Our Eviction Law Needs an Upgrade Now

(The following page is under construction.  Additional content will be posted shortly).

The SF Board of Supervisors is now considering legislation that would substantially increase protections against evictions.   Eviction Protections 2.0 would address and correct loopholes in the rent control ordinance that result in the evictions of hundreds of tenants each year (see our previous report on this page).

The real experiences of tenants best explains why we urgently need these changes.

Consider the testimony of this San Francisco teacher at the July hearing on the legislation.

Also see: SF Tenants  Groups Fight ‘Gotcha’ Evictions (or download: SF Chronicle July 29 2015)

Full legislation is available here: Leg Ver2.

Eviction Crisis 2015: Trends, Impacts, Real Stories


San Francisco’s Eviction Crisis 2015: A Report by SFADC

From the report:

“San Francisco’s housing and affordability crisis has been bad for years but new data and reports from the field show that it about to get even worse.  New data from the Rent Board shows that efforts to evict tenants are reaching levels not seen in over a decade..   This report provides new insights into the eviction trends, discusses emerging patterns in landlord abuses, and the price that the evictions are having on every neighborhood in the city.

“San Francisco Rent Board’s most recently published data on evictions reflects the extent and nature of the crisis.  According to the Rent Board’s Annual Eviction report, there were 2120 notices of evictions filed with the rent board for the year ending February 28, 2015 — a 54.7% increase over the past five years

“This report, based upon published and unpublished data from the Rent Board, provides more specific insights into the types of evictions justifications that are forcing tenants from their homes.   We review the historic trends in evictions and discuss how landlords are abusing loopholes in the city’s rent control ordinance to evict innocent tenants.  And we seek to provide some of the stories of real people whose lives are being impacted…

Finally we conclude with a forecast for the future.  Based upon present trends and absent a more robust policy response to the present crisis, it appears likely that the rates of eviction will dramatically increase this year, resulting in even more massive displacement and gentrification.


What Would Harvey Do?

Supervisor Harvey Milk was a forward-thinking, progressive person, and this carried over to the legislation he backed as a district supervisor in the Castro. He was committed to ensuring that everyone in the city had a voice and that those who had more money would not have undue influence on San Francisco. Shortly before his assassination, he noticed the troubling trend of speculation displacing people from their homes and he wanted to do something about it. Before his death, Milk proposed an “anti-speculation” plan that would heavily tax profits generated by quickly flipping homes in San Francisco. He reasoned that it would be a way to keep the housing stock of San Francisco as a place for people to live, not a means for people to make money.

With the assistance of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the Housing Rights Committee, Causa Justa / Just Cause, San Francisco Tenants Union, Tenants Together, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Chinatown Community Development Center, and many more, we at the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition are working to make Supervisor Milk’s dream a reality.

We are excited to announce that our proposed legislation for a speculation tax that would only affect real estate sales made when the owner of a home makes a profit on a home they have possessed for five years or less has been given the blessing of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and will be on the ballot this November! If we work together, we can make one of Harvey’s last wishes come true.

Before his death, Supervisor Harvey Milk proposed an “anti-speculation” plan that would have heavily taxed profits generated by quickly flipping properties in San Francisco. – See more at: http://sfpublicpress.org/news/2014-02/activists-call-for-revival-of-harvey-milks-anti-speculation-proposal#sthash.1BTS9ENH.dpuf

Foundational Artists Responsible for Making the Mission a Destination Being Evicted from their Mission Apartments

One of the problems with talking about evictions and displacement is the tendency to examine it on a case-by-case basis: a series of individuals making logical decisions about where they want to live, buying property, and forcing those who were renting the property to leave. The problem with evictions is not found at this level but rather at the systemic level, when we examine who is coming in and who is being forced out, and notice that this is a problem that disproportionately affects seniors, people with disabilities, low income population, queer people, and people of color. While anyone losing their home is tragic, it is particularly upsetting when those being evicted are responsible for putting their neighborhood on the map, as with the Yañez family evictions currently happening in the Mission.

René Yañez and Yolanda López, two prolific artists whose contributions shaped the Mission into a destination for locals and tourists alike. Yañez is responsible for making the Día de Los Muertos celebration in the Mission the citywide, show-stopping spectacle it is today, and is an accomplished visual artist, as well. López’s work has garnered international acclaim, especially for her Virgen de Guadalupe series depicting working-class chicana women in a bold, positive manner.

López is making the best of her eviction by putting it on display: she is selling off her possessions in garage sales that happen in art galleries. Her goal is to publicize what is happening to her and to her beloved neighborhood. Her other goal? To find somewhere else to go, as she acknowledges that living in San Francisco on Social Security will likely be impossible. It’s cruelly ironic that two of the people responsible for making the Mission district synonymous with arts and culture are now being forced out to make room for those who can afford to pay a premium for a place in a trendy neighborhood.

They’ll have to content themselves with the the decorative Día de Los Muertos themed tree grates left behind on Valencia Street as a testament to their legacy while they depart for destination unknown.