SF Apartment : October 2017


Nose to the Grindstone

More than 130 housing-related bills were introduced by state lawmakers this year. The California Apartment Association’s Legislative Steering Committee examined each of these proposals, and CAA’s members and public affairs staff helped advance the best of them. Below are some notable examples of the bills intended to address California’s housing crisis.

To make sure communities build their fair share of housing, CAA sponsored AB 678 by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-San Fernando. This bill would financially penalize local governments that deny housing permits in violation of a state law that requires local government to make health and safety findings when they deny housing. An identical bill is also making its way through the process: SB 167 by Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.

To curb ballot box, no-growth measures, CAA sponsored AB 943 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles. That bill would require a ballot measure that is proposed by the voters to deter housing development to be approved by 55 percent of the voters instead of a simple majority. Measures that slow housing development are on the rise in California. And while cities have continued to grow economically, the approved housing slow-growth measures have not allowed housing construction to keep pace with business development, making it difficult, if not impossible, for individuals and families to find homes close to their jobs and schools.

A third CAA-sponsored bill intends to boost construction of micro-apartments. It has won unanimous approval in the Legislature and now awaits the Governor’s signature. The bill, AB 352 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, would help prevent local governments from establishing roadblocks to “efficiency dwelling units,” which are units that typically measure 220 square feet or less. They can be used to house university students and can provide shelter and services for homeless individuals.

Due to their small size, they are affordable by design. They help reduce sprawl because more housing units can be built within existing communities close to jobs and universities and urban centers served by public transportation. While many cities understand the importance of efficiency units, some cities, faced with community opposition, have enacted road blocks to this type of affordable housing.

AB 352 would prohibit local governments from limiting the number of efficiency units built near public transit or a University of California or California State University campus.

A number of bills have been introduced by lawmakers to fast-track housing construction. SB 35 was introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, to move housing development more quickly through the permit process when developers meet certain standards. It focuses on infill development within our cities.

Like SB 35, two additional bills in the Assembly and the Senate are also intended to streamline the development approval process. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, introduced SB 540, which would streamline the approval process to spur housing construction by having cities identify where housing needs to be built, adopt specific, up-front plans, and conduct all necessary environmental reviews and public engagement.

Assembly Bill 73 by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, would incentivize local governments to complete upfront zoning and environmental reviews and reward them when they permit housing on infill sites around public transportation. CAA supports all three measures.

Funding bills are also an important part of the solution and two bills are awaiting legislative approval: SB 2 by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, would establish a permanent funding source for affordable housing through a $75 fee on recorded documents. And SB 3 by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, seeks to provide $3 billion through a statewide housing bond to fund affordable housing programs in California. CAA supports both measures.

The legislature plans to complete its review in late September and send the approved bills to the Governor for his consideration. For an update and further details on all the bills in the legislative process, see CAA’s website at www.caanet.org.

The above content was provided by Debra Carlton, Senior Vice President of Affairs, California Apartment Association.

Bedbugs Ordinance

A new state law has been passed to curb the spread of bed bugs in California. The state ordinance adopts some of the San Francisco ordinance that has been in effect since 2012, but it does not circumvent the local regulations that we must all continue to comply with. While the new California ordinance took effect on July 1, 2017, regarding new tenants, and it will go into effect for existing tenants January 1, 2018, the San Francisco ordinance has been in effect since July 2012, and still represents the standard that San Francisco landlords must follow.

The SFAA Residential Tenancy Agreement already includes the required disclosure for new tenants, and this has been included in the lease since the local law went into effect. Although required since 2012, some San Francisco landlords may not have provided the required disclosure to existing tenants, so CAA has created a new disclosure form to help in this regard (CAA Form 36.1—Bed Bug Notification). The form is available at SFAA, or online at the SFAA or CAA websites.

Eradicating the spread of bud bugs continues to be a hot button topic that all California landlords must take seriously. SFAA offers a class to help local landlords comply with both state and local requirements. For more information, contact the SFAA offices.


On behalf of the organization and its members, the SFAA would like to recognize Saul Ferster for his work and support in the San Francisco rental housing industry. After 47 years as an attorney, Saul is closing the doors of his law offices to embark on retirement.

“I have enjoyed and consider it a great privilege to have interacted with and represented so many SFAA members. San Francisco is a tough place to be a landlord; solving my clients’ problems and helping to guide them through the thicket was what I enjoyed most. I’m going to miss that and the many warm and wonderful people I met in the process. Thank you, SFAA, for the valuable services, education, and for assisting me through my career,” said Saul.

Best of luck and warm wishes for your retirement, Saul!

Homeless Prenatal Program

The Homeless Prenatal Program is holding their annual luncheon on October 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event will take place in the Grand Ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel at 950 Mason Street in San Francisco. Attendees will enjoy lunch and spirits along with the uplifting program. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbright.com.

Proceeds from the event benefit the organization’s poverty-ending services. Lateefah Simon will be honored as special guest speaker, along with clients-turned-staff who will share their transformation stories. For more information, visit www.homelessprenatal.org.

SFAA Centennial Save the Date

The San Francisco Apartment Association is celebrating the organization’s 100 years of supporting the rental industry on Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The cocktail hour, formal dinner, and dancing will be held at The Ritz Carlton, 600 Stockton Street in San Francisco.

Additionally, guests may participate in a silent auction that will benefit the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition and the Homeless Prenatal Program. Items available for auction will include wine and hotel stays.

SFAA is raffling ten free tickets for the celebration. To enter the raffle, email Vanessa Khaleel at vanessa@sfaa.org and include your name, member number, and the number of years you’ve been a member.

To purchase tickets or sponsor the event, visit www.sfaa.org or contact Vanessa Khaleel at 415-255-2288 or vanessa@sfaa.org. For more information on event sponsorship, click here.

SFAA Website Revamp

The SFAA has upgraded and redesigned its website for a better user experience. Members can now more easily access forms, register for events and classes, view videos of member meetings, browse the magazine, and review the vendor directory, among other improvements. Users should enter their member number to log in to the website.

SFAA August Member Meeting

The August 21st SFAA member meeting was held at the Jewish Community Center in Kanbar Hall. The meeting began with the monthly Legal Q & A, moderated by Dave Wasserman of Wasserman & Stern, followed by a welcome from Eric Andresen, SFAA Board President, and a legislative update from Janan New, SFAA Executive Director. Intellirent sponsored the event.

Corey Eckert of Intellirent talked about new industry technology, focusing on 100% automated apartment marketing and screening software for landlords and agents.

The meeting then moved on to a Costa Hawkins update given by Dave Wasserman, Curtis Dowling, Clifford Fried, and Andrew Zacks. The update was followed by an audience question and answer session.

For handouts and videos from the member meeting, go to www.sfaa.org.