My Views on Affordable Housing:
As a deputy city attorney I have spent many years successfully fighting to protect tenants from unlawful evictions. I also support the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (aka the rent control law). As it now stands, RSO does a good job of protecting tenants against large increases in their rent payments.
That being said I am also a strong opponent of a proposal, called “Fair Access for Renters,”hat is being sponsored by Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Nithya Raman.As I see it, this misguided measure would not only strip landlords of their ability to protect their property but also strip landlords of their ability to protect their tenants.
Most tenants would not want to live next door to a convicted thief, pedophile or even an individual with a record of being evicted from their apartments, especially if those convictions and evictions were recent. That kind of neighbor could be a nightmare.
But under the “Fair Access for Renters” proposal landlords would not be able to reject tenants based on their criminal and/or eviction record – even if they were just released from prison or just recently evicted from their last apartment. This measure would not be good for landlords nor good for the vast majority of law-abiding and responsible renters. Our affordable housing stock must also be safe housing.
I have been asked what the City Attorney’s office can do to facilitate the construction of affordable housing. My answer: the City Attorney’s office needs to be staffed up so we can quickly green-light such projects to the extent they conform to city zoning and land-use regulations.