B-17 will put affordable housing at risk

August 2, 2017

Mayor Heidi Harmon

OPINION by HEIDI HARMON

Please vote NO on this misleading ballot measure. It is unnecessary, ill advised, harmful to every affordable housing program in our city, and could trap the community in costly lawsuits.

The first section of this ordinance attempts to repeal the Rental Housing Inspection Program. It has already been repealed by the council on a 5-0 vote. The city’s residents were very clear in communicating their overwhelming lack of support for this program, and it is not coming back.

The second section sounds harmless. The label of “non-discrimination” is compelling, and sounds easy to support. But it is a trap, because it includes legally unrecognized and legally unclear categories like “income,” “owner or renter,” and “ability to own a home.” These create legal loopholes.

There are lawyers who would take advantage of these loopholes and sue the city over its housing programs. Countless taxpayer dollars would be lost on litigation defending our affordable housing regulations.

These laws help provide housing for workers, seniors, students, low-income residents, veterans, and those struggling to afford housing in San Luis Obispo. For example, under this ordinance even laws that stabilize rent for mobile home parks could be argued as “discrimination” in favor of renters.

This ordinance would dismantle any hope of affordable housing programs in SLO. This may not have been the intent, but it will most certainly be the result.

The writers of this ordinance will argue that it “locks’ into place the end of the Rental Housing Inspection Program. But the program is already dead and gone, we already have anti-discrimination protections, and this ordinance could instead kill off all the city’s housing programs.

If you think San Luis Obispo is expensive now, wait until these programs are taken away. Don’t risk letting this happen.

Please vote NO on Measure B-17.







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54 Comments

  1. Mike Morgan says:

    Heidi, please stop global warming.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. c.d.cox says:

    Lets face it there will never be affordable housing in SLO as long as Cow Poly and Cuesta keeps bringing in more and more students.If you had a three bed room house would you rent it to a family of five for twelve hundred a month or six students for twenty thee hundred a month. Then let’s not forget all of the family members of the inmates or should I be PC and say residents o CMC who are here taking jobs of locals getting sub. Housing and all the other benefits of low income or welfare.

    (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
  3. copperhead says:

    All forms of government care about 1 thing and one thing only, creating new and inventive ways to confiscate your money.

    Look past the for the children, for the renters, for the dreamers rhetoric. The outcome is always the same, money and power.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  4. Bob Lyon says:

    Ms. Mayor: In this article you claim that the Housing Inspection Ordinance is “dead, and not coming back”; I would like to believe you, so how about a pledge? If B-17 is voted down, and a new inspection ordinance does come before the City Council, will you pledge here and now to vote against it? If a new inspection ordinance is enacted, will you resign, since you said “it is not coming back”?

    I respect Mayor Harmon, I do believe her heart is in the right place, I just do not trust the city manager, Katie Lichtig, or the city attorney Christine Dietrick, period. Like I stated in my comment on Stew Jenkins’ article, I am fearful that a new ordinance will be crafted behind closed doors, with the city manager and attorney consulting with who knows who (possibly some landlords of the bigger apartment buildings in town?) and the next version will be even more invasive, more expensive, and possibly have a provision to mandate inspections of private residences even if they are not renting out rooms or the entire house. Some city inspector shows up at my house, they are not getting in without a warrant, period, see the 4th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Vote Yes on B-17, make sure the city cannot enact another version of the rental inspection program unless the residents of San Luis approve the new version with a vote of the people.

    (13) 23 Total Votes - 18 up - 5 down
  5. Boldguy says:

    As I pointed out in many Post’s prior to, and since the election, Heidi’s a sweetheart, but a disaster for San Luis:(
    After reading this diatribe, my first thought was, Heidi, your pant’s are on fire!!!

    (14) 24 Total Votes - 19 up - 5 down
    • Murse says:

      Yeah. I think she had good intentions but was quickly corrupted by Katie Lichtig. SLO needs a leader with some experience and a backbone.

      (18) 20 Total Votes - 19 up - 1 down
  6. Kevin Rice says:

    The City says rental inspections are DEAD… WATCH THIS 1-MINUTE VIDEO:

    Rental Inspection Program 2.0
    https://youtu.be/Wx–zZdUx58

    (9) 21 Total Votes - 15 up - 6 down
    • mtasseff says:

      Kevin this was taken completely out of context. Dan has always been opposed to the rental inspection program. This conversation was about addressing the city’s bad players aka “slumlords” not continuing any portion of the program.

      (-4) 10 Total Votes - 3 up - 7 down

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