The 200 winners in San Francisco’s 2008 condo conversion lottery have been drawn. 1,744 units have lost (and will likely roll into next year’s pool). And the redesigned SFgov website remains a good starting point for those wondering about the whole shebang.
UPDATE: The protest over the rules to which a few readers refer.
Condominium Lottery 2008 Winner List (pdf) [Department of Public Works]
Condo Conversion in San Francisco [SFgov]
TIC owners decry S.F. condo conversion rules [SFGate]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by spencer

    these people knew the there was a process and a wait when they bought their TICs. Why are they protesting? If they did not want to wait or go through a process, then they shouldn’t have bought TICS. That’s why i didn’t do it. This is akin to buying a house in the ghetto and then complaining about the ghetto around you. You knew the process.

  2. Posted by BDB

    Mainly they are protesting, as there are people who are into the lottery for over 7 years, and going in I believe it was said that at a max 7 years is what it would take.
    I have 2 friends who both got it first time out, and while it is a lottery, it hardly seem fair to people who have been in it many many years.
    It should be somewhat weighted, and with 200 avail per year, and usually more than 400 being added each year it could take forever.
    I think the policy needs changing. And I did a 2 Unit TIC.

  3. Posted by peanut gallery

    That is a funny way of looking at it. Why not try to change the rules if you think they are bad policy? There is a history in the US of looking at situations and trying to make them better for ones personal situation. Kinda makes the whole engine go, IMHO. I tip my hat to these people; they bought in SF, are stakeholders in the community, paying higher taxes, trying to affect change. I think as their ranks swell, SF will be better for it.

  4. Posted by Dave

    The whole argument against conversion seems to be that is eliminates rental stock. But I think one of the problems in SF is that we have probably the lower percentage of people living in homes that they OWN in the nation (nationwide, 2/3 of people own, but in SF, 2/3 of people rent.) Our dilapidated housing stock is a reflection of this, as well as rent control policies, and it will only get worse.
    I totally agree that it’s wrong to kick people out of their rented homes to make a quick buck, and I support the laws we have that make it tough/expensive to do that. But as a five-time loser of the condo lottery, I think the situation sucks. I’d like to be able to offer the units in my building for sale to the tenants — my neighbors — who reside in them, and give them the chance to become homeowners. Barring that, I’d like to have the option to sell a unit when/if a tenant moves and it becomes vacant. Personally, I’d never evict someone to sell their apartment — even if it were legal to do so. Of course, not everyone shares my long-term view of things, some people would go for the quick buck if they could, morality be damned.
    Increasing the opportunity for first-time home ownership in SF should be a priority, it would be a great thing for the city. But you either have to be dirt poor (and able to qualify for “below market” housing) or filthy rich (and able to afford a $750,000+ condo, or perhaps a $500,000 tiny shoebox) to be a first-time buyer in SF.
    The folks in the middle — not poor, but not rich — have no option but to continue to rent, and the condo lottery with its ridiculous limit of 200 units per year isn’t helping.

  5. Posted by Usually Named

    The elimination of rental stock is a red herring.
    Is there some law that prevents condo-covered units from being rented out?

  6. Posted by crockergal

    “Is there some law that prevents condo-covered units from being rented out?”
    Typically no. Because Ellis acted units are excluded from the lottery I believe.

  7. Posted by Maggie

    San Francisco was 65 percent renter in 2000 census, comparable to Boston and New York. Cities such as Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Baltimore have some of the highest homeowner rates. Homeownership in and of itself is not the sign of a healthy city.
    Oh, and any argument favoring affordable homeownership should be anti-condo conversion, since TICs are cheaper. If the concern is really about homeownership and not cash bonanzas, then let’s keep the properties TICs rather than letting the current owner convert and cash in like a speculator.

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