by Thomas K. Pendergast
(Originally published on April 23, 2013, on SFBay, a news website for the San Francisco Bay Area.)
Two San Francisco supervisors seeking to loosen up restrictions on converting Tenancy In Common housing into condominiums withdrew support in committee Monday for a proposal they themselves sponsored, yet two others recommended it and sent it on to the full Board of Supervisors.
The City is dealing with what many say is a bottleneck of homeowners who want to convert their TIC residential units into condominiums, thanks to a lottery system that limits these conversions to 200 per year.
To counter this a proposed ordinance would create a bypass of the lottery that would allow at least 2,000 — and up to perhaps as much as 2,600 TICs — to convert to condominiums in the next dozen years.
Critics, however, say the legislation introduced by Supervisors Mark Farrell and Scott Wiener last year created an opening for real estate speculators to eventually carve up The City’s rental housing stock by taking advantage of the situation.
A chronic problem for The City, several attempts to fix this situation by past Board of Supervisors over the years have failed.
Yet this time they worked out a compromise but only if all sides stick to the changes proposed last week by Board President David Chiu and Supervisor Norman Yee, with support from Supervisor Jane Kim, which were crafted to address many of the tenants’ concerns.
At the Board of Supervisor’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee Monday, Supervisor Mark Farrell, who authored the legislation and has invested much time and effort into adjusting it to pass the full Board’s vote (including making 40 amendments) announced he was withdrawing his support for his own legislation.