Next battle looms for city affordable housing advocates

With Proposition G a goner, affordable housing activists in San Francisco are digging in their heels and preparing for their next battle. Prop G, which would have slammed multi-unit investment properties sold within five years of their purchase with a heavy transfer tax, failed 54 percent to 45 percent, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Yes on G campaign manager Quintin Mecke told the Chron that the proposition succeeded in “putting the spotlight on the city’s serious housing crisis, and we will press on with the fight to stop speculation and displacement.” Mecke added that while “nobody likes to lose”, the affordable housing advocates were happy with how things transpired and are committed to returning to the ballot box to address evictions and speculation.

The backers of G had hoped that it would prevent speculators from flipping apartment buildings, while the No on G proponents said that the measure was a punishment for average homeowners who needed to quickly sell their properties.

Jay Cheng, leader of government relations for the San Francisco Association of Realtors, told the Chron that voters recognized that there is a true housing crisis, “but when voters looked at Prop G, they realized that it was overtly politically driven policy and was not a solution for the issues we faced.”

A new antispeculation tax, should it hit the ballot, will not be alone in representing affordable housing measures. According to the Chron, Mayor Ed Lee has put together a group that will consider a number of options including a possible housing bond.

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