A new study by the San Francisco budget analyst finds that the number of evictions jumped 38 percent between 2010 and 2013. Evictions under the state’s Ellis Act, which allows landlords to evict tenants in order to take units off the market, increased even more sharply. But apartment owners point out that eviction numbers are actually well below their 2000 level. As part of our Priced Out series on the high cost of living in the Bay Area, we discuss evictions and rent laws in San Francisco.

Sara Shortt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, a tenants rights organization that offers free counseling for San Francisco tenants
Marla Bastien Knight, tenant facing Ellis Act Eviction
Janan New, executive director of the San Francisco Apartment Association
Jeanne, San Francisco landlord

  • knowit

    There is far too little turnover in the housing market and too little affordable rental housing. The stock of available housing is very tiny compared to the millions of built properties. A person who bought a home 30 years ago on the cheap will not sell it today for 5 or 10 times what they paid, or even rent out a room. In times of economic distress owners are oblivious and complacent. Without enough property being rented out or sold, prices will always be far higher than is deserved and the city will not be able to accommodate the multitudes of tech workers and whatnot that it wants to bring in for new jobs.

    • Monsieur Oblong

      Poorly considered laws that benefit tenants at the expense of landlords means that fewer property owners are willing to take the risk of renting — if you can’t force someone out for not paying or for destroying your property, why would you risk it?
      Tenant rights are very important. But so are landlord rights. There are always unintended consequences to well-intentioned laws.

  • Sigmarlin

    Janan New’s constant refrain (in interviews) is that the poor suffering landlords have no other choice to cashout of their buildings but to evict. The data does not match her claims though. Ellis act evictions are overwhelmingly done by NEW landlords not the former landlords. Speculators prey on buildings that they can pick up cheap (thanks to long-term tenants who have paid their rent for decades on time) and then clear the building for TICs. New is quite disingenuous. How can she possibly defend companies like Urban Green (David McClosky owner) who seems to need to evict 97 year old women to make a profit.

    PS. The rent controlled units were not BELOW MARKET when the contract was signed. It is not the tenants fault if greedy speculators have surpassed their income. Give the tenants some credit….they are paying the owners mortgage afterall with their wages.

    • Steve

      But the former landlords sold to the new landlords because they could make more money doing that than by continuing as a rent-control landlord.

      • lbrmouse

        It’s dangerous to assign motives to people you don’t actually know and have talked to. Consider the scenario where the heirs of a recently-deceased landlord live far away and can’t take on a long-distance management situation, or, owing to poor estate planning, need cash from SOMEWHERE to settle the estate. Finally there is the reality that when the building changes hands – even through a trust – the Assessor’s office will bring its assessed value up to MARKET. The additional property taxes may be more than the building can afford. 60% of CPI doesn’t take the realities of property ownership/management into consideration.

        • Steve

          Oh, please. My point was: Sigmarlin’s contention that former landlords selling to new landlords had nothing to do with rent control is bogus. There are obviously all sorts of reasons why people sell. By the way, even your reply supports my contention – you say the additional property taxes may be more than the building can afford. Exactly. With market-rate rents, the property taxes would presumably be affordable.

  • Sam Badger

    San Francisco needs more subsidized public housing. Until then, rent control is the only reasonable, fair option to protect the poor from the economic whims of property owners. San Francisco’s housing is simply too expensive, and any legal handout to the landlords only worsens that.

    • Monsieur Oblong

      How do you choose who wins and who loses? I have a well above average income, but do not want to live in SF at the current purchase or rental prices; I don’t think it’s worth the money. But I’ll take a low-priced rent-controlled property, thanks!!

    • Chris DeLong

      I agree with your intentions. The city is quickly sending an entire class of people and a certain subset of its history across the bay or south on the peninsula. And that is sad. But your solutions will not solve the problem, they will exacerbate them. It is basic macroeconomics that subsidization will artificially increase prices, further worsening the problem. Rent controls will decrease the incentive to invest in property and decrease the incentive to maintain current properties. Housing is expensive because the market is being forced to raise the price. The real problem is a shortage of supply. But I suppose you are opposed to an increase in supply as well. Right? God forbid any development in this city.

      • Sam Badger

        Um the point is for city government to build more housing. I was thinking that was implicit in saying that the city needed more subsidized public housing. I agree it’s a supply issue, and it’s a supply issue that expensive private condos can’t fix.

