This week, the San Francisco Planning Commission rejected SRO conversion applications that, if approved, would have converted over 200 residential units to tourist lodgings without offering substantial replacement housing for low-income tenants.
Since 1980, hotel owners wishing to convert residential units to tourist lodgings have been held accountable to specific guidelines for replacement housing put forth by the San Francisco Residential Hotel Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance. The conversion applications submitted in the last couple of years by six local hotel owners attempted to evade the Ordinance’s spending and quality requirements for replacement housing, leaving hundreds of low-income, elderly, and disabled individuals without decent housing.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin, recognizing the potential harm of the conversion applications, proposed new legislation to strengthen the Ordinance and restore SRO housing opportunities. Thanks to Peskin’s legislation, support from Planning Commissioners, and the organization and collaboration of local groups such as the Chinatown Community Development Center, THC’s CCSRO, and Tenderloin and Mission SRO tenants, the conversion applications were rejected.
THC has fought to preserve SROs and low-income housing opportunities since 1980. To see the city’s current Planning Commission and local Supervisors fight alongside our organization and on behalf of the city’s low-income and homeless population is indeed a marker of progress.
To see the original stories regarding the conversion applications and their ultimate rejection, visit the following links: