Ron Conway, the widely influential angel investor, is asking tech CEOs across San Francisco to support Ellis Act reform, which will help slow no-fault evictions of long-time residents as rents across the city skyrocket.
The Ellis Act is a provision in California state law created in 1986 that was intended to let landlords go out of business and remove their units from the market.
But as market-rate rents have risen 14.7 percent year-over-year, a handful of landlords have used the law to evict longtime rent-controlled tenants, who are sometimes the elderly or are illegal immigrants with little legal recourse or financial resources to fight back. They then put those units back on the market for sale at a profit.
The Rent Board found that 186 apartments were served Ellis notices between March of last year and February 28, according to testimony last night at the city’s board of supervisors meeting.
Two San Francisco-based state legislators, Mark Leno and Tom Ammiano, have each drafted legislation that would give individual cities more flexibility in regulating Ellis.
Leno’s bill, which Conway is asking the tech community to support, says that buyers would need to own a building for at least five years before evicting tenants through the Ellis Act. Ammiano’s bill is more stringent and gives local jurisdictions the ability to enact a moratorium on Ellis Act evictions when the housing supply can’t keep up with demand.
Conway is asking that tech CEOs draft letters that could be attached to the bill as it gets discussed in in committees this spring.
Stand In Support of Ellis Act Reform to STOP EVICTIONS OF RENTERS IN SF
We ask that all sf.citi members support Senator Leno’s new legislation, Senate Bill 1439 to reform Ellis Act law in protection of tenants rights in San Francisco. TODAY, Wednesday, April 2 by 12 noon, please have your CEO, founder or a senior level representative of your company or organization sign, date, and affix a letterhead to the attached letter template, then email to Barry.Steinhart@sen.ca.gov, fax to 916-445-4722, or mail directly to Senator Leno’s Office as soon as possible.
Senator Mark Leno
Sacramento, CA 95814
By doing so, your letter of support will be submitted on the record in the state senate policy committee hearings starting the beginning of April, and will have the potential to significantly effect the process. Thank you.