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Preserving Costa-Hawkins – The Big Battle Begins – by Noni Richen

Posted on 01. Aug, 2018 by in all, Magazine Articles

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We have a new mayor; let the resurrection of our beautiful city begin! We desperately need for the people living on public streets to be elsewhere. We need for the price of rentals and home purchases to stabilize. Fulfilling these two goals will be the toughest of jobs, requiring our army of people at City Hall to turn away from feel-good projects like banning fur sales and plastic straws.

Some voices at City Hall have suggested that small rental property owners like us can be part of the solution. We’ve heard from HUD/VASH and the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Services that we should offer our rentals to people in need. They offer cash subsidies and services for newly-housed renters, and ask what it would take for us to participate. Here’s what it will take: a written policy, preferably legislation that will guarantee that we can regain possession of a rental unit without lengthy, expensive battles if the rental situation does not work out. We’ve presented this idea to two supervisors and to Director Kositsky of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Services. Is anyone listening?

The forces we have mustered to push back the voter initiative to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act have been a little slow to gel, but are now in place. But we need everyone’s help. There are many ways we can describe to acquaintances how the consequences of repealing Costa-Hawkins will affect them. We can tell our friends with single-family homes and condos that their homes could soon also come under rent and property control. Think you can take a short work assignment elsewhere, rent out your home, and retrieve it when you return? Think again. Even if you’re able to regain residency, if you want to leave again years later, you may be severely limited in the rent you can charge new renters.

To renters, we have an honest and responsible message: If you think it’s hard to find a rental now, imagine how hard it will be when builders have no incentive to build rentals and owners resist renting out units, preferring to sell them or, worst case, keep them to use as home offices, etc.

This Fight Will Take a Big Pot of Money

Fighting the outrageous concept of removing our legal protections is going to take a big fight, and that means raising a big pot of money. A few members have sent checks to SPOSFI to help defray our campaign expenses; thank you!

We have pledged $25,000 of a bequest from a member to begin paying the professionals that our state organization, CalRHA, has hired. To keep the campaign running, we all must consider digging deep into our pockets to protect and preserve our small businesses. How much per rental can you contribute? $200? $1,000?  The PAC is established. We will send you envelopes very soon to fill out and insert checks. The PAC can accept credit cards. Each contribution must contain a little information about the donor. Be sure to include it. Please email us at info@smallprop.org with any questions. Thank you all!

Noni Richen is President of SPOSFI.  Reprinted with permission of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI) News.  For more information on becoming a member of SPOSFI or to send a tax-deductible donation, please visit their website at www.smallprop.org or call (415) 647-2419.

[Editor’s Note: You can also use the online donation form below to support the fight against the tenant’s free rent “Proposition 10” that will be on the November ballot.  It all goes to the same professionals mentioned above that will be running the statewide campaign.]

 

What Else Can You Do?

Donate today to help the fight to keep your property rights.

 

 

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