Fed up with foreclosures and evictions, the Occupy SF Housing coalition fights back
"With the help off the 99 percent and with right on our side we are going to fight this and we are going to win," said Powell, whose gallery next door to Philz Coffee is a cornerstone of the neighborhood's multi-ethnic arts scene. The San Francisco Rent Board has received more than 4,000 petitions to remove rental units from the real estate market since 1999 through the Ellis Act. While Ellis Act evictions have seen some decline during the economic crisis, more Ellis Act evictions are now concentrated in the Mission District, where 40 percent of all Ellis Act petitions are now filed. At the same time, evictions based on breach of lease throughout the city are on track to double pre-recession numbers this year as more and more San Franciscans are have trouble earning enough to keep up with the city's exorbitant rental rates. According to Just Cause, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Mission District is now $2,497. "The only way to keep our Chinese, Latino, Arabic, English speaking neighborhood is to fight like hell for our homes," said Poblet. "Even before Wall Street was occupied, we have been defending this neighborhood. This is the neighborhood of the 99 percent."