“Fiona Ma”

by on April 12, 2006

Editor,

I don’t understand what is so outrageous in Supervisor Ma’s comments regarding her position on the Ellis Act. Cleary it can provide opportunities for homeownership primarily through creating a more affordable price point via TIC ownership. A property owner should have the right to “go out of the rental business” if they choose to do so assuming they follow the appropriate legal procedures. A property owner may need to change the status of their property or sell due to relocation, divorce, retirement, etc. A renter cannot assume their unit to remain a rental in perpetuity as they do not hold title or ownership of the property. I don’t hold an anti-tenant agenda — I just don’t believe tenant rights should usurp property owner rights.

I keep reading about all these real estate speculators who evict tenants to flip buildings for profit and I’m sure they exist. But, what about the upwardly mobile individuals and couples looking for affordable entry into SF real estate? You sure aren’t going to find an affordable fixer upper in a brand new high rise condo building in SOMA.

You list recent statistics on Ellis Act filings in SF but can you provide the percentage of those which are legitimate in the sense that they were not triggered by speculators? This information would be extremely helpful to get a better understanding as not all Ellis Acts are for dubious reasons. It just seems as though the evil speculators are spotlighted in the media yet the stories of affordable home ownership opportunities are often overlooked. How about a story on a first time homebuyer(s) who is purchasing into a TIC where a protected tenant was not evicted?

I’m not going to pretend I know the answer to solve the complex housing/eviction issues facing San Francisco. One thing I do know, the only thing constant is change.

Steven Rutledge

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