Proposition G is often referenced in relation to San Francisco housing rules and regulations. “Prop G” refers to Ballot Proposition G in the 1998 San Francisco General Elections. At that time, San Francisco was experiencing a housing boom as a result of the Silicon Valley dot.com boom. The dramatic upward pressure on housing prices enticed some property owners to take aggressive action to rid themselves of renters so they could convert a building to a Tenancy in Common or a condominium and then sell the property for a substantial profit. Advocates for the poor, the disabled, as well as tenants rights groups battled back to ensure that property owners were not unfairly profiting at the expense of people who had little means or understanding to defend themselves. The result was Proposition G.
Widely debated both publicly and in court both then and in subsequent years, Prop G limited the options of a property owner in evicting tenants and established strict criteria and protocol for a landlord to follow in evicting a tenant. The elderly, the disabled, and the very sick were offered significant protection from eviction.
Stringent rules were also put in place to ensure that property owners followed not only the letter of the law but also the spirit. Landlords could evict tenants on the grounds of owner occupancy. However a landlord looking to create a “Just Cause” façade in an effort to evict a tenant was likely to find layers of process and disclosure designed to prevent such behavior. Eviction for conversion to TIC was outright eliminated.