California Apartment Landlords Dump Properties Ahead of Rent Control Vote

By Laura Kusisto : wsj – excerpt

Investors, housing advocates gear up for a fight, expected to spend tens of millions of dollars on campaigning

A push to expand rent control in California is sending a chill through the state’s apartment industry, prompting more investors to sell properties or hold off on buying.

Ben Lamson, whose family owned just under 100 apartments in the Inland Empire area in southern California, said he has sold about 70 units and is in contract to sell the remaining ones. He is taking all the money and investing it in properties in the Las Vegas area, he said…

“These renter groups are starting to speak out and say, ‘These rents are ridiculous.’ They’ve gotten more organized than they ever have been,” he said. “I started getting a little freaked out or a little scared or concerned [that] this could really happen.”.

In late April, a coalition of housing advocates said they submitted some 595,000 signatures, more than enough to get a measure on the ballot in November to repeal Costa Hawkins, state legislation that prevents cities and towns from imposing rent control on buildings constructed after 1995 and on single-family rentals.

Both sides are gearing up for a fight and are expected to spend tens of millions of dollars on campaigning… (more)

The threat of returning rent control decisions to the local governments by repealing  state controls seems to be having some effects already.

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Supes rebuke Planning Commission

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Hotel rejected; pot clubs limited; Kim wants more sunshine on dark money … the last board meeting before summer break was packed with action

The Board of Supes rejected a hotel project on Hyde Street today, sending a clear message that a residential building where tenants have been displaced by fire can’t be turned into another use.

It was also a sharp rebuke to the four Planning Commission members who were appointed by Mayor Ed Lee….

“This would be a policy statement that we don’t believe in the rights of tenants to return,” Peskin said. “This would be a statement that it’s okay to have a fire and tell people you can change the use and not allow return.”

He noted that “this is a teachable moment” for planning staff and the commission.

It’s rare for the supes to do this. I hope the Planning Commission (and the mayor) was listening… (more)

 

Explaining why SF has a housing crisis — and who’s at fault. In ten minutes

Calvin Welsh on SF Housing: Past Policies (10 min. video) – thanks  to 48hills

Watch a real historian who was there through it all tell you the truth. It’s the best ten minutes you’ll spend all day.

Video by Peter Menchini/Maya Media