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San Francisco County, CA November 6, 2001 Election
Smart Voter

Affordable and livable housing / landlord-tenant rights

By Steve Williams

Candidate for City Attorney; City of San Francisco

This information is provided by the candidate
"San Francisco deserves the fair, but strict, enforcement of its fire, health, building and housing codes; it is unacceptable that 29-day "musical room" evictions are tolerated in Single Room Occupancy units. Similarly, San Francisco deserves decided interpretation and implementation of its Rent Control Ordinance, in-law unit legalization, enforcement of the live-work ordinance and protection of existing housing stock." - Steve Williams
I am the ONLY candidate in this race who has been saving affordable housing by fighting against illegal residential demolitions. Once these units are demolished - and replaced with non-rent controlled housing - the affordable housing stock of our City is diminished.

I believe that the Office of the San Francisco City Attorney can be an advocate for tenants' rights, taking immediate action against landlords who violate the City's ordinances. I also believe that landlords who treat tenants fairly and honestly should not forced to remove tenancies from the City's depleted rental housing stock.

As the City Attorney, I will take the following actions:

  • Give REAL enforcement effort and consideration to the Master Plan Priority Policies requiring retention of the existing housing stock. The existing housing is the only affordable housing for rent or purchase. Its protection is the only way to maintain the economic and cultural diversity of our neighborhoods.

  • Hire additional investigators within the City Attorney's office to enhance residential building code enforcement;

  • Enhance the enforcement of the City's Single Room Occupancy laws and reduce the social cost to the City by suing hotel owners who choose to illegally evict tenants after 29 days;

  • Defend vigorously the City's Rent Control Ordinance from attack by large real estate interests and speculators. As the leading neighborhood land use attorney in the City over the last five years, I have litigated and stopped Residential Builders Association projects, including illegal live-work units, all over the City. Unlike all of my opponents in the race, I personally - and publicly - endorsed Proposition L and opposed Proposition K last November.

  • Examine the legalization of in-law units, including the inclusion of many units that should be under rent control, but are not because the building was constructed after 1979. I support the inclusion of all illegal in-law units in non-rent controlled buildings to be under rent control.

"Joe O'Donoghue has really been the leader of a hostile takeover of this City. The Residential Builders' Association claims to be building us out of the housing crisis but are actually driving up prices with illegal demolitions of affordable and/or rent-controlled units and replacing those with new buildings at market prices." -Sup. Jake McGoldrick, San Francisco Magazine, February 2000 "Neighborhood Bully"

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