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November Ballot Promises to Be Referendum on Housing Wars

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Though it failed last month at the Board of Supervisors, the controversial moratorium on market-rate construction in the Mission District is officially headed for the November ballot. The Department of Elections has certified that a proposed 18-month moratorium gathered upwards of 15,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify for the ballot, reports the San Francisco Business Times. If voters approve the measure, roughly 1,100 units of housing could be held up, from Maximus Real Estate Partners' much-maligned 1979 Mission to Nick Podell's 2000 Bryant. The moratorium battle advances despite the Planning Department's recent move to subject Mission projects to greater scrutiny and take proposals' affordable housing levels and displacement into account when reviewing projects.

Airbnb and its short-term-rental ilk are another front on the San Francisco housing turf wars. Yesterday the Board of Supervisors debated two competing proposals to change San Francisco's regulations of short-term rentals. The more lenient of the pair, sponsored by Supervisor Mark Farrell and Mayor Ed Lee, got watered down even further before it passed. As written, the legislation would have capped all short-term rentals at 120 days per year, a more stringent limit than the one now in place, which caps unhosted stays at 90 days per year but does not limit stays in which the renter is sharing space with the host. But as the Examiner notes, the 120-day hard cap was removed via an amendment by Supervisor Julie Christensen. Which means, as BuzzFeed clarifies, that the existing 90-day "split cap" remains in effect.

All this went down, of course, just a day after a more strict measure limiting short-term rentals qualified for the November ballot. That measure would cap all short-term rentals at 75 days per year, which happens to be the number favored by the David Campos-sponsored law that lost at the Board of Supervisors yesterday. (Campos originally proposed a 60-day hard cap but it was amended to 75.)

Just as the ballot measure's signatures got certified, the Chronicle released an ambitious report that attempted to quantify the effect of Airbnb on San Francisco's housing supply. The verdict? Roughly 350 units are kept off the long-term housing market because of Airbnb, the Chron estimated.

· Mission Moratorium on Market-Rate Housing Fails; Ballot Measure Still Possible [Curbed SF]
· SF Housing Moratorium Hits Ballot, City Leaders Scramble on Alternatives [SF Business Times]
· Previous Coverage of 1979 Mission [Curbed SF]
· Developer Commits to Funding a New Home for the Mission Arts Space He's Displacing [Curbed SF]
· Interim Controls in the Mission Not the Same As a Moratorium [Curbed SF]
· Imposing Hard Cap on Airbnb Will Be Left Up to Voters [Examiner]
· Airbnb's Future Could Be Decided By Popular Vote [BuzzFeed]
· Airbnb's Impact in San Francisco [SF Chronicle]
· Airbnb May Be Keeping 350 Units Off SF's Housing Market [Curbed SF]

Airbnb HQ

99 Rhode Island Street, San Francisco, CA 94103