June election keeps San Francisco rents on the rise

prop-f-english_imageSan Francisco tenants lost some relief with the rejection of Proposition F at the ballot on June 8th. Proposition F, a local San Francisco measure, would have limited rent increases for anyone in the city who has lost their job or has had a 20% income reduction due to the economic crisis.

Our outreach efforts on a shoestring budget couldn’t compete with the millions that the landlords spent on making sure that every SF household heard their lies, which claimed that the measure would solely benefit wealthy tenants. In essence, the conservative landlord groups’ election strategy took advantage of class resentment in their messaging to the extent that even democratic gay clubs like Alice B. Tolkias sided with conservative landlord groups in their reasoning for opposing the measure. The low voter turn out of 23% presented another challenge to passing Prop F despite the grassroots efforts, including door-to-door outreach, tenant meetings, and phone banking, by various tenant rights groups that included Causa Justa :: Just Cause.

Proposition F began as an economic relief package for renters that was passed by the Board of Supervisors last year, however, it did not survive a Mayoral veto. As a result, a highly watered down version of it was placed on the June ballot as Prop F. The original relief package had 3 provisions: 1) limiting rent increases for tenants who pay more than a third of their income toward rent, 2) allowing tenants to bring in extra roommates to help pay rent, and 3) placing limits on banked rent increases. For the June 8th Ballot, Proposition F had to be pared down to include only a limit on rent increases for renters who have lost their job or had a 20% income reduction due to the economic crisis.