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San Francisco Rent Increase Hardship Appeals, Proposition F (June 2010)

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A San Francisco Rent Increase Hardship Appeals, Proposition F ballot question was on the June 8, 2010 ballot in San Francisco, where it was defeated.[1]

Proposition F, if it had been approved, would have allowed renters who lose their jobs or have their wages cut to apply for a financial hardship deferral so that any rent increases they might otherwise face would be deferred.[2]

Specifically, tenants could have applied to postpone scheduled rent increases if:

  • They were unemployed.
  • Their income declined by 20% or more.[3]
  • They were on a fixed income (as with the case of Social Security recipients)
  • More than a third of their income went to pay for rent.

Election results

Proposition F
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No85,07157.75%
Yes 62,239 42.25%
These final, certified results are from the San Francisco County elections office.

Supporters

Proposition F was supported by the San Francisco Tenants Union, the San Francisco Democratic Party and the Harvey Milk Club.[1]

Ted Gullickson of the San Francisco Tenants Union said, "We're seeing a big increase of people struggling to deal with rent increases who face eviction for nonpayment of rent. This can help keep people in their home."[3]

Opponents

Mayor Gavin Newsom opposed Proposition F, and so did San Francisco Supervisors Elsbernd and Chu, the San Francisco Association of Realtors, the San Francisco Republican Party and Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods.[3]

Newsom said that Proposition F was drafted in such a way that it allows renters to defer rent increases regardless of their total income. For example, if a tenant's income dropped from $200,000 to $150,000, that tenant would be able to defer rent increases under Proposition F's financial hardship provisions.[2]

Newsom also argued that Prop F would encourage landlords to increase rents on vacant units to recoup lost money. A Newsom spokesperson said, "It’s reckless and it will hurt people it most seeks to help, which is low-income renters."[2]

Newsom also maintained, through a spokesperson, that "It's another example of a measure that the board has slapped on the ballot without consulting the experts or the stakeholders, including the rent board."[4]

The San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board urged a "no" vote on Proposition F, saying: "The city's expensive housing market won't be improved by this tangled mess."[5]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Shall the City amend its Residential Rent Ordinance to add provisions for tenants to apply to the Rent Board to postpone most rent increases if they become unemployed, their wages decrease by 20% or more, or they do not receive a cost of living increase in their government benefits and those benefits are their sole income?[6]

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