The Coalition for Economic Survival Says No On ‘Measure S’

GUEST COMMENTARY-The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) believes Measure S threatens to delay or stop projects that would otherwise provide affordable housing, and housing for homeless people.

Measure S puts a two-year moratorium on development projects requiring certain zoning or height exemptions, and permanently prohibits developments requiring a General Plan amendment. Thus it could stop projects that would provide permanent supportive housing for people who are homeless -- housing that voters approved with the passage of Measure HHH last November.          

Clearly, there is a great need for government action to protect neighborhoods and much more action is needed to preserve our existing rent-controlled and affordable housing stock. In fact, this lack of action at City Hall, no doubt, opened the door for Measure S to make it to the ballot.

Measure S does have some good provisions. The City should be updating community plans. Obviously, in response to Measure S, the City Council just voted to back an effort to update community plans more frequently.

Additionally, developers should not be allowed to select environmental impact report consultants for their projects.

But, it is our belief that Measure S is a sledgehammer approach that does not provide a solution. In fact, it may make matters worse. 

Measure S is not the answer and should be voted down. 

Measure S … 

  • Does Not Stop Ellis Act evictions. 
  • Does Not Stop condo conversions. 
  • Does Not Stop rent-controlled housing from being demolished. In fact, it may incentivize more destruction of rent-controlled buildings. 
  • Does Not Create new affordable housing. 
  • Does Not Stop big developers from donating to elected officials.

Measure S DOES Stop Affordable Housing from being built. 

CES believes that Measure S would provide an incentive to developers to destroy more rent- controlled buildings. 

A two year moratorium on development targeted in Measure S could steer developers towards other types of development such as more demolitions and conversions of rent-controlled housing to condos resulting in further displacement of low and moderate income renters.

The Measure S moratorium, and its permanent prohibition on the City's ability to issue General Plan amendments, will be stop the building of affordable housing. Although the backers of Measure S claim to exempt affordable housing, Measure S does not actually exempt all 100% affordable housing projects from its reach, and would effectively stop 90% of city-sponsored affordable housing projects.

It is for these reasons CES Urges You to Vote NO on Measure S!


(Larry Gross is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival and a CityWatch contributor.) Edited for City Watch by Linda Abrams.