‘Dufty’s Condo Conversion Shennanigans’

by on September 29, 2005

Gentlemen –

Many thanks for your coverage of Supervisor Bevan Dufty’s attempts to circumvent the city’s condo conversion process. As an owner in a TIC, I take special note of coverage of this issue, and I often wonder why our housing market must pit the city’s beseiged middle class against the most vulnerable constituencies.

I’d like to point out a numerical fallacy that permeates coverage of the TIC lottery, one which I noticed in your article. The city chooses 200 buildings each year for condo conversion. Most press coverage mentions this number, but then makes the mistake of citing the number of units waiting for conversion instead of the number of buildings (a more relevant statistic). While there may indeed be 1500 units waiting for conversion, that translates into roughly 450 buildings. Because the entire building is converted upon winning the lottery, citing the number of units waiting for conversion is misleading.

So by reading your coverage (and that of the chronicle), one might incorrectly infer that there is only a 13% chance of winning conversion when, in fact, there is actually a far greater (45%) chance. In future coverage on this topic, please make an effort to cite the more meaningful statistic.

Many thanks, and keep up the good coverage,

Joe Morse

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