        • Chris DeLong

          I am sorry to continue this intellectual admonishment. Additional subsidized housing will do nothing to lower the cost of housing in the city for anyone except the extremely destitute. In contrast, as with all programs of subsidization the market price will increase. Additional luxury condos are actually the exact antidote to this problem. Indeed the extreme price increases are specifically indicative of this need. The city housing market is figuratively screaming for high-priced development. Look at the price! Is your intellectual tool chest entirely devoid of basic economic theory? Flood the market with luxury condos and apartments, prices will fall precipitously. The demand for more reasonable accommodations will fall as the hipster, tweeting, youthful, computer-not-so-genius moves into his status symbol and the rest of us begin to prosper again. Arguments like yours are down right moronic and founded on envy, jealousy, and a contempt for the “elite.” Who cares? Let’s consider common sense reform founded in economic theory.

          • Sam Badger

            I don’t think it’s a zero sum game. I’m not saying nice condos can’t be built too. The point however is that the population of people who need rent control cannot afford to buy in to that luxury condo market, and still probably wouldn’t be able to even if there was a bigger supply. It’s not just an issue of the “extremely destitute” it’s an issue of working class people who are priced out of the city in which they work. Does there have to be an increase in luxury condos to reduce the prices for upper income residents? Perhaps, and you’re right that the prices on upper end housing would go down. The problem which rent control seeks to alleviate, however, isn’t the pricing of those upper end luxury condos but the kinds of homes that the working class needs but cannot afford.

            Insulting people and talking about the “Envy” of the needy is simplistic. The market is amoral and doesn’t distribute value according to who needs it or who works the hardest, it distributes value according to those who can sell what they have to offer for the best price. Saying that those who lose out in such a system are just “envious” or “moronic” for wanting to institute policies which counteract the social problems that result is an attack on character (note how I’m not complaining about the “greedy capitalist landlords” – whether or not I think that landlords are “greedy capitalists”, I’m not making this a moral issue but a practical issue of workers, college students and retirees being unable to afford a roof over their head). Talking about “common sense” – if working class people are being priced out of the market, it is very “common sensical” for them to try to institute political policies that alter that reality. Driving the working class of San Francisco to Oakland, which increases the rent there and drives the poorer people of color who live in Oakland to Richmond, does nothing to serve the interests of that body of people whatsoever. It’s only “common sense” to try to increase the supply of low-income housing in the city too.

            This seems to be a consistent problem with the belief that markets are fundamentally the most efficient or fairest way of distributing value for everybody. Whenever one challenges certain aspects or consequences of it, they are simply derided for challenging “economic common sense” and it is assumed that they are merely following some kind of naive populist impulse, and not their basic social and economic interests. It shuts down all discussion and debate about the relative benefits and costs of the economic system, and makes it a debate about the character of anyone bold/crazy/stupid/naive enough to challenge aspects of orthodox market economics.

  • OrdinaryJoe

    The obvious solution to build more affordable housing. But how, where, and how to
    select who is qualified to purchase the housing units. How much to price the
    units? Who is going to pay for it? Where to build it? Bayview, Hunters Point? Pacific Heights, the Mission, Sunset, Richmond? NIMBY in the Bayview?

    The proposed solution is to stop inviting new tech companies to move to SF. No
    more tech jobs, no more housing problems. Of course the downside is less tax
    revenue for the City and no monies for pay for all the social programs and
    pensions the City Hall has in place for the residents and City workers.

    If you listen to some of the Supervisors, you can hear the whispers of eminent domain, taking properties from the owners and converting them to low income rental units. Elimination of the Ellis Act. The San Francisco Housing Authority can’t even get the elevators repaired and keeping the residents safe and secured in their units. How is it going to build new, manage, and maintain low income housing units for the poor people?

  • Monsieur Oblong

    It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. You can try to implement rent control and make it harder for people to sell via the Ellis act, but the fact of the matter is that housing values are going up, no matter how hard you try to deny it. Sooner or later, owners will find a way to realize their gains.
    As a renter, I’m happy that California has strong tenant rights, but you simply cannot deny economic reality. Housing supply needs to be increased; otherwise you’re just throwing money at the problem and arbitrarily picking winners and losers by subsidizing certain groups at the expense of others.
    I laugh at the complaints about adding “luxury housing” as if there are really different classes of housing. Increasing “luxury housing” does the same thing as increasing “middle income housing”, which is to say that it increases supply and influences prices downwards for all.
    Of course, increasing housing supply ALSO makes it more affordable to those outside the city, meaning that people will move in from outside, and put further pressure on prices.
    The fact of the matter is, many people cannot afford to live in SF. I am not willing to spend that much on rent, so I live elsewhere. I recommend others do the same unless and until housing supply is increased and prices come down. We cannot endlessly throw money at subsidizing certain classes of people to live where they want to live — be they millionaires, retirees, the working poor, or the middle class.

