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Supervisor Scott Weiner Introduces Legislation to Build New In-Law Units in the Castro

The Legislation: Supervisor Scott Weiner introduced legislation that would allow homeowners to construct additional dwelling units within the existing envelope of their residential building, legalizing the construction of in-law units. The legislation only applies to buildings within the Castro District and Noe Valley neighborhoods and units that reside within buildings that were built pre-1979 and are under rent control. The legislation is currently being held in committee for 30 days before being heard again.

REALTOR® Impact: If the legislation passes, REALTORS® could discuss with homeowners or potential homeowners the possibility of building in-law units within their property, and the potential income that would come from renting that in-law unit. The building must be within the Castro Street Neighborhood Commercial District or within 1,750 feet of district boundaries.

Supervisor David Chiu Authors Legislation to Give Priority to Ellis Act Displaced Tenants

The Legislation: Supervisor Chiu has authored legislation that would give Ellis Act Displaced Tenants higher preference when applying for assistance under all affordable housing programs administered or funded by the City. The legislation attempts to mitigate the impact of Ellis Act evictions on tenants.

REALTOR® Impact: The legislation has no significant impact on REALTORS®, as it only applies to rental properties that are under affordable housing programs funded or administered by the City.

Access to the Nevada County MLS is Now Live!

SFARMLS participants and subscribers now have full reciprocal access to the Nevada County MLS. The addition of the Nevada County Association of REALTORS® expands the network of MLSs which SFARMLS users are able to access to a total of 7 MLSs encompassing 22 counties in California.

November Election Results - After the Ballot

PropARallyA week after the November 2013 election, your Governmental Relations staff looks back to help you understand and analyze the ballot results.

Turnout - Only 27.91% of voters turned out to vote this year, making 2013 a historically low turnout election.  The low turnout skews the results of the election towards those campaigns which were able to mobilize their base most effectively, and may make the election results less representative of the general sentiment of the city. 

Assessor-Recorder - Incumbent Carmen Chu won by a landslide in her unopposed special election, winning 97.34% of all ballots. She was appointed by the Mayor earlier this year, and so she will have to run for re-election again in November 2014 for her first full term in office.

City Attorney & Treasurer -  Incumbents Dennis J. Herrera and Jose Cisneros both also won by landslides in their uncontested elections, winning by 97.36% and 97.31%, respectively.

Board of Supervisors, District 4 (Sunset) - Katy Tang beat her opponent Ivan Seredni in her first-ever election, winning handily by 83.38%.  Katy Tang was also appointed by the Mayor earlier this year to fill in Carmen Chu's Supervisorial seat when she moved over to become the Assessor-Recorder. She will also have to run for re-election again in November 2014.

Proposition A (Retiree Healthcare Trust Fund) - Proposition A was passed by voters, 68.59% to 31.41%.  Proposition A helped reform and protect public employee healthcare funding in the city, without raising new revenue or creating new taxes.  It was supported by most of the unions, business groups and elected officials in the city.  It faced small opposition by the Green Party, Libertarian Party, and a local union SEIU 1021.  SFAR supported the Proposition.

Proposition B & C (8 Washington Development Project) - Propositions B and C were both soundly defeated at the polls, with 62.51% and 66.72% of voters respectively voting "No."  Proposition B and C would have allowed the 8 Washington development project to move forward in the City, expanding residential housing along the waterfront and creating funding for affordable housing. Opponents of the proposition claimed that it was building a "Wall on the Waterfront" and depicted it as an example of the city only building "housing for the rich." Polling as late as mid-September showed that Propositions B and C, which would have allowed the 8 Washington development project, could pass by a slim margin. However, with the continued drumbeat from the local press about evictions and housing affordability, pundits believe the electorate was nervous about the issue of housing affordability and voted accordingly. This sentiment correlates with the recent Committee on Jobs poll which found that the number one concern among San Francisco residents was the cost of living in the City. SFAR supported Propositions B and C.

Proposition D (Drug Pricing Reform) - Proposition D was passed by voters by 79.83%.  Proposition D was a non-binding policy statement that encouraged the City to negotiate with large drug companies over the pricing of drugs that they purchased for use in public health clinics. It faced no large opposition.  SFAR did not take a position on Proposition D.


This Year at the California State Capitol

With the State legislature adjourning on September 12, this year’s legislative cycle in the State Capitol has come to a close. Below is a quick summary and update of the legislative bills that the California Association of REALTORS® supported and opposed in 2013.

AB 1229 (Toni Atkins) – Inclusionary Zoning

What It Would have Done: AB 1229 would have allowed local governments to force newly constructed housing developments to provide new rent controlled units at the site of the development, significantly expanding the stock of rent controlled units in California.

REALTOR® Impact: AB 1229 effectively reverses the state-wide rent control limitations that were established in the landmark “Costa-Hawkins” law sponsored by C.A.R. in 1995. Additionally, by forcing new housing developments to include below-market-rate units in their financing structure, AB 1229 would have significantly slowed the development of new housing across the state.

C.A.R. Position: Oppose.

What Happened: AB 1229 narrowly passed the Assembly and State Senate houses with heavy grassroots opposition from REALTORS®. Governor Brown vetoed AB 1229 on October 13, 2013 thereby killing the bill.

SB 30 (Ian Calderon) - Debt Forgiveness Income Tax

What It Does: SB 30 would have provided tax relief to property owners who are selling their homes in a short sale. It would have brought California into alignment with the federal government’s Mortgage Debt Reduction Act of 2007, which forgave borrowers from income tax liability on debt forgiven in a short sale.

REALTOR® Impact: SB 30 would have guaranteed that homeowners, particularly ones with underwater mortgages, could short sell their homes without fear that they would face income tax liability from the debt forgiven in a short sale. It would have allowed distressed homeowners to regain financial stability without being penalized by the government.

C.A.R. Position: Support, Sponsored.

What Happened: In the Senate Appropriations Committee, SB 30 was “linked” to another bill, SB 391, which meant that SB 30 could not become law without SB 391 also passing. C.A.R. strongly opposed linking the two measures, and worked through the year to unlink the bills. SB 30 became a “two year” bill, and can be passed and signed into law as late as April 14, 2014.

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