Landlords cannot impose an owner move-in eviction on families with children during the school year, according to a new proposal by Supervisor Eric Mar — one that the mayor hinted he won’t veto and one that has a veto-proof majority of eight supervisors.

Landlords would still be able to evict tenants during the summer months, if the tenant has lived in the unit for less than 12 months, if there is only one unit owned by the landlord and if the landlord has children under 18.

These provisions insured Mar key swing votes from supervisors Sophie Maxwell and Bevan Dufty.  The San Francisco Apartment Association now supports the measure as well and Mayor Gavin Newsom is leaning toward supporting it.

“Mayor Newsom is very open to Supervisor Mar’s amendments, which could sway him to support the bill,” said Joe Arrellano, a spokesman for the mayor. “But he will wait until the bill passes the Board before making a final decision.”

If the mayor signs the ordinance, which goes for a first vote on Jan. 26, it would be the first housing initiative to win his approval in a year.

But even if he vetoes it, the proposal now has eight supporters — enough to override it.

“It’s watered down,” said Cassandra Costello, a legislative aide for Mar, about the ordinance. “But at least we can get something passed.”

Currently, the city prohibits owner move-in evictions from units with seniors, those affected by catastrophic illness and the disabled.

Mar said that this legislation is especially relevant now because of the poor economy.

“This legislation is about keeping families in San Francisco,” Mar said. “We want maximum protection for families, but I feel that this is a step forward – we will continue having conversations with tenants groups on how to implement more protections for families.”

Mission Loc@l reported last month that while a study by the Office of the Legislative Analyst found 18 families that faced owner move-in evictions in 2008-09, tenant activists and Mar’s office believe there are many more.

The San Francisco Tenants Union, St. Peter’s Housing Committee and the Housing Rights Committee filed a total of 90 owner move-in evictions in the first six months of 2009, 29 percent of which were in households with children.

Meanwhile, the proposal by Supervisor John Avalos that would extend just cause evictions protections for tenants in non-rent-controlled units passed 7-3, but is expected to be vetoed by the mayor.

Supervisors Dufty, Carmen Chu and Sean Elsbernd voted against it. Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier was absent for the vote.

Aware of the fate of his proposal, Avalos has duplicated the item with the amendment that would only grant those just cause protections to tenants in homes built after 1979 that have been foreclosed.

The legislation, which will be considered by the board on Feb. 9, is similar to one that the mayor has said he would introduce but has not done so yet with the Board of Supervisors.

Amending legislation to get enough votes is an approach the board can only do so much of, Supervisor David Campos said last week.

“We are doing our part on our end,” he said. “I would advise people who are affected to contact the mayor’s office.”

Mar said yet another solution to passing stronger legislation might be to leave these changes up to the voters in ballot initiatives.

Mar also introduced legislation that would accept a $5 million gift in artificial turf from the City Fields Foundation.

Mission Playground would be one of the two parks that would receive this gift.

“In these difficult periods of cuts in the Recreation and Park Department budget, maintaining natural fields has been a challenge,” Mar said. “So I really appreciate the City Fields Foundation in supporting a number of playgrounds especially in working class neighborhoods so that all children and families, soccer players and athletic users can have better access.”

Also at the meeting Dufty spoke to the board about  funding the Mission’s UCSF trauma center, which faces closure in March.

The trauma center will lose $347,529 as part of midyear budget cuts in addition to the $750,000 in cuts it received at the beginning of the year, effectively eliminating the program.

Dufty wants to fund the program at least until July, when the Board of Supervisors will negotiate next year’s budget.

To do this, he is asking the controller to demand $100,000 that the city is owed in pending reimbursements that victims have asked from the state and urge people to donate. He added that getting more private donations might go to the center once people know that it’s tax deductible.

Maria Christina Gutierrez shows the marks from when the deputy grabbed her right arm
Maria Christina Gutierrez shows the marks from when the deputy grabbed her right arm

Also at the board, the principal of Compañeros del Barrio, a preschool on Valencia Street, was removed from the chamber by a sheriff after trying to hand down a document to a supervisor.

Campos asked for an investigation about the incident and questioned the sheriffs’ cultural competency training.

Maria Cristina Gutierrez,who was going to give testimony about the recent layoffs of MTA workers, said the incident is especially troubling because some of her students were present.

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Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. Oh the unintended consequences of this one… let’s add it to the list:

    – must raise rents every year (because I can’t compound increases)
    – must charge exorbitant rents on open units (because I can’t raise rents later)
    – can’t rent to people with disabilities (since they will file for protected status)
    – can’t rent to families (because having them will reduce the resale value of my property, since OMIs are prohibited 3/4 of the year)

    Nice one, supes.

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