By Tim Redmond

FEB 21, 2014 — Efforts to reform the Ellis Act — one of the key demands of the tenant rally this week — are now underway.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano introduced a bill today, AB 2405, that would allow San Francisco (or any other county) to enact a moratorium on Ellis evictions until it has met its regional goals for affordable housing production.

The bill would also hide no-fault evictions (like Ellis cases) from credit records so that tenants evicted purely for landlord and speculator profit won’t face credit problems in the future.

If the bill clears the state Legislature, the San Francisco supervisors, by a majority vote, could end Ellis evictions for the immediate future: The city is far, far out of compliance with its own General Plan goals and regional needs for affordable housing.

State Sen. Mark Leno told the tenant rally he was planning to introduce his own bill, probably next week, and it would most likely mandate that landlords own property for five years before they can invoke the Ellis Act.

(UPDATE: Leno’s office just told me that he will be announcing an Ellis bill Monday morning, with Mayor Ed Lee, at 9am in Chinatown. A representative of Ammiano’s office will be there, perhaps indicating that the mayor will support both bills)

Mayor Ed Lee has said that he will support Ellis reform in Sacramento, although he hasn’t been specific about what legislation he would back. It’s hard to imagine how he could fail to put his weight behind both of these bills.