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Local Legislative Updates Related to COVID-19

   Filed under: Legislative News: United States,Legislative News: San Francisco Bay Area

Provided by NAIOP SFBA Local Lobbyist: New Deal Advisers

There are a few current relief measures for both property owners and renters in the Bay Area. These pair with state and federal measures to reduce evictions and foreclosures on residential and commercial property. Here below is a current list of initiatives at the local, state and federal levels to alleviate economic strain for property owners and renters. Please note that these measures, orders and initiatives are modified and updated regularly.

Local Measures
Mayor’s Office in coordination with Dr. Aragon, Health Officer of City & County of San Francisco (statewide appointed office). The six Bay Area counties have been coordinating their county health orders as much as possible. Latest health order LINK

  • 3/13/20: San Francisco Mayor Breed banned residential and commercial evictions, for a 30 day period, extendable in 30 day increments.
    • Residential eviction moratorium - renewed for another 30 days on April 30 LINK
    • Commercial eviction moratorium - renewed for another 30 days on April 15 LINK
  • 4/2/20: Construction restrictions and required information to continue work - Latest order LINK
  • 4/15/20: Commercial eviction moratorium is extended through May 17, 2020: LINK
  • 4/29/20: Newest order includes easing restrictions for some businesses and all construction as long as the project includes safety precautions LINK

Treasurer’s Office:

  • 4/3/20: San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros has also moved the Property Tax deadline to May 4, one day after the shelter in place order ends: LINK
  • 4/3/20: San Francisco Treasurer Cisneros has posted a form to waive penalty fees if property taxes cannot be paid on time: LINK

Proposed Ballot Measure:

  • 5/4/20: Supervisor Preston has announced that he will be introducing a measure that proposed a doubling of the current transfer tax for commercial and residential properties and will introduce it to be placed on this November's ballot. He has not introduced this at the Board of Supervisors's meeting but he has said he will introduce it in the next few weeks.
    • Under the measure, the real estate transfer tax for buildings sold between $10 million and $25 million would increase from 2.75 percent to 5.5 percent, and for buildings sold for $25 million or more from 3 percent to 6 percent. -
    • The money would go towards a fund for landlords who waived back rent for tenants who could not pay due to the coronavirus. It would also pay for affordable housing sites that non profits would manage.
    • This measure requires the support of at least 6 Supervisors to get it on the ballot, and it has to be voted on by July 31 to make it onto the ballot. It would require 50%+1 to pass and would go into effect 1/1/2021. Landlords would have to waive back rent by 12/31/2020 to qualify for the funds.
    • LINK to news article
  • Board of Supervisors Most Recent Legislation:
    • 200428 [Supporting the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020] Sponsors: Preston; Ronen, Haney, Mar, Walton and Fewer Resolution supporting the federal Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020 and calling on San Francisco’s federal legislators to vote in support of the bill. REFERRED FOR ADOPTION WITHOUT COMMITTEE REFERENCE AGENDA AT THE NEXT BOARD MEETING.
    • [Business and Tax Regulations, Administrative Codes - Temporary Suspension of Vacancy Tax] 200420 Sponsor: Peskin Ordinance amending the Business and Tax Regulations Code and Administrative Code to temporarily suspend the imposition of the Vacancy Tax, through December 31, 2021. ASSIGNED UNDER 30 DAY RULE to Rules Committee.

State Measures
Governor’s Office:
Governor Newsom has been declaring executive actions that can then be backed up by the courts.

  • 3/4/20 : Newsom declares statewide State of Emergency LINK
  • 3/16/20: Newsom executive order allowing municipalities to put a moratorium on evictions: LINK
  • 3/27/20: Executive Order banning residential evictions state-wide until May 31: LINK
  • 4/7/20: Judicial System backs up this ban on evictions ( SF Chron article link )
  • 5/6/20:  Newsom signed an executive order to extend property tax relief for residences through May 2021. For commercial property taxes, the May 7th deadline was extended to May 31.

Legislative Initiatives: These bills would have to pass through both the State Assembly and the State Senate. The legislative process makes it difficult to come out with timely measures since there is not certain time whn legislature will be back in session.

  • 2/20/20 Introduced: Assemblymember Ting has also introduced legislation banning residential evictions: Press release LINK
  • 2/21/20 Introduced: Senator Gonzalez introduced legislation that would have the state pay for 80% of missed rents for up to seven months if renters could demonstrate that they had been financially impacted by COVID-19. If landlords decided to accept payments from the state, they would give up pursuing the remaining 20% of missed rents and agree not to charge late fees or raise the rent for a year. LINK
  • 3/25/20 Introduced: On the state level, Senators Scott Wiener and Lena Gonzalez have introduced legislation banning commercial evictions, taking effect immediately upon passage: LINK
  • 4/16/20: Assemblymember Ting has also spoken publicly against stopping construction when it is being performed safely, especially for affordable housing and other kinds of housing. LINK

Federal Measures

  • 3/27/20: The CARES Act has provisions for homeowners: LINK to legislation
    • The CARES Act also halts evictions of renters from federally backed multifamily properties whose landlords receive forbearance: LINK to article

Bank specific resources:

  • Mortgage forbearance: LINK (to see if you qualify)
  • Moratorium on mortgage foreclosures, depending on the type of federal loans you have: LINK ( to see if you qualify)


Summary of the links above:


Moratorium on evictions for tenants
Commercial Eviction Moratorium
Property tax deadline moved to May 4 (subject to change)
Property Tax Penalty Waiver Request Form
Construction restrictions and required information to continue work


SB 939, moratorium on commercial evictions
AB 828, moratorium on residential evictions until 15 days after the state of emergency ends
Newsom executive order allowing municipalities to put a moratorium on evictions
Executive Order banning residential evictions state-wide until May 31


Morgage Forbearance
Moratorium on mortgage foreclosure (for federally backed mortgages)
Halts evictions of renters from federally backed multifamily properties whose landlords receive forbearance

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