THE LATEST: On Friday, April 8, 2022, on behalf of a broad coalition, we filed a brief urging the court to reject claims against San Francisco’s Expedited Conversion Program. Arguments that this program is unlawful ignore decades of case law affirming cities’ ability to regulate the rental housing market and protect tenants. The arguments rely on a misinterpretation of a recent Supreme Court decision and should be rejected.

Signers on the brief include: Eviction Defense Collaborative, Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Alliance for Justice, Western Center on Law and Poverty, National Housing Law Project, and the Appleseed Foundation. The Appleseed Foundation is joined on the brief by the Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Inc., New Jersey Appleseed, Nebraska Appleseed, and Texas Appleseed.

For more information, view the press statement here.


Local governments have a profound interest in ensuring housing stability. This stability is crucial to the health and welfare of both individual tenants and local economies. Regulations such as rent control, restrictions on eviction, and encumbrances on the condominium conversion process have long been crucial tools for cities to effectively maintain a supply of affordable housing and protect tenants from displacement. These are not new, and have long been considered on a fact-specific basis when challenged in court.

San Francisco’s voluntary expedited conversion program, which permits landlords to voluntarily convert their buildings into valuable condominiums, is lawful. The program protects vulnerable tenants from eviction following condo conversion, and avoids mass displacement of tenants in one of the country’s most expensive rental housing markets. This program does not force owners to use their property in a new way. It does not take away the owners’ property. It preserves the owners’ right to collect rent, sell their condo even at a significant gain, and even evict tenants who breach their leases.

Efforts to place further limits on authorities’ ability to address housing stability are inconsistent with the law. The recent Supreme Court decision in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid preserves cities’ and counties’ authority to regulate the local housing market and prevent tenant displacement. Arguments to the contrary are not just misguided, but dangerous–if accepted, they would seriously threaten cities’ ability to protect tenants from displacement.

Updated: April 12, 2022