  • Ryan

    How does your guest respond to the uncontested fact that rent control ordinances reduces the number of overall units on the rental market and increases the market price of rents (a natural side effect of the newer renters subsidizing the cost of older, below market renters, and the consequent regulatory costs). It comes as no surprise to economists and others that realize the practical effects of rent control laws and ordinances on these people claiming they are now victims. Don’t turn the tables and blame the owners or housing.

    • Jennifer

      SO Ryan, just throw out the people with the trash? What if this was your mother, a solid citizen, retired teacher who has done nothing but give back to her community? It’s her “fault” she can’t pay $3700 a month per rent?? The landlord who sold the building to these greedy investors is at fault. The greedy insensitive investors are at fault. NOT the people who are trying to survive in a city they have lived in all their lives. Marla is a 3rd generation San Franciscan who raised her daughters on her own in the city and taught in the public schools her whole life. I feel sorry for you and all the others like you.

      • Ryan

        Economics has no empathy, so while tragic that people find themselves in a predicament, the blameworthy party is not the landlords, it is the inane regulation and ordinances past by unscrupulous politicians.

      • Monsieur Oblong

        I feel sorry for people who cannot afford to live where they’ve lived their whole lives. But I also feel sorry for those who do not understand economics. You clearly do not understand how complicated the problem is. There is a limited supply of housing. How do you choose who gets subsidized housing? How do you hold rents down for one unit without it causing rent prices to go up elsewhere? How do you subsidize expensive housing without bankrupting the city? How do you force landlords to maintain properties to a high standard if, in doing so, they lose money on the below-market rent?
        Then, once you’ve imposed your will on the market via legislation that makes no sense at all, how do you force land owners to rent under these conditions?
        There are common sense changes that can be made, but what we really need is more housing to make it more affordable for all. When you focus on a single case of someone who cannot afford to live in their old rental unit anymore, you’re ignoring thousands of others who want an affordable place to live. I want to live on the beach in Malibu, but I can’t afford it. Where’s my support?
        The fact of the matter is, *you* cannot make it affordable for everybody who wants to live in San Francisco to live there. If you did, you’d have tens of millions of people moving in. Is there enough housing for tens of millions of people? No? Well, sounds like supply is the problem.

        • Ryan

          The same people that want cheap housing for everyone also don’t want any new development (case in point, the voting down of the Embarcadero project this past Tuesday). Loosen development regulation. The board of stupervisors is more focused on making sure people bring their own bags to the grocery store and preventing consensual sex in massage parlors with redundant laws. Despite it not being San Francisco, Oakland is very nice and much more affordable. The situation is such that it does not require people to move out of the country, just move across the Bay.

        • Haz_Been

          Economics is not reality, but rather the study of a theoretical system meant to rationalize underutilized (or as I’d call it, hoarded) wealth. In addition, what the economic “thought-leaders” conveniently forget to mention is that this system depedns entirely on the RULE OF LAW (police and military) to protect the haves from the have-nots. That is imagined. When the security detail they have hired does not make enough to justify their service, they will be left alone and vulnerable. Be wary of such naivety. Your Google money will not save you.


      Rent control also allows for non rent controlled units to be able to be priced so high.

      If you own a 10 unit building chances are you are getting much more for market rate units than you would be without the rent controlled units.

  • Jon Gold

    This topic comes at perfect timing for me…been in an attic flat for 24 years, rent controlled, yes it’s a deal…landlord’s come through with appraiser and 2 realtors…I’m worried this unit is ‘illegal’ as it is joined to flat below and we cold be booted for ‘repairs’ as 2 flats become one unit…entire property has 4 units, 2 of which are way below market, 2 are up to today’s market rents, so, us low rent payers are the ones to move. Help!

  • SF Landlord

    Re: The guest’s comment about owners knowing what they were buying into with rent control — that isn’t always true. Many owners bought their properties long before the rent control law came into effect. And they may have long-term tenants who were in place before the law came into effect.

    • Mary

      Thank you! This Forum segment was extremely limited in everything but hyperbole.


      If you are buying a building in SF without doing your due diligence that is solely on you!

      Would you feel for the poor landlord if they said the same about foundation problems? Soft story retrofitting? Pest abatement issues? Doubtful.

