You want scary? We've got an eviction map


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.

It's stunning: Between 1997 and 2013, it seems as if most of the Mission, Noe Valley, North Beach, the Marina, and Potrero Hill was evicted. Hundreds and hundreds of apartments turned into TICs, which now want to convert to condos. Hundreds and hundreds of tenants, who once had rent-controlled apartments, losing their homes -- and given the price of housing, losing their ability to live in San Francisco.

Each little red flag is a human tragedy. Each one represents a transforming city that no longer has room for the middle class, much less poor people. It makes we want to cry. Or throw up. Or something.


For pointing out that people who can't afford to live in San Francisco should live somewhere else?

Posted by A. Mouse on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

How did you lose something which wasn't yours ? It's awful for anyone to be forced to move, but the best way to protect that in the real world is to own something.

Posted by Rafal Neal on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

If your name is not on the deed, It NOT you home. Your faullt for not facing reality you fool. Blame everyome but yourself ,huh?

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 9:33 am

Dumb question: Ok so a landlord takes his units "out of the rental market" by Ellis Act evicting his tenants, making the building (a stupid) "TIC". People buy their pieces of the "TIC" (again so fucking stupid but whatever). Now, what happens if an owner of a TIC unit decided to rent out their unit and move somewhere else? Is that legal? If so and if in a pre 1979 building, wouldn't that unit be under rent control? or is it illegal to re-rent out a previously "Ellis Acted" unit.

Plenty of people buy condos and do this (believe me I know) but I never knew if one could do this with (a stupid) TIC.

Posted by Not Anyone special on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

New owner of TIC unit would be subject to same rules as the old owner. Yes, the unit is still covered by rent control.

From TIC attorney site: "During the first two years after an Ellis eviction, no dwellings can be re-rented. If a dwelling is re-rented during the first five years, the maximum rent is the amount paid by the evicted tenant plus any rent increases which would have been allowed if the dwelling had never been vacated. In addition, during the ten years after the eviction, re-rental must be first offered to the evicted tenant if that tenant has registered for re-rental."

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

up, whereupon a market rent can be obtained by the new TIC owner.

Most won't bother though. Too risky. Just sell if you want to move.

Posted by Anon on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

These are the actually Ellises. If you include the houses that were bought out without an Ellis the pins would no doubt be many multiples more.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 2:48 pm
Posted by Anon on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

If several thousand people (and that's the kind of numbers we're talking about) were left homeless after an earthquake, would we not consider that a crisis?

Posted by tim on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

But the housing wasn't wiped out as in an earthquake. It's just being occupied by other people after the owners pulled the units off the rental market and either sold them or moved in themselves.

Posted by The Commish on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

is now homeless? Where's the quantitative date to back that up?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

good grief! You mean an earthquake which only managed to kick 100 people out of their rent controlled apartments which they do not own?

I think most people would be thrilled with that compared to the devastation an earthquake typically causes

Posted by NOT_Eric_Brooks on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

Funny we don't think about NYC in the same breath here. 8 million vs 800,000 ... You know the same stuff happened there too.

Getting pushed out of San Francisco isn't the worst thing... I mean chances are you already have a car because the public transportation is utterly useless...So just drive back into the city for stuff. No biggie. Save your money.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

The following statement is typical of the SFBG, a misleading distortion of the truth that serves to confuse and misinform.

..."Hundreds and hundreds of apartments turned into TICs, which now want to convert to condos."

TICs that have Ellis Act Evictions are NOT ELIGIBLE TO CONVERT TO CONDOS.

Tim- Perhaps you and other socially owned housing advocates should spend less time conflating condo conversions and evictions and more time recognizing that not all middle income citizens want to rent...that there is a large swath of SF citizenry-the meat of our city-that want to own homes. BUILD more housing for the Middle!

Those at the top already eat cake and those with very little do not go hungry in San Francisco.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

very little" eating out of garbage cans?

The law prohibiting condo conversions in buildings whose owners had instituted the Ellis Act only covers buildings when the Ellis Act was used from 2006 onward.

From the belly of the beast:

Plan C, or moderates for homelessness.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

to Oakland, Daly City or some such.

Non issue, because most of the Bay area doesn't have rent control anyway.

Posted by Anon on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

With all the rent they have saved over decades, they're probably retired to their Tahoe ski cabin.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

none of the people living under bridges, eating out of garbage cans, or standing in line for food at Food Not Bombs and other food sharings ever lived in an apartment. They were all born homeless and are just slumming it here in SF, or are former San Franciscans taking a break from their lives of leisure at Lake Tahoe.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 7:02 am

Most tenants who've been evicted have been displaced, few have become homeless. Even with federally mandated relocation assistance, when we were evicted 11 years ago, out of the 13 tenants, we were the only ones to remain in the neighborhood.

Posted by marcos on May. 01, 2013 @ 7:44 am

others eating out of garbage cans come from? Most of the people in those situations that I speak with used to live in an apartment or at least an SRO.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:00 am

If they had a job (and otherwise, how did they pay their rent?) then they can rent another place. Maybe smaller, maybe in not as good an area, maybe in Oakland.

