Cesar Tellez and his girlfriend Melissa Begay walk in the alley near their home they rented in the neighborhood of Mountain View on Thursday, April 20, 2023.
Cesar Tellez and his girlfriend Melissa Begay walk in the alley near the home they rented in the neighborhood of Mountain View on Thursday, April 20, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

This post first appeared in the April 26 Morning Report. Subscribe to the daily newsletter here.

The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 late Tuesday to approve an ordinance that will increase tenant protections in the city following hours of public comments and a series of last-minute amendments. 

The basics: The ordinance would make the process for removing a tenant in certain circumstances, like a substantial remodel of the property, more transparent by requiring disclosures in writing. Landlords would have to make tenants aware of their rights and could not retaliate against a tenant who declines a buy-out offer. It would also require that landlords provide tenants evicted for no fault of their own with relocation assistance totaling two months of rent, not including a security deposit. Seniors and people with disabilities would get three months.

As Jesse Marx and Lisa Halverstadt wrote last week, tenant and landlord advocates alike had beefs with the proposal from Mayor Todd Gloria and Council President Sean Elo-Rivera.

Elo-Rivera also couldn’t resist an amendment to collect data on evictions, a longtime priority of his that didn’t make it into the compromise ordinance. This ended up generating lots of back and forth – and initial pushback from Councilman Stephen Whitburn, who was concerned about collecting data on at-fault evictions that the ordinance itself didn’t focus on. Whitburn and Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell, the only councilmember to ultimately vote against the ordinance, also argued that the ordinance should have gone through the Council committee process rather than directly to the full Council.

One other not-super-wonky add: Councilman Kent Lee successfully called for language calling for the city to consider a potential cap on relocation assistance payments or other changes to those payments once eviction data is available from the Housing Commission. Halverstadt detailed other amendments on Twitter.

Next steps: The new protections won’t immediately go into effect. The City Council must take a second vote on the measure and then Mayor Todd Gloria will need to sign it. Then the city must wait an additional 30 days before it goes into effect.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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1 Comment

  1. Gloria and Elmo-Riviera driving rents higher again.
    “we’re the Gov and we are here to help” LOL!

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