  • erictremont

    I don’t doubt Ms. Shortt’s good intentions, but it is people like her who advocate bad policies that have effectively screwed up the rental housing market in S.F. Ending vacancy control will be like pouring gasoline on the fire, it will inevitably worsen the housing shortage. Also, I have a problem with discussions like this which tend to ignore the barriers to building more rental housing in S.F.—a few months ago I think it was Ms. Shortt who came on Forum to argue against the construction of “micro” apartments in S.F., one of the more practical solutions that anybody has come up for improving the supply of affordable housing in S.F.

    By the way, the real scandal with rent control is that it gives disproprtionate benefits to high paid professionals who don’t have children or pets.

    • Sigmarlin

      We don’t have vacancy control; what are you talking about? If anything Shortt would be FOR vacancy control.

      And would you please back up this high paid professionals claim? Many people push the myth but as a tenants counsellor I am not seeing any 6 figured folks coming into the office. You can’t just make things up or cite one anomaly as universal fact.

      • erictremont

        My point is that if landlords are not permitted to raise rents to market levels when an apartment becomes vacant, that will inevitably make the affordable housing crisis even worse. As for my claims about highly paid professionals, I think if you take a look at government census statistics for neighborhoods like the Castro, Noe Valley, Pacific Heights, etc. you will find that the median household incomes are well above the poverty line. I am not suggesting that everyone in those neighborhoods is rich, but the point is that there are lots of long term renters in the city who get a windfall from rent control yet they could well afford to pay market rents.

    • Monsieur Oblong

      It sounds like people who live in a city like SF live on a different planet from the rest of us. Apparently it’s a little club where those with a “natural right” to live there should be able to pay minimal rent their entire lives, and their kids should be able to stay at minimal rent, because “they grew up in the city!” Meanwhile nobody else gets to move in at any price. Talk about an immigration battle, this is worse than the folks who want to keep immigrants out by building a huge fence along the Mexican border!

      I know Sara doesn’t think she believes this, but how else do you decide who gets the cheap rent? It’s all about sob stories from people who already live in the city. No discussion of outsiders, and of course, no housing left for them either. I’m very sympathetic to those getting priced out — hell, it makes me sad when I see a poster on the telephone pole for a lost pet. But sympathy and anecdotes are no way to craft policy. There are more sob stories out there than there are units in all of San Francisco.

      I was blown away by the story about the landlord who was kind enough to rent at the same price for 30 years but then had to PAY them to leave. On what planet should you receive a massive below-market rent subsidy for decades, then get a bonus at the end of it? I’ll sign up for that, at the end of the 30 years I’d buy my own building for cash with all the money I saved.

      The alternate universe advocated by the “tenants rights” organizations simply doesn’t exist. I rent in the real world where I choose a place I can afford, and try to save my pennies, hoping I can some day afford a house in this crazy Bay Area market. If my rent becomes unaffordable, I move. You CANNOT centrally plan a housing market, and the dysfunction in San Francisco proves it. All you can do is manage supply, set common-sense parameters around habitability, eviction policy, etc, and let the chips fall where they may.

      Anyone “complaining” about paying below market rent for 10 years and suddenly finding themselves unable to afford to move to a similar place should be thanking terribly housing policy for all the money they saved over the past 10 years, blaming that same policy for driving up the rent in the new places they are searching for, and asking themselves what happened to all the money they should have been saving for that decade. (whew, that’s a sentence!) If you can’t afford it now, you couldn’t afford it before and you just got a 10 year gift.

      I understand why people push for family friendly policy — the sob stories make me sad, too! I don’t want people priced out to have to move. I don’t want poor people to not be able to afford a better life for their kids. I don’t want people to starve in Africa. But again, legislating by sob story DOES NOT WORK.

      • Matthew Reiser

        This was excellent. Agreed. Thank you!

      • JGSRELP

        You do realize that the amount of “pay to move” fee is no where near what you are imagining it to be.

        Do you like prop 13? That is new home owners subsidizing older homeowners with below current valued tax rates.

        You cant hate one and then like the other.

  • Alissa

    I was Ellis act evicted in 2005 when I shared a place with 3 other single people. Now I live in a one bedroom with my husband and toddler. We are stuck in our apartment because to upgrade in any way would mean more than doubling our rent. We are nervous about our landlords selling our building because we see them suddenly making upgrades. After 15 years here, i now see that SF is not friendly to families/students/middle income people.

