Curbing Inner City 'Condofication'

An editorial outlines ideas for dampening effects of California's Ellis Act, which allows landlords to "go out of business" and evict tenants, possibly in order to sell buildings for condo conversion.
January 1, 2006, 7am PST | David Gest
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"In a housing crisis, particularly an affordable-housing crisis, there's a pretty simple axiom that ought to guide city policy: Existing housing is valuable. It's way, way cheaper to keep affordable housing from being lost than it is to build new housing to replace it. That's why Sup. Chris Daly's legislation to limit some types of condominium conversions is so important -- and why the supervisors should consider going even further."

"Daly's bill...is aimed at the rash of evictions of low-income tenants whose apartments are turned into condominiums. The way the state's Ellis Act works, any landlord has the right to go out of business -- that is, to stop renting housing units -- and to evict all of his or her tenants. That leaves the building vacant and allows the landlord to sell it to people -- generally better-off people -- who want to buy their units as tenancies in common."

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Published on Wednesday, December 28, 2005 in The San Francisco Bay Guardian
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