legislation, despite the hostile amendments that Chiu made which were opposed by Farrell and Wiener in committee.

San Francisco Tenants Union head Ted Gullicksen told us that the tenants’ side was willing to accept a couple of the technical amendments that Farrell proposed during negotiations with them, including exempting from the bypass fee the 19 building that have awaited conversion the longest and allowing some owner-occupier changes as the bypass is phased in over six years.

He said Farrell also proposed that if less than 2,000 condos opt for the bypass, then the difference in numbers would be added to the allowable number of condos in the first year that the lottery is restored, which the tenants’ groups haven’t yet agreed to.

Farrell and Wiener are also expected to offer other amendments, but the tenant groups have said they’ve gone as far as they’re willing to in allowing any increase in condo conversions, and they seem to have six solid votes lined up on the board.

Yet it’s still an open question how new amendments might affect those political dynamics, how the real estate industry (which simply wants as many condo conversions as possible) will respond, whether Mayor Ed Lee (who has avoided taking a position on the legislation) will sign or veto whatever emerges, and whether whoever is left unsatisfied by this deal will try to go to the ballot.

In other words, there may be some tricky political maneuvering ahead, so stay tuned. 


The owners and RE guys may simply take the view that what we have now is better. Those 2,000 TIC's will eventually go condo under the current provisions, so why give up long-term concessions just out of impatience?

I really do not understand why the tenants' lobby cares about this, since the tenants in these units left long ago. And anything that further strengthens rent control simply increases the probability of more Ellis evictions, for which this legislation is irrelevant anyway.

Both sides are being idiots here IMO, and just arguing for the sake of arguing.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 9:52 am

because renters are their power base.

They need to ensure that SF remains a tenant-majority town. That means making it as hard as possible for people to own their homes.

It really is that simple.

Posted by The tenant's lobby cares on May. 07, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

Renters aren't the unified block they may think. New renters pay the price for this dysfunctional rental market and recognize that the benefits only go to a select few. Also, most people realize that owning their home is an important part of having a secure future.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

It's true we need more Ellis act evitions to rid this town of the the greedy tenant voter block and take back our property from the rent control thieves .

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 9:12 am

conspiracy since the people who do Ellis Act evictions are mostly small landlrods and investors with no real contact with each other. They each do it for a very personal reason i.e. to make a property viable that has ceased to be viable.

Ellis evictions are the result when the pendulum swings too far in favor of tenants, just as rent control is the result when it swings too far in favor of landlords.

Ellis evictions are a useful barometer to how extreme a rent control system h#as become, which is why you only see them in a handful of California cities. It's like a safety valve.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 9:40 am

You had better be ready to roll up your sleeves . . and prepare for a good 'fight' . . : >).

Posted by Guest on May. 14, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

You can "fight" with the sheriff when he comes for you.

Posted by Guest on May. 14, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

If you really can't understand why this issue matters to renters and those who support a diverse city, then you're the idiot. Every one of those TICs used to be a renter's apartment. They got converted to TICs because banks started issuing TIC loans and Mayor Newsom tried unsuccessfully to expand the condo lottery a couple times, leading lots of real estate speculators and people looking to buy cheap homes in SF to convert more apartments to TICs. If the bypass is approved without a mortatorium, hundreds or thousands more apartments would be converted to TICs, displacing those renters. With a moratorium, many more SF renters will be allowed to remain in their homes. So this is not some academic exercise, this is about real people's lives and whether SF retains its diversity or becomes mostly a city of the rich that imports its service workers from surrounding cities. Get it?

Posted by steven on May. 07, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

and so what happend NOW to these owner-occupied units really doesn't affect any current tenants.

Moreover, those units are MORE likely to be re-rented in the future only as condo's, as nobody would be insane enough to rent out a TIC unit having finally gotten the tenants to leave.

Your other mistake is given away in your "other cities2 comment at the end. You think it's an outrage if someone has to commute in from Oakland or Daly City when, in any normal urban area, they'd just be another part of the same city anyway.

We effectively have rent control downtown and no rent control in the burbs. And, as everyone knwos, rent control drives up rents and so it is cheaper to live outside SF. So what? Move a few miles.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

If Ted G and the SFBG truly gave a shit about tenants staying in their units, they'd focus their energies on what is really creating the eviction "crisis" in SF: people not paying their rent, breaching their leases (Steven knows a thing or two about that one), and creating nuisances.

I think the idiocy comes from going nuts over Ellis evictions and harming middle class people in SF who are trying to achieve the stability of ownership as opposed to renting, while just ignoring the true causes of eviction in SF

Posted by GuestD on May. 07, 2013 @ 2:40 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

Ellis Acted buildings applies only to those where the Ellis Act was applied from 2006 onwards, so SOME of these conversions are are Ellised buildings.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

It really hardly matters at all if they now go condo, as the tenants are long gone anyway

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

If this were really about helping current TIC owners then Farrell and Wiener would have approved the first compromise, allowing stuck TICs to convert but followed by a ten year moratorium.

But. No.

Given everything they asked for, but with safeguards against future speculation, Wiener and Farrell threw these mythical stuck TIC owners under a bart train.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 12:59 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

TIC owners are exactly being helped which is exactly what Wiener and Farrell were demanding and what they got, and now they no longer back the legislation because of concern for "future TIC owners."

The devil it talks....