  • abocha

    The rent control system is clearly broken, but the growing rental market outside of the jurisdiction of the rental control ordinance is clearly broken as well. My husband and I rented a condo not subject to the ordinance. In 2005 were evicted, without any compensation, so the unit could be sold. From there, we moved into a single family home where we’ve lived for the past 7 years. Despite adhering to the rent board’s annual increase amount since our move in, our landlords raised our rent by 20% this year citing the Costa Hawkins ruling. When we moved into this home we were a couple. We now how have a 20 month old and a second on the way. What are we supposed to do? We have no security with our housing. I agree that 1% increases aren’t sustainable, but what is a young family in San Francisco supposed to do? We are currently considering leaving the Bay Area entirely. It just doesn’t seem worth the fight to stay here anymore.

    • Monsieur Oblong

      That’s how rent works. You’re not *supposed* to be compensated if the owner sells. This is why people buy property — so that they are not subject to rent increases! I feel your pain — I cannot afford to rent in SF either. So I rent elsewhere.

      • abocha

        My point wasn’t that we should have been compensated for that eviction. Instead, I want to call out there are 2 very different rental markets in the city that are interrelated and rarely discussed simultaneously.

        For what it’s worth, we’ve also been trying to buy for the past 6 months, and have lost on 4 bids. The last two we were even the highest bid, but we lost to all cash offers. Rents have risen so much that it’s worth more to buy now. Only it seems we can’t do that either.

      • Mr. T

        But in order to buy, you have to have a lot of money for a down payment. Most people can’t save up $50,000 or $100,000 for a downpayment. Not everyone is lucky enough to inherit money from relatives. Not everyone is lucky enough to have their bid accepted on a house. Not everyone is getting raises that keep up with spikes in the housing market. There are many good, important jobs that don’t pay enough to live in San Francisco. People keep complaining about “picking winners and losers,” but by blindly blaming everything on the market and economics, you are effectively picking the haves over the have nots.

    • lbrmouse

      I’d appreciate knowing more about the situation that permitted the landlord to invoke Costa-Hawkins. Here’s an article: http://mcwrealestatelaw.com/what-is-costa-hawkins-and-how-does-it-affect-you/

      @abocha: where in the article is your situation?

  • Sigmarlin

    Again, Janan misleads…there are 1,030 apartments by OWNERS on VRBO right now, which is what Sara was referencing. All of these are illegal. But yeah, twist it to make attack the tenants.

  • Kezia Snow

    Extend rent control to ALL rental units in the city, not just the old buildings built before 1978. Yes, the original rent control specified it would not apply to new buildings after 1978 but it also exempted the small owner-occupied buildings. If we can change the rule to include owner-occupied, then why not change the rule to include all those many units built after 1978 too.

    • Monsieur Oblong

      How do you decide who wins the rental lottery? If prices are below market, millions of people will want to rent in SF.

    • lbrmouse

      Since Rent Stabilization is a social policy funded by property owners, @Kezia’s suggestion is not a tweak I’d be eager to make to the Rent Ordinance.

      If a reasonable means-testing algorithm could be created (not a simple task) then perhaps the taxpayers (represented by the Mayor and Board of Supervisors) would be willing to use some affordable-housing money to compensate small (also means-tested) landlords for the burden of having a rent-stabilized but deserving tenant in their building for decades.

  • Chris DeLong

    This entire discussion is only focused on treating the symptoms of the real problem. There is an extreme shortage of available housing. Why? This city and its people have an irrational aversion to new developments. So, what happens when the supply is artificially restricted? The price of that good rises, and it does so dramatically. It is completely astounding that the same people who are against the construction of new housing double-down on another completely ridiculous suggestion that rent control should be instituted. That’s right, throw out 250 years of economic theory. Ignore the common sense principles of supply and demand. That will solve our problem. Also, continue to punish the people who would invest in new housing and manage the current market. Continue to demonize them and tell of their greed. That’s a real good idea as well.

    • abolish

      Throwing Adam Smith around is a bit of a simplistic response to a complex socioeconomic problem. San Francisco has had new developments in recent years; prices did not go down. There are many more factors at work, notably the dynamics of the tech boom cycle.

      Booms bring a flood of new renters into the city for a few years. We saw it around 2000 and we’re seeing it now. Then, when there’s a correction, most of those renters empty out.

      If we didn’t have rent control, these cycles would wash away long-term residents and leave the city a ghost town. High turnover is toxic to community building.

