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Remaking Rent Control — if Voters Approve

Cities would regain power to regulate rental housing if Proposition 10 passes in November, repealing Costa-Hawkins. But would that help or hurt the affordability crisis?

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Cities Sic the Taxman on Vacant ‘Ghost Homes’

Is an abundance of vacant units worsening the Bay Area’s housing crisis? That’s what some politicians have suggested. Their solution: a new tax on landlords who leave residential and commercial properties unrented. Oakland will vote in November and an S.F. measure is being planned for 2019. Vancouver, Melbourne and Paris already levy such taxes.

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Housing Speculators Again in Political Crosshairs

In their 2018 mayoral campaigns, former state senator Mark Leno and Supervisor Jane Kim emphasized the role of speculators in driving gentrification and displacement in San Francisco. A tax or lawsuits would target ‘flippers’ to protect tenants and rental housing. A 2014 measure failed. But S.F. voters may again be asked again whether speculators should be taxed.

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Voters OK’d Legal Aid for Tenants Facing Eviction — Now Comes the Hard Part

Over the past year, with housing still expensive and scarce, more than 1,600 San Francisco tenants have received eviction notices. On June 5, city voters made history, guaranteeing legal help to anyone facing eviction, regardless of income. San Francisco has until July 2019 to set up multimillion-dollar program under Proposition F.

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Hey, Can We Talk? Mediation Might Help Reduce Evictions

Amid San Francisco’s growing housing crisis, some now see mediation as an alternative to nasty, expensive court fights to keep tenants housed and property owners content. For more than 20 years, that approach has staved off evictions in the capital of Wisconsin.

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We need to raise $40,000 by the end of this year so we can continue producing independent local news online, on the air and in print. Thanks to the generosity of the many foundations supporting this year’s national NewsMatch initiative, donations we receive through December will be matched dollar for dollar. Your financial support makes our work possible.

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