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Policy Tools - SF Bay Area

Choose a city from the map to see its anti-displacement policy measures
  • County:   -
  • Just cause eviction ordinance   -
  • Rent stabilization or rent control   -
  • Rent review board and/or mediation   -
  • Mobile home rent control   -
  • SRO preservation   -
  • Condominium conversion regulations   -
  • Foreclosure assistance   -
  • Jobs-housing linkage fee or affordable housing impact/linkage fee   -
  • Commercial linkage fee/program   -
  • Housing trust fund   -
  • Inclusionary zoning/housing (below market rate housing)   -
  • Density bonus ordinance   -
  • Community land trusts   -
  • First source hiring ordinances   -
  • Sources:   -

Glossary of Policies

Glossary of Anti-Displacement Policies

Just Cause eviction ordinance

Just cause eviction statutes are laws that allow tenants to be evicted only for specific reasons. These “just causes” can include a failure to pay rent or violation of the lease terms.
Rent stabilization or rent control  Rent Control ordinances protect tenants from excessive rent increases, while allowing landlords a reasonable return on their investments. Such ordinances limit rent increase to certain percentages, but California state law allows landlords to raise rents to the market rate once the unit becomes vacant.
Rent review board and/or mediation Rent review boards mediate between tenants and landlords on issues related to rent increases, and encourage them to come into voluntary agreement. As mediators, the board normally does not make a binding decision in the case. 
Mobile Home Rent Control Mobile home rent control places specific rent increase restrictions on the land rented by mobile home owners, or the homes themselves.
SRO (Single-Room Occupancy) Preservation Single room occupancies, also called residential hotels, house one or two people in individual rooms. Tenants typically share bathrooms and/or kitchens. These are often considered a form of permanent residence affordable for low-income individuals. SRO Preservation ordinances help to preserve or create new SRO units. 
Condominium conversion regulations In addition to state laws regulating the conversion of multifamily rental property into condominiums (like subdivision mapping and homeowner association formation), many cities have enacted condominium conversion ordinances. These impose procedural restrictions (like notification requirements) and/or substantive restrictions on the ability to convert apartment units into condominiums (such as prohibiting conversions unless the city or regional vacancy rate is above a certain fixed amount or requiring that a certain number of units must be sold to persons of very low, low and moderate incomes).  The purpose of such ordinances is to protect the supply of rental housing.
Foreclosure Assistance

Many cities and counties have local programs that assist home owners (financially or otherwise) when they are at risk of foreclosure. These programs may be funded with federal grants.

Jobs-Housing Linkage Fee or Affordable Housing Impact/Linkage Fee Affordable housing impact/linkage fees are charges on developers of new market-rate, residential developments. They are based on the square footage or number of units in the developments and are used to develop or preserve affordable housing.
Commercial linkage fee/program Commercial linkage fees are charges on developers per square foot of new commercial development. Revenues are used to develop or preserve affordable housing.
Housing Trust Fund

A housing trust fund is a designated source of public funds—generated through various means—that is dedicated to creating affordable housing.

Inclusionary zoning/housing (Below Market Rate Housing) Inclusionary housing policies require market-rate developers of rental or for-sale housing to rent or sell a certain percentage of units at affordable prices. Some policies include a provision for developers to pay “in-lieu fees” in place of building the housing; this revenue is used to develop affordable units elsewhere. Several court cases have made unenforceable requirements for affordable rental units within market-rate buildings; by contrast, inclusionary homeownership policies have been upheld in the state supreme court.
Density bonus ordinance Density bonuses allow developers of market-rate housing to build higher-density housing, in exchange for having a certain portion of their units offered at affordable prices. In this inventory, we only include a city as having this policy if they allow an additional density bonus beyond that mandated by the state of California.
Community Land Trusts Community land trusts are nonprofit, community-based organizations (supported by the city or county) whose mission is to provide affordable housing in perpetuity by owning land and leasing it to those who live in houses built on that land.
First Source Hiring Ordinances First Source hiring ordinances ensure that city residents are given priority for new jobs created by municipal financing and development programs.


Key Research Findings

Read our Overview here (updated through 2015 inventory update). Download our complete inventory (Excel) here (updated through 2017).

  • Only 17 cities have instituted more than half of the 14 policies studied. Some 43 percent of cities have three or fewer policies on their books.
  • Of the policies inventoried, only two — inclusionary housing (where developers have to rent or sell a portion of their development at a reduced price to low- or moderate-income residents, provide additional housing elsewhere or pay a fee in lieu of producing such housing) and condominium conversion regulations—were widespread; all the others were found in fewer than 40 percent of cities.
  • Some of the most important policies to address acute impacts of displacement, devices such as evictions protections and rent control, are found in just 9 cities.
  • One of the most widespread policies (79 of 109 jurisdictions) is inclusionary housing.
  • Policies that promote the production of new affordable housing, like developer impact fees, seem to be working: cities with these policies produced more housing for very low-income households than cities without.
  • In early 2016, we took a look at cities in the Bay Area with rent control laws on the books (6 cities in the Bay Area at that time, 9 today). In those 6 cities, we found that there is less turnover in their renter populations, indicating that rent control can contribute to greater residential stability.