There seem to have been a lot of irregularities in the way the Rincon Below Market Rate (BMR) Program has been implemented in the past year. There are many reports of BMR tenants not being given leases. Other BMR tenants are being given backdated leases. The Tenants Association has contacted the city about these and other issues.
BMR PROGRAM RULES
BMR tenants should remember the following rules and make violations known to management and/or the Tenants Association:
- Management must provide leases for BMR tenants. (Make sure management is not delaying your new lease while they wait for permission to increase rents.)
- There is no special (higher) month-to-month rate.
- BMR tenants can choose leases ranging from six- to 12-months. It is their choice, not managementís.
- BMR tenants are not required to accept and sign backdated leases.
- BMR tenants re-certify for the program every two years (see BMR Re-certification Issues below).
- BMR tenants have the option of re-certifying after one year if they wish. This is the tenantís choice to make. (Tenants may do this if they feel their income has dropped and they may qualify for a lower BMR category.)
- There is a 5% buffer on top of each category's maximum income amount for BMR tenants re-certifying so they won't be bumped into a higher category for temporarily making a few dollars too much.
- BMR tenants who change categories (Low, Lower-moderate, Moderate) are not required to change apartments.
- If the target category is full, there may be a provision for a temporary expansion of the category.
Contact the Tenants Association for more information.
BMR RENT AND INCOME LIMITS
BMR tenants should be aware of the official income and rent limits which change every spring. They can get this information by contacting the Tenants Association at this address: rcta@RinconNeighbors.com. Just provide your name and apartment number and confirm that you are in the BMR Program. You will be sent a link providing this information.
BMR RE-CERTIFICATION ISSUES
Many time-consuming and disruptive problems have cropped up in the Rincon BMR Program since the previous owners and city implemented a new tenant re-certification process several years ago. This new process fixed no known problems and has caused management, city workers and tenants many hours of grief. It does not bring the owners any additional income. Its problems far outweigh its benefits. The old process, which had been implemented for over 10 years, worked fine.
The previous owners made a bad business decision in implementing this new re-certification process. Its re-certification formulas are complex and prone to error. City hall bureaucrats never seem to consider all contingencies or appreciate how complex these programs can become. Resident disruption and displacement has never been much of a concern of theirs.
Dismissing our concerns as being self-serving would be a gross over-simplification. The long history of problems on all parties speaks for itself.
BMR CONDO CONVERSION PLAN
Detailed information about the proposed sale has been moved to another web page to keep it from real estate speculators. The location can be had by contacting the Tenants Association. Just tell us your name, apartment number, phone and whether you are a BMR or market-rate tenant, and we will send you the address of the new BMR web page.
The biggest drawback is that there is no provision for BMR tenants to avoid getting hit with large increases in homeowner dues. The market-rate homeowners would theoretically get a return on this increase because the market value of their unit would increase with whatever improvement the increase in dues is bringing about. Because the BMR units are limited equity, those tenants would not see the value of their home increase, and they might be priced out of their home. Here are two articles about this problem:
GENERAL BMR OVERVIEW
BMR Programs exist in numerous buildings around San Francisco. These programs keep the buildings from just filling up with wealthy individuals. If implemented correctly, they create a wonderful environment where people of ALL income levels are living side-by-side in a nice building (if not a nice neighborhood).
Below is a list of buildings offering BMR apartments:
The history of the Rincon BMR Program:
Although Mayor Willie Brown accepts the Tenants Association's invitation to visit Rincon Towers and meet with tenants (during his re-election campaign), the Redevelopment Agency he controls does nothing to solve BMR Program problems. (Turns out the corporate out-of-town owners were contributing to his campaign.) Promised long-term stability for tenants evaporates.
As the economy softens and rents decline across San Francisco, the low-income Rincon BMR tenants receive 7% rent increases. The so-called "below-market" rents increase so much that they come within $1 of market rents. Many BMR tenants move out of San Francisco.