Evictions

Anti-eviction rally in the Mission tomorrow supporting the Mission and Rene Yanez

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Tomorrow (Sat/12 at 2pm) advocates and defenders of working class San Francisco will march to protest a rash of recent Mission evictions, including the potential ouster of artists and activists Rene Yañez and Yolanda Lopez from their Mission district home. 

The organizers want the mayor to declare a state of emergency in the city as the recent Ellis Act evictions have intensified -- 125 Ellis Act eviction notices have been filed this year, with the most recent numbers going to the end of August, according to the SF Rent Board. But 175 requests for Ellis Act evictions were filed, meaning 70 percent of Ellis evictions were upheld. The march follows recent wins against gentrification, including blocking a Jack Spade store from opening in the Mission

Organizer Roberto Y. Hernandez said that since he announced the march he’s been getting calls of support from all over the city, but most notably in Chinatown, the Bayview, and the Castro. 

“I heard horror stories of what's happening to the gay community in the Castro,” he said. “This doesn’t just affect the Mission, this affects the whole city.” 

Each of those evictions represents a person or family whose ouster from their apartments may mean ouster from San Francisco altogether. Ellis evictions gained more notoriety this year, first with the plight of the Lee family and now the ouster of Mission artists Yañez and Lopez. 

Yañez is widely credited with bringing the celebration of Day of the Dead to the city. He co-founded the Mission’s Galeria de la Raza and practiced art in his home of the Bay Area since the 60s. Now, while suffering from cancer, the 71 year old is being forced from the neighborhood he helped to shape. Lopez, his former wife, is an artist with deep roots in the Chicano/a movements of the ‘60s, and is facing eviction as well. 

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"Eviction Free Summer" activists show up outside a landlord's office to protest an eviction

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On July 2, activists from "Eviction Free Summer," formed to defend tenants facing eviction, gathered outside landlord Rick Holman's South Park office building in San Francisco to protest an eviction he'd initiated against a Mission-based activist collective.

Organizer Fred Sherburn-Zimmer said it was one of many peaceful protests the housing activists plan to stage against property owners this summer. "We're taking it to the landlord's homes and offices," Sherburn-Zimmer said. "They can't pretend they're not ruining people's lives by displacing them."Read more »

Anti-gentrification activists “GET OUT” with Pride

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A group of activists used the Pride Parade to make a political statement by marching with a faux Google bus, an action meant to call attention to gentrification in San Francisco. They rented a white coach and covered it with signs printed up in a similar font to Google's coroporate logo, proclaiming: “Gentrification & Eviction Technologies (GET) OUT: Integrated Displacement and Cultural Erasure.” Read more »

The myth of a pro-tenant city

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There are always bad tenants. Always will be. Human interactions are imperfect, and renting out a room in your flat or a flat under your apartment to a stranger is always a bit of a gamble. I've lived with housemates, and it's always been great, but not everyone has that experience -- one old friend of mine lived with a guy who threatened to kill him by writing demonic messages in blood on the bathroom wall and then smashed his car to bits with a street sign.Read more »

A map of SF's wealth -- and poverty

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There's a cool interactive map that gives you a visual picture of wealth and poverty in San Francisco. Check it out here. Just type in "San Francisco, CA" and click "income."Read more »

Young, creative people who work hard

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I almost don't know what to say, except: Finally, someone admits it.

Rebecca Pederson, writing in The Bold Italic, explains why she actually likes the idea that San Francisco is becoming so expensive that thousands of longtime residents are being forced out; see, if it's more expensive to live here, then young, creative people will work harder:Read more »

You want scary? We've got an eviction map

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You want to see something frightening on a lovely afternoon? Check out this amazing interactive map of Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco put together by Brian Whitty.Read more »

The vultures of greed

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A small but enthusiastic crowd marched through the Castro April 20 to bring some attention to the rash of Ellis Act evictions that are forcing seniors and disabled people out of the city. The activists stopped at the home of Jeremy Mykaels, whose plight is symbolic of the state of housing in San Francisco today. Mykaels insists he's not a public speaker, but his remarks were poignant; we've excerpted them here:Read more »

No golden years for LGBT seniors

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According to studies, queer seniors are poorer than their straight counterparts. They’re half as likely to have health insurance, and two-thirds as likely to live alone. Not to mention facing discrimination in medical and social services, retirement homes, and nursing care facilities. So much for the “golden years.”
Here in San Francisco, LGBT seniors face another grave threat: evictions. Many of our elderly live in rent-controlled apartments that are targeted by real-estate speculators and investors out to make big bucks turning them into tenancies-in-common.

With median rents close to $3,000 a month and vacancy rates low, the odds are pretty good that an evicted senior won’t find an affordable place in the city. For a senior with AIDS, an eviction is especially threatening since our city offers the best treatment and services. Studies show that people with AIDS who lose their apartments tend to die sooner, especially if they become homeless. 

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