But they do not become homeless. That's a total exaggeration.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:17 am

Everyone is supportive of tenant's rights and protections. But the elephant in the room is that the tenants rights groups have pushed the envelope so far against property owners' rights that they have made operating rental property in San Francisco so onerous, litigious and difficult that many no longer even want to rent out their apartments. If as a City we made running rental property easier, more fair, and less intensely regulated, more people would continue to operate their buildings as rentals instead of converting to TIC's. Years of abuse of the City's rent-controlled laws and tenant protections has and will continue to lead to individuals opting to Ellis act their building instead of renting the units out as apartments.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

As a property owner, I couldn't agree more. I once accepted a tenant who turned out to be a parasitic piece of shit. An obese and highly unattractive man, it turned out he had successfully sued his previous landlord, an elderly woman, for sexual harrassment, and extorted a six figure settlement from the poor woman. I found out about this after said tenant lied about owning my property to have a sixty year old tree cut down, which landed on my neighbor's property. It took months to get this asshole out of my house.

After that, I would never consider renting to anyone I do not know very well, and routinely advise my fellow evil property owning scum the same. It simply isn't worth taking the risk of having your home colonized by people who expect handouts from everyone. As others have pointed out, there are lots of cool and less expensive places to live in the United States.

Posted by Emperor Commodus on May. 01, 2013 @ 4:59 am

as with rents, lead to higher rents, not lower.

The tragedy of it was that, in a city with 2/3 renters, it passed and has been strengthened because people see it as giving them something for nothing. And of course because there are not that many landlords to vote against it, while most regular homeowners aren't affected and so don't care either way.

Rent control raises rents, reduces supply, suppresses turnover and mobility. But worst of all, it creates an unhealthy landlord-tenant relationship. In most cities, landlords treat tenants as customers to be feted and attracted. In SF, tenants are treated like scum to be removed any way you can.

That oppositional dichotomy is the product of rent control, and progressives should feel shame about it. But, thank God, there is Ellis, which the city cannot do anything about and to which there is no legal defense.

Justice, finally. And the irony is that Ellis only exists because the tenant lobby went too far.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 5:31 am

Yes, the greedy tenant gravy train, there are more of them in this city, so the Eliis act is the only solution.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 9:40 am

I'd like to say this is a terrifying statistic, but in actuality there are no statistics of use presented here. The map is simply that - a map of Ellis evictions over the past 15 years. You can't draw any conclusions from it without more data. Have any of those properties been resold? have they reentered the rental market? are the owners still living there? what was the rate of ellis evictions in 1999 vs 2009? what is the neighborhood rent vs own ratio and how has that changed over time? are some neighborhoods more at risk for ellis evictions than others? what was the total rental units on the market in a location in 1997 vs 2013? and so on. without more context around these map markers, you can't really draw any sort of conclusion - they are simply a bunch of meaningless dots.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

Finally, someone on this thread with a brain. Amazing!

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

There are more OMI than even Ellis. Also, since Weiner started pushing his condo eviction legislation, suddenly lease violation evictions have skyrocketed and are more than almost all other evictions combined.

Posted by Brian Basinger on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

Renters act like it's their inalienable right to live in San Francisco. You know what, I'd love to live in Tokyo or La Jolla or Beverly Hills or London, but I can't afford it. I'd love to live the Marina or Pac Heights or Noe Valley, but I can't afford it. I'd love to drive a Ferrari and a personal chef and an infinity pool and a pony and free ice cream. San Francisco is expensive and has been for a very long time. When I first rented I had to live way out in the "uncool" Richmond district. When I bought a house I had to move to Pacifica. It wasn't until much later that I could afford to move back to the City.

People invest in property to make money. You're foolish, high and naive if you think it's for any other purpose. Landlords don't have any social contract to provide cheap housing for you. Leave that up to the government or baby Jesus or your Earth Mother. If you want to have cheap rents then move someplace cheap. Pool some money with friends and buy a place, then sell it or rent it and up-trade. Move to Portland or Reno.

You can call me evil or cruel, I couldn't care less what you think.

Step away from the bong and face reality.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

SF Renters do afford to live here, they signed leases and pay their rent in full.

Speculators don't give a shit about anything but their good thing.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

I'm not sure what your point is. If you can afford to rent in SF then good for you.

The reason why people purchase and rent property is to make money. *It's an investment.* If they want to be charitable, that's very noble. But landlords shouldn't be forced to run homeless shelters or Section 8 housing. It's their property. They're the ones who scraped together the down payment and took the risk. They should do what they want with it.

This sense of entitlement is what really irks me. I'd love to be a writer or an artist, but there's no money in it. I'd love to lay on a couch all day. Does that mean society should pay for my hobbies or sloth?

If I owned rental property, I wouldn't necessarily evict people and be a greedy douchebag. But that's a moral choice that I should make on my own. My moral choices shouldn't be dictated by some out-to-lunch cabal floating through the reality distortion zone that comprises SF city government. Stay out of my bedroom, stay of my checkbook.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

same reason that Tim does - those people are more likely to vote progressive. If they move to Oakland, as they should, then Oakland becomes more progressive and SF becomes more conservative.

