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S.F. Law Would Give Nonprofits Dibs on Apartment Buildings for Sale

The legislation would make nonprofit organizations more competitive in the real estate market by letting them get ahead of speculators.
April 13, 2019, 1pm PDT | Camille Fink
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Francesca Cappa

A San Francisco proposal called the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act would give nonprofits in the city the right of first refusal for purchase of buildings with more than three units, reports Jared Brey:

If the law is passed, landlords who want to sell their buildings would first need to notify qualified nonprofit groups of their intent to sell. Nonprofits would have five days to express interest in making an offer and, if they do, another 25 days to work with tenants in the buildings and structure a deal. If the sellers then receive a higher offer from a private buyer, they would need to give nonprofits a chance to match the offer.

COPA seeks to address displacement and promote affordable housing by giving nonprofits an advantage over real estate speculators who often want to flip properties and are able to offer cash to sellers. It would bolster other efforts like the city’s Small Sites Program, which helps nonprofits by providing loans for building purchases.

The proposal will go up for a committee vote and then a final vote possibly next week. Brey notes that even with the legislation in place, a substantial and reliable funding source is still needed. "Despite the funding challenges, if the bill passes, the program will give nonprofits—and tenants—an advantage they don’t have today."

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Published on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 in NextCity
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