Local Ballot Measures and Campaigns


Ellis Act Evictions

Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to clarify that the date a property is withdrawn under the Ellis Act is based on the latest date that any tenancy in the property is terminated; to increase the relocation payments that owners must pay to tenants when evicting under the Ellis Act; to require that an owner who returns a unit to the rental market following an Ellis Act eviction must return the entire property to the market, with expectations for certain owner-occupied units; to claifry that paying punitive damages does not extinguish an owner's obligation to re-offer the unit upon re-rental to the displaced tenants.

Sponsor: Myrna Melgar

Legislation: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=10703301&GUID=BAA42283-FBBC-47FD-9A60-6E43DD0D46F3

Status: Passed


Tenant Organizing 

Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to require residential landlords to allow tenant organizing activities to occur in common areas of the building; require certain residential landlords to recognize duly-established tenant associations, confer in good faith with said associations, and attend some of their meetings upon request; and provide that a landlord’s failure to allow organizing activities or comply with their obligations as to tenant associations may support a petition for a rent reduction.

Sponsor: Aaron Peskin
Legislation: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=10514976&GUID=1E551549-F00F-493B-B2DB-4C5CFBB8880C 
Status: Passed 

Residential Vacancy Tax 

Excise tax on owners keeping certain residential units vacant, to fund rental subsidies and the acquisition, rehabilitation, and operation of affordable housing.

The measure would impose a tax on any “residential unit” in a building that is unused or vacant for half a year or more (182 days)—even if it is not half a year consecutively. The tax depends on (1) the size of the unit in square feet, (2) what year the tax is imposed (the rates increase year-over-year until 2026), and (3) whether the unit remains vacant for multiple years in a row. It starts at $2,500/unit in 2024 for the smallest vacant unit (< 1,000 square feet) and caps out at $20,000/unit for any unit over 2,000 square feet that is taxed in 2026 or later and that was vacant the year before as well.

Sponsor: Dean Preston
Legislation: https://sfelections.sfgov.org/sites/default/files/20220207_ExciseTax.pdf 
Status: Needs 9000 signatures to qualify for the November 2022 ballot.

Automatic Sprinkler Requirements for Existing High-Rise Buildings 

Ordinance amending the Fire Code to require automatic sprinkler systems in existing high-rise buildings; and affirming the Planning Department’s determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Sponsor: Aaron Peskin
Legislation: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=10401536&GUID=5078C726-EF52-4FA2-B519-5BAA5F599780 
Status: Introduced on 1/11/22. Sponsor is convening a working group consisting of SFAA, SFFD, SFPUC, and other stakeholders.

Tenant Opportunity to Cure; Eviction Protections

Ordinance amending the Administrative Code to require landlords pursuing certain types of evictions to first provide their tenants 10 days written notice and an opportunity to cure, unless the eviction is based on an imminent health or safety issue or the non-payment of COVID-19 rental debt; and making findings that the eviction protections in the Rent Ordinance are more protective than those found in State law pursuant to California Civil Code, Section 1946.2.

Sponsor: Dean Preston
Legislation: https://sfgov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=10341833&GUID=9C9CB71D-1B0B-437B-AD4D-B7DE38F69604   
Status: Passed