Bay Area Battle Begins Between Realtors And Activists Over Laws Limiting Speculation in San Francisco

gentrification demonstration

As Silicon Valley buyers moved in to San Francisco, prices for rentals and single-family properties have pushed sky-high. As Candy reported, the bus routes that shuttle employees to and from the Facebook and Google campuses have been protested and picketed by folks fed up with increasing cost of living and being pushed out of the city.

But two laws that went into effect this year to slow speculation and perhaps curb the high rate of evictions under the Ellis Act, which allows owners to evict renters in the case they no longer wish to be landlords. The city is prohibited from issuing permits on Ellis Act properties for 10 years after an eviction, or for five years if the owners chooses to move back into a property.

Realtors have filed suit, saying the law restricts property owners from seeing the full benefit of their real estate ownership. Here’s what they said in the SF Examiner story:

“The San Francisco Association of Realtors supports the rights of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them. This legislation only exacerbates the problems families face in finding adequate housing and drives out the families that have created the diversity we want and celebrate in our city,” said Walt Baczkowski, the trade group’s CEO, in a statement.

The question still remains — at what point does the city step in when housing prices grow so out of control to threaten the very makeup of the city? If you haven’t already, read Candy’s thoughtful breakdown on the matter and tell us: Do Realtors have a leg to stand on in this fight? Or is the city’s mandate too harsh in that it impedes development?

 

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