A view looking up toward both low and high-rise resdential buildings in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood.

Would Tax on Vacant Homes Be Enough to Push Owners to Lease Empty SF Units?

Designed to combat San Francisco’s long-standing housing shortage, an empty homes tax on the November ballot, Proposition M, would apply to multi-unit residential buildings with prolonged vacancies. Voters will decide the fate of the measure that has garnered support and criticism for its exemptions and low tax amount.   

While revenue from the empty homes tax would go toward rent subsidies and affordable housing, its architect, Supervisor Dean Preston, stressed that its primary purpose is returning vacant units to the market.