Across the bay Area, nothing has changed of course, but their little fiefdom has changed its spots. And progressives cannot stand change or progress.

Posted by Anon on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

of the full rent, since a subsidy was imposed on the landlord.

If these whiney renters could pay a "full" rent, i.e. a market rent, they would not be complaining just because they have to move.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

world you live in. 

Posted by marke on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

You and I live in the same world. I just don't believe in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

Evil is expecting someone else to subsidize your lazy ass.

Posted by Guest on May. 10, 2013 @ 9:37 am

I'm sorry you can leech off of your landlords and neighbors anymore.

There are other lovely places to live in the Bay Area that are more affordable.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

Rents are half what they are in SF, the weather is better, and the commute often easier.

Posted by Anon on Apr. 30, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

exists because some tenant activists in Santa Monica went too far?

Yes, the curse of Ellis only exists because of people like you. You are to blame for this.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 12:47 am

Wow, reading the comments. I guess every SF renter's sterotype of SF landlords is spot on!

Posted by justin on May. 01, 2013 @ 7:01 am

And when rent controlled tenants rent their rent controlled apartments/houses out to other tenants at market rates and therefore live rent free as a result... Do they have a right to profit from this situation? Or when rent controlled tenants keep their rent controlled apartments and purchase houses outside the area like Sonoma County or Marin only to sublease and profit from their situation... is this okay?

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 7:24 am

Rent control has unintended consequences. Renters stay in rent controlled apartments for extended periods which constricts the supply of available housing. Given that limited supply, the prices of non-rent controlled units are sky high.

And putting aside Ellis, when a rent controlled unit does turn over, the owner increases the rent substantially -- benefiting from the prices that have been set by the non-rent controlled units and to recoup the money they've lost from the previous rent controlled tenant.

Someone posted here recently in a different thread that building owners secretly love rent control because, net-net, it keeps the prices at inflated levels. I think that poster was probably right.

Ellis may only be getting used when there is no prospect of turnover.

Posted by The Commish on May. 01, 2013 @ 7:34 am

Ellis is used to cash out, not to keep on renting, that's the whole purpose of the law. Anyone who would forgo current astronomical and climbing rents out of rent control spite needs to have their head checked. I'm not sure it makes good business sense to cash out in this climate when there is a guaranteed high cash flow attached to each and every unit.

Posted by marcos on May. 01, 2013 @ 7:46 am

the asshole from hell squatting in there forever.

Sometimes you can pay them off and have them go. But the most aggressive tenant will only take notice of an Ellis eviction. Then they go from being aggressive to being coy. Fuck them.

The best way to make money from SF rentals is to buy a building full of low-rent tenants, Ellis it, and then sell.

That is what progressives have wrought. Fail.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:14 am

Marcos, I realize it's used to cash out. But it's only worth cashing out if you have a long term tenant under rent control who doesn't show any signs of moving. As you note, it would be irrational to Ellis a unit if you could take advantage of steeply rising rents.

Posted by The Commish on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:42 am

good run. It's too bad that SFBG feels only for those privileged folks and not for the thousands of new arrivals who find themselves priced out by rent control, a lack of supply, and a lack of turnover.

Posted by anon on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:54 am

Who are all of these new arrivals and why do they insist on living here? This is like immigration; do you just open your borders and allow everyone to move in to the country? Why should you? First come first serve. In Europe there is much more regulation; and people don't move in hordes like cattle like they do here. They have respect for culture and traditions that have civilized them. Rent control civilizes San Francisco; without it it would be the hell hole everyone else in America is fleeing to live here. It is what makes people human; and the lack of it here in America is what makes Americans Barbarians. People living in a community have the right to collectively maintain their living environments.

Posted by Justin on May. 01, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

variety of reasons. It used to be for gold, then for jobs, then for the summer f love, then for gays, and now it's back to jobs again. America is a mobile nation and you cannot legislate that people stay put, not should you.

There is a perfect mechanism for restricting who can live there though, and that is price. The problem with rent control is that it interferes with that, meaning that lots of people who really shouldn't be here somehow manage to eke out a subsistence living by squatting in a rundown flat.

And that does nobody any good - not them and not the people who want to live here and can actually afford to do so.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

As a military brat who moved all the time as a kid and spent 15 years living in SF in an apartment and then a condo before moving to the East Bay, I have to say (1) shit happens, and (2) move on. I'm curious as to how much cash the people living in rent controlled units socked away over the years, and what they are doing with that money now... Or did they just blow on the fabulous local lifestyle, eating out every night, shopping at high-end stores, buying $10 lunches every day at the latest hipster deli instead of brown-bagging it and otherwise indulging in the typical status-conscious, trendy, materialistic horse-shit that is one side of San Francisco few are aware of until they have lived here.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 7:47 am

on their "profits" from a rent-controlled tenancy.

The interesting thing is that, although RC is claimed to help non-whites, the poor and families, it is usually middle-aged, middle-class, educated whites who mostly benefit from it.

They know the game and play it. RC rewards exactly the wrong kind of people. But it is also their punishment. They can never leave.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:12 am