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The Affordable Housing Alliance Political Action Committee was founded in 1981 by veterans of tenants' rights struggles who realized that not having a political action committee to help elect pro-tenant supervisors was holding back their efforts.

In a stinging loss, a 1979 housing initiative to bring effective rent control and other tenant and affordable housing protections had been defeated despite a strong coalition effort.

All that was in place were weak rent increase guidelines, triggered only when a tenant petitioned for an application. Worse yet, the temporary guidelines allowed 7% rent increases, and even so were set to expire. They had only been enacted in part to head off the earlier, unsuccessful 1979 initiative.

The creation of the Affordable Housing Alliance led to immediate success. It convinced the supervisors to convert the weak guidelines into enforceable legal limits of real rent control, and to extend the law indefinitely. With elections looming, and the promise of a tenant committee making pro-tenant endorsements for the first time, a majority of the Supervisors voted for the landmark legislation.


True to its word, the very next year, 1982, the Affordable Housing Alliance began informing tenant voters which candidates would stick up for them and which were beholden to big landlord and real estate interests, by mailing out voter guides targeted to tenants.

Affordable Housing Alliance-endorsed candidates for Supervisor did well and candidates who were not, or who received negative endorsements, lost or fared less well.

Affordable Housing Alliance endorsements and campaigns led to a continuing series of victories:

  • a ban on condo conversions of buildings of more than six apartments and an annual limit of 200 conversions in smaller buildings, and the subsequent defense of that law at the ballot box on three occasions

  • lowering the annual rent increase from 7% to a CPI formula, resulting in an immediate reduction to 4% and subsequently to 1%

  • tenants' right to earn 5% interest on security deposits

  • tenants' right to appeal rent increases for capital improvements

  • numerous improvements to the just cause eviction provision

  • the saving of the Orangeland Chinatown Apartments from demolition

  • the appointment of strong tenant advocates to the Rent Board

  • the extension of rent control and just cause eviction protection to owner-occupied buildings of four units or less

  • roommate protections

  • an inclusionary housing ordinance

  • tenants' right to leaflet their neighbors in a building

  • better protection from unfair utility and other pass-throughs

  • better relocation benefits

  • the defeat of numerous anti-rent control bills and Sacramento and the blunting of others;

  • the restoration of the Renters Tax Credit

  • most recently, a tightening of the ban on the conversion of affordable apartments into condominiums, to prohibit most conversions entirely until production of new affordable housing catches up with the number of units lost

Today, the Affordable Housing Alliance is on the forefront of the battle: fighting Ellis and other evictions, fighting to protect rent-controlled housing, fighting the conversion of apartments to AirBnB and other tourist hotel units, and fighting for more affordable housing.

The Affordable Housing Alliance Political Action Committee is a registered California political committee. Our mailing address is 3265 Harrison Street, SF CA 94110. Our campaign identification number is 822268. Some of our activities qualify as slate mailings and our identification number for those activities is 594003.

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