November 2015: No position on Prop F

The San Francisco League of Conservation Voters is extremely concerned about the growing unaffordability of San Francisco housing, especially for renters. The boom in short-term rentals, driven largely by platforms such as AirBnB, is worsening the city’s affordable housing crisis and reducing the number of rental homes available to local workers and families. While we are very sympathetic to the goals of Prop F, we believe it goes too far. Prop F would limit all short-term home rentals to 75 days per year and enforce this with fines on both the hosting platform and owners, and allow interested parties (e.g., neighbors) to sue. The main problem with Prop F is that it would be impossible for the Board of Supervisors to change the legislation in response to unintended consequences. The explosion in the short-term rental market is a new phenomenon, and dealing with it legislatively requires flexibility. Supervisors should be able to change the law as needed.

There are clear problems with the status quo. People are being forced out and priced out. AirBnB doesn’t seem to want to work with the City to find a workable solution. For example, it can and should share hosting data. It’s also not clear how the City will enforce the rules it’s adopted (or the ones Prop F proposes).

The Supervisors recently adopted new legislation to address this problem. Let’s give it time to work.

An unaffordable city is an unsustainable one. We agree that San Francisco needs to address this issue, so while we cannot endorse Prop F, we are also unwilling to oppose it.