By now you’ve received a mail-in ballot for measure B-17, Non-Discrimination in Housing. This sounds like a good a ballot measure that appears to protect renters and home buyers alike from discrimination – but could actually hurt access to affordable housing in San Luis Obispo, which, as you all know, is already one of the least affordable housing markets in the country.

Remember, this measure calls for the repeal of the former Rental Housing Inspection program – which was already repealed earlier this year – and the replacement of it with wording that may have good intentions and yet puts our city’s affordable housing programs in jeopardy.

On the surface “non-discrimination” sounds great, but it puts at risk affordable housing programs which are created to favor lower income individuals and families.

These programs are a vital tool that the city uses to help housing be more accessible to all income levels. So without those programs, San Luis Obispo’s housing crisis would worsen for everyone, not just for the families, veterans and seniors that those programs directly serve.

The Chamber was opposed to the original rental housing inspection ordinance and we do not support this ballot measure to replace it. Don’t be misled – vote No on this measure and make sure you return your mail in ballot by August 22nd. Every vote counts.

For more information, go to slochamber.org or reach out to us directly. This is an important vote and could make San Luis Obispo a less diverse and less welcoming community. We encourage you to vote no and help us spread the word on why B-17 would hurt San Luis Obispo.