      The most important thing rent control does is protect communities from this boom/bust cycle. Markets tend to be short term in orientation. Cities need to think long term, lest they destroy their core value.


      People have an aversion to over priced rentals and luxury condos being the ONLY thing built. And thats all thats being built. only 1 new rental building on Market has BMR housing in it, the rest? Insanely priced condo-style rentals for the uber rich or techie.

      Even the people that work for the city say we are grossly behind on building affordable housing for anyone that isnt in the tech world.

      Your view of this situation is extremely lopsided and very black and white. Im not sure you really see whats going on here. Rent control wouldnt be needed if you had more, much more affordable housing. Think triple the amount of new housing being built. Im all for raising height restrictions IF its not going to be used only for millionaire condos and luxury high rises.

  • Stephen

    Just want to urge Ms. New not to exaggerate the burden of rent control on landlords: One of the things she listed earlier in the hour as a maintenance expense –seismic upgrading–is not an expense but a capital improvement, which the ordinance clearly allows landlords to ammortize appropriately and pass through to the tenant. I’m a landlord, I know.

    • lbrmouse

      @Stephen: hopefully you also know that District 5 Supervisor London Breed wants to exempt mandatory seismic upgrades from the capital pass-through.

  • Guest

    My landlord’s bldg has increased greatly in value as have others. Janan is leaving out the huge appreciation in values enjoyed by owners. She speaks as though their bldg values are flat while their costs increase. Not true at all. Real estate is a great investment or else apartment buildings simply wouldnt sell in SF.

    • Chris DeLong

      Increases in valuation? Does that pay the bills every month? No. Does it increase the amount of taxes due and the insurance premiums? Yes. Go read an economics textbook and brush up on some basic financial accounting. A building is recorded as an asset at the purchase price. Appreciation in value means nothing until a building is sold. Which, by the way, results in capital gains. I am sure you have heard of a tax on that…

      • Sigmarlin

        Owners get huge benefits with mortgage interest deductions, deducting all costs with being a landlord, plus they get to pass through major capital expenses which Janan tried not to mention. You can even deduct your gas to go and check on your building. The largest abuse of the tax code is depreciation however. Claiming the building is losing value over the years when it is clear it is increasing in value. And with every new owner the process of depreciation starts fresh.

        • lbrmouse

          . . . and when the building is sold (or inherited) the claimed depreciation is taxed!

          Depreciation was written into the tax code as an incentive for people to invest in a wide variety of capital assets. The fact that residential real estate does not seem to have a limited useful life of (I think) 29-1/2 years notwithstanding.

        • Chris DeLong

          You obviously have no understanding of depreciation. Which is fine, it is purely an accounting concept in your application. It does not describe the actual depreciation of the value of an asset. It simply accounts the portion of the original value of an asset used during an accounting period. It has nothing to do with the market value. And, further, it is a non-cash expense that should carry tax benefits. I find it interesting that you bring up mortgage interest deductions in the same breath, indeed every sentence is devoid of sense. Your ignorance of economics and accounting principles is excusable, your arrogance, however, is not.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    If it’s so bad to own an apartment in San Francisco, then why do apt buildings sell to new owners? If rent control was as onerous as guests argue, apt buildings would not change hands in the city and landlords would buy in non-rent controlled cities nearby. But that’s not the case, is it?

    • lbrmouse

      @Fay – when people HAVE to sell, they sell to whomever. They also may not get top dollar.

    • erictremont

      I don’t think anybody is suggesting that there are no apartment owners in the city who are making a decent return on their investment. I would assume that owners of buildings who rent to affluent households who are paying market rents are doing ok, but that is much less likely to be true of buildings under rent control that have lots of tenants who have been living there for 10 years or more and who are paying rents that have not kept pace with the cost of living. If the owners of such buildings were making a killing, then why is the supply of low priced rentals not increasing?

  • Matthew Reiser

    Summary of this hour:

    1. Market mechanisms are evil and should be ignored.

    2. Scold economic reality, and associated capitalists.

    3. Government fiat should protect whiny long-term locals.

    4. Property owners, operating within the law (Ellis Act) and funding the government via property taxes, should expect further policies from Apparatchiks who believe they can ignore market reality and efficiencies.

    For the love of God, please invite counterpoint guests who are willing/able to take equal speaking parts to represent each side fairly.

  • Matthew Reiser

    Please allow for open debate. Your program and hosts are too good to allow deletion of comments from the public. This type of censorship jeopardizes both academic freedom and free speech, and gives everyone at KQED a bad name.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor