Ending San Francisco Condo Lottery Is Jobs KillerRandy Shawbyline‚ Jan. 31‚ 2012
Real estate speculators are making an all-out effort to eliminate San Francisco’s 30-year old law restricting condo conversions. Their plan would allow unlimited condo conversions for a $10,000-15,000 fee, an amount which barely covers 10% of the cost of building a replacement rental unit. Despite claims that “now is the time to push the condo lottery bypass plan,” speculators have been promoting this plan since the Frank Jordan years. And the reason for their lack of success is that every time voters have been asked to weaken the city’s condo law, they have refused. And by large majorities.
Bypassing the condo lottery would be a public gift of tens of millions of dollars to speculators and others who are hardly in need. And it would be a huge job killer, eliminating desperately needed construction jobs and making financing for new condo projects even more difficult to obtain. The bypass would hurt newly built condo market in neighborhoods like Bayview and Visitacion Valley where the city has encouraged such developments. The condo lottery bypass is essentially a public bailout for failed speculators – many of whom evicted longterm tenants as part of the “deal.”