Randy Shaw clarifies San Francisco’s Residential Hotel Ordinance amendments to The Examiner, saying it will ensure that residential hotel units are not rented to tourists in violation of city law. This after The Examiner claimed that the amendments would encourage harassing litigation by tenant groups.
One or more scans of original printed documents are included here. To read the text of these documents, please activate the Read the Text tab.
Your March 22 editorial opposing amendments to San Francisco’s Residential Hotel Ordinance grossly misstates both the purpose and substance of the legislation.
The purpose of the amendments is to improve enforcement of an already existing law. This law was enacted in 1979 because of undisputed evidence — well-chronicled in the daily press – of the widespread displacement of elderly, disabled and other low-income persons by the conversion of residential hotels to tourist use.
The amendments do not affect a hotel owner’s ability to sell a hotel. The market value of residential hotels has skyrocketed since passage of the Residential Hotel Ordinance, thus contradicting the repeated claims by some hotel operators that the ordinance is a financial burden. Further, some operators who are most vocal in opposition have continued to actively acquire residential hotels during the past few years.
The legislation does not require hotel operators to rent to the homeless, nor even to low-income people. The amendments will simply ensure that residential hotel units are not rented to tourists in violation of city law. Moreover, your editorial does not mention that the amendments reward honest hotel owners by actually increasing their tourist allotment during the winter months.
I find it particularly demeaning for The Examiner to claim that the amendments will encourage harassing litigation by tenant groups.
The ordinance is designed to protect our city’s largest supply of affordable housing. It is a far weaker restriction on business than rent control and zoning laws, and serves a compelling public purpose. Fortunately, the mayor, the Board of Supervisors, and the hundreds of people who have attended hearings on the issue recognize that if our city is going to do something concrete about preserving affordable housing, then improving enforcement of the hotel ordinance is crucial.
Executive director Tenderloin Housing Clinic, S.F.