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

TICs are already too expensive. Ellis'ed units are the new entry level ownership housing.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 9:23 am

No idea what point you're trying to make there. TIC's are clearly NOT too expensive because they all sell. People can afford them.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 10:07 am

Subprime sells for sure until it doesn't.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 10:38 am

everything is selling in SF, over asking and within days with multiple offers.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 11:07 am

And yet those poor TIC investors keep getting screwed?"

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

leave, any more than tenants like to be forced to leave. The difference is that TIC owners can be helped without harming anyone else.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 6:08 am

Not harming anyone is factually incorrect. For every Ellis eviction, 10 to 15 tenants are bought out and forced to move. No tears for them from the scam artists.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 6:44 am

That does not harm anyone, as the tenants are typically long gone.

The Ellis Act is the law of the State, and doesn't have much to do with anything the city can do anythng about.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 7:08 am

Hense the absurdity of Plan C/ Mark Farrell threat to take it to the ballot.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

If it were the case that this legislation were about helping current TIC owners in units that were already off the market there would have been no problem with the first compromise legislation, allow 2000 conversions, with a ten year moratorium.

Farrell and Wiener freaked. This is about slowly chipping away at rent control. The current TIC owners are INVISIBLE to Farrell and Wiener and their refusal to support the compromise which offered them everything they asked for was a stroke of GENIUS.

Forced them to come out as what they are.

Researchers from the Universities of Bamberg and Bonn present causal evidence on how markets affect moral values

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

A second stroke of genius would be to not negotiate further, allow the legislation to fail, and have 2000 TIC owners screaming for Mark Farrell's head.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

As though these so called trapped TIC owners really exist.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

that every unit would be a condo already but for rent control.

This is about helping a few thousand SF'ers while harming nobody. I'm surprised that anyone is opposed to it.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

Every unit would be an affordable single family with kids in the yard and crazy aunts in the attic if it were not for this....

Federal government controlled 99.3 percent of mortgage market in 2012

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

I was talking about threatening to Ellis and then offering a lowball buyout which is how these TICs came about.

Real estate shills want to help tenants.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

"TIC's are clearly NOT too expensive because they all sell. People can afford them."

You understand this is about bailing out TIC owners from housing they cannot afford?

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 10:55 am

It will give many SF'ers a cleaner form of home ownership and more opportunities for a better deal on a mortgage.

Can't see why we wouldn't do that, as it is a win-win.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 11:11 am

San Francisco is not going to make money from it because first, most condo converters will pay less than the $20,000 and second, SF would have gotten the money through a real estate transfer tax anyway.

TIC owners bought an investment that was cheaper than a condo, but in return they knowlingly agreed to a higher rate. Its called a "contract."

I'm sick thinking that real estate people are pulling yet another in a long line of destructive scams. California mortgage scams collapsed the entire world economy and it simply will not stop.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

addition to the regular fees to the city for DBI, DPW etc.

So the city gains, those TIC owners gain, and nobody loses.

You just sound bitter that nobody is giving you a deal, but then i'll bet your rent is controlled.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 6:09 am

Once again since you didn't read my previous post, the fees are nominal and would have been paid anyway later on.

I am extremely bitter that the government is once again subsidizing the bad investments of wealthy property owners above the interests of people of lesser means, these days referred to as the 99%, although I guess you teabaggers wishfully called it the 47% last year?

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 6:51 am

typically costs about 10K-20K to condo a unit anyway in other fees and building work

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 7:09 am

Were we or were we not talking about money going to the city?

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

So much b.s. just to have the security of owning a home in SF.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 10:45 am

What's wrong with wanting a secure future, rather than being at the whim of a landlord?

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 11:13 am

without making any commitment or investment themselves.

And of course at a discount.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 11:39 am

Some people don't like getting trapped in interest only balloon mortgages.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 10:53 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 6:10 am

You have to be a psychopath to buy a SF TIC with a balloon mortgage. The board and the mayor dealing with these aggressive crazy people is hilarious to anyone with any experience with them because once they turn on everyone else, the only ones left to turn on are their friends....

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 7:07 am

who don't earn a huge amount and who were until recently tenants. They got the only loans they could at the time, and now they can be easily helped without harming anyone.

If ity's right to help tenants by subsidizing their rent, then it's right to help these TIC owners as well.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 7:12 am

Then there is nothing wrong with allowing 2000 conversions followed by a ten year moratorium, but giving Plan C what is asks for exposes the devil for who he is.

Farrell and Wiener went totally berserk.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

Purchasing a TIC with an interest only balloon mortgage is such a phenomenally bad idea it is probably symptomatic of a mental disorder.

The mayor has a real blind spot for things like this that makes lots and lots of people wonder what's up with that guy.

Posted by Guest on May. 11, 2013 @ 7:10 am

What is so fucking "secure" about owning some goddamned moldy home? Who would want to? Endless payments. Just the yearly taxes alone! The expenses for the thing never end. Or even one of these new bourgeois elite snooty pretentious "luxury designer home" condo closets on the market? Oh but they have granite counters in the tiny kitchen. Big fucking deal! As if anybody cooks anymore. Clearly, as one of the brainwashed sheeple you have bought into the "American [sic] Dream" bull shit as programmed by the U.S. corporate media and the real estate industrial complex. I've owned two homes and sold them both. Done with it! Both were a bad experience. I would not want to own a home anywhere least in this country. And it would appear that you are ignorant as usual and have not been paying any attention to the latest real estate bubble getting ready to pop.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

Where were the homes you sold located? Are you a renter in SF now?

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

And the only form of residency with "endless payments" is rent. In fact, make that increasing payments.

30 years and the payments stop when you own. With renting, the nightmare ever ends.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 3:41 pm