After weeks of intense debate, the Board of Supervisors finally passed a resolution Tuesday supporting Proposition 10. If voters approve that measure in November, it would repeal the decades-old Costa-Hawkins rent control law.
The vote passed in part because two supervisors — Malia Cohen and Ahsha Safai — flip-flopped on their previous stances, which had previously contributed to the resolution failing in a Sept. 4 vote. Eight votes were needed to pass; it could only garner seven in early September, but won nine on Tuesday. Supervisors Katy Tang and Catherine Stefani dissented, and two amendments that had been made to the original resolution — to eliminate single-family homes and new construction from the resolution — were vetoed before the final vote took place.
The resolution is largely symbolic; as Supervisor Aaron Peskin noted before the vote began, “This is all semantics.” In the long run, the Board of Supervisors doesn’t have a say in the outcome, California voters do. But if Costa-Hawkins is overturned, the city’s legislative body would be tasked with developing its own set of laws to better address the city’s housing crisis. That could mean pushing the rent-control date forward, creating a rolling system, or instituting vacancy controls that would limit how much landlords could up the rent on units once they’re vacated.
Better late than never, though. San Francisco now joins Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Oakland, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood in support of Costa-Hawkins repeal.