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Patricia Hartman, left, and Brett Gladstone, right, with Hanson Bridgett. Patricia Hartman, left, and Brett Gladstone, right, with Hanson Bridgett.

The availability of affordable housing throughout the United States, and the world, is on the decline. This is especially true in cities and towns with a shortage of rental housing and high prices, particularly college towns. In an effort to preserve affordable housing, on June 3, 2019, San Francisco adopted the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) conferring upon “Qualified Nonprofits” a first right to purchase real property in San Francisco improved with three or more residential rental units (whether or not the property also includes non-residential uses) and property on which three or more residential units could be or are being built (all such lots or buildings will be referred to hereafter as a “multi-family residential building”). The first right to purchase consists of both a right of first offer as well as a right of first refusal. A multi-family residential building acquired by a Qualified Nonprofit under COPA must be maintained as rent-restricted affordable housing in perpetuity.

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