Senator Mark Leno has announced that he will be backing down his attempts to change the Ellis Act this year by abandoning his legislation SB 1439 after it was defeated at the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on a 4-3 vote.
The Ellis Act prevents local governments from forcing property owners to stay in the rental market against their will. Under the Ellis Act, property owners can choose to leave the rental market after they provide a certain number of protections for tenants. Senator Leno’s bill would have forced homeowners to own their property for at least 5 years before being able to utilize the Ellis Act, even if they were suffering a financial loss or hardship.
SFAR and C.A.R. opposed SB 1439 on the grounds that it would do nothing to solve the San Francisco housing shortage, violate basic property owner rights and only exacerbate the city’s housing problems. In coalition with AsianAmericanVoters.org, CREAA, SF Apartment Association, SF Small Property Owners, and Coalition for Better Housing, SFAR helped bring over 120 property owners and tenants to Sacramento to protest the bill, leading to its defeat in the Assembly Housing Committee.