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.

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.

Comments

In my opinion, this housing bubble was created by rent control. Of course, to end rent control now would be monstrous. And I wouldn't support that. But we should have never implemented it. Rent control is good for a very small # of people, and really really bad for a large number of people. Usually, it's good for old people. Bad for young. I have friends paying $420 a month for a 3 bedroom apartment on Guerrero and 22nd. The landlord is desperate to get them out. He loses money every month on that unit. The 2 men that live there hate each other, but they are bound by rent control. They can never leave. It's like a prison that they created. It's just weird.

We wouldn't need all these controls now if we hadn't started with all those controls then.

that's what I think

chicken

Posted by chicken john on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:05 am

Your friends will be Ellis'ed. We're just debating when, not if.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:10 am

Yes, despite the best intentions, rent control has become yet another government shit storm whose true costs are paid for by young san franciscans.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 8:56 am

has failed. The fact that a few noisy people have gained from it hardly justifies such a disruptive police. It's days are numbered.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 9:06 am

Clearly, the wave of Ellis Act evictions are related to economic conditions. The reason we're paying so much attention to this now is certainly related to the waves of young techies moving in with their high salaries and private bus rides to Silicon Valley.

If we don't preserve affordable rental housing, which is a historical phenomenon in San Francisco, then SF will become a bedroom community for Silicon Valley.

The TICs issue is that speculators choose to make money by having people evicted. The TIC buyers end up fielding the angst and economic pain from the speculators' missing morals.

We can determine our own future by influencing politicians to assist in reducing the eviction of families, middle income people, and seniors, or we can allow some out-of-town money grabbers to decide it for us.

San Francisco needs to remain affordable for a diverse group of people. Why? Because San Francisco needs all level of workers to make the city work. And all level of workers need all levels of housing affordability.

Rent control is a 40 year project in this city. To throw it out the window, as some suggest, would ignore all the work and compromise that we, the body politic, have put into it. Changing the rules in the middle of the game to allow TICs to convert to condos, after all the years of lotteries, etc., is patently unfair to all those who have been playing by the rules, no matter what their take on the rules is.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 10:34 am

Fair points, but it seems like rent control has been a failure. Rents are higher in the City than just about anywhere in the country. The only people who are benefiting from the system are those who have been in their rentals for a very long time where such rentals are subject to rent control. Once someone moves out of a rent controlled unit, that rent is going to be jacked sky high for the next guy given how the constrained market of non-rent controlled units has set the rates.

And I don't know why this is changing the rules in the middle of the came. Why are we not at the end of the game?

Posted by The Commish on May. 01, 2013 @ 11:09 am

Rent control was not the result of a compromise. Why are small property owners responding to the "compromise" by steadily exiting the rental housing business?

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 11:49 am

This is simple -because small property owners can't afford to take on the risk and expense of tenants, whose entitlements continue to expand.

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 10:37 am

the City because they are governed by State law.

So you simply have to accept that they will continue to happen.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

is overheated. This would have to impact the state outside the Bay Area for it to be an issue and it's not. So anyone thinking this is going to be a priority for the legislature and the governor is dreaming. Most areas of California would kill to be in the situation SF is in right now - high demand for rentals and property is a GOOD thing, especially in depressed areas like the CV and the IE.

Again we see the inability of many posters to understand there is a world outside San Francisco and a total inability to even fathom the worldview outside the city limits.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 01, 2013 @ 2:40 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

You're a homeowner who has no voice in this matter.

Posted by proud_bay_man on May. 22, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

"If we don't preserve affordable rental housing"...

There is nothing affordable about market rate rental housing in SF! Here's how you fix it....REPEAL RC in an orderly fashion.

Here's how it would work...Every existing squatter with RC gets to live our their lease (in SF, short of an Ellis, a tenant gets to stay as long as they pay). Don't want to change the rules of the game for those that are already here and have such a sweet deal. When said tenant moves on however, that unit would no longer be subject to RC. The vacant unit would be re-rented at market rate anyway-so we can agree it wouldn't be affordable. Just ditch the RC requirement slowly unit by unit and eventually we'd have a market dynamic that would see housing costs drop.

Easy. Those RC tenants that have their cake can keep eating it. Those tech rich new renters that are paying artificially high market rate rents, don't need cake. They don't need RC.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

be to come up with a formula for buying out all existing leases, and then make that binding on both sides.

One idea would be to take the difference between the market rent and the current rent, and multiply that by the number of years the tenant lived there, and then halve it, effectively "splitting the difference" between LL and TT.

At that point, the TT can continue to live there at a market rent if both parties agree, which is the way it works almost everywhere else anyway.

Bingo, no more evictions except for cause. Everyone wins. But far too logical and sensible to ever work in SF, so we'll continue to see hundreds more Ellis evictions.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

There are two buildings not pictured on this map, on 47th Avenue in the Outer Sunset, where tenants were bought it to leave. One building is now TIC, and the other is under renovation,presumably for owner occupancy. Three units in each building, two flats plus in-law.

Posted by Sue Grissom on May. 01, 2013 @ 11:35 am
Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

quoting:

"An Ellis Act is based on a very simple legal principle: A property owner has the right to exit rental business.

What is the realistic plan to take this right away? Most likely doing so would violate the US Constitution."

---

I would suggest that a simple repeal (while not supported by you) of the Ellis Act, or more importantly an amendment process would satisfy current constitutional LAW (state, Federal). No? 8-)

I do not mean to imply that action would be simply achieved in the state legislature (super majority, and the true will not withstanding), but I am providing a reasonable response to your rhetorical nonsense.

\o.0/

Posted by anti-conservatism on May. 01, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

and so you might assume that the situation prior to Ellis must have been constitutional.

But the Ellis Act simply followed from a court ruling in Santa Monica which ruled as unconstitutional a city's attempt for force landlords to rent out units even if they preferred to keep them vacant.

The Ellis Act then simply codified what the courts had already ruled i.e. that a landlord has an unfettered constitutional right to exit the rental business at any time.

Renting out a unit should not be a life sentence.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

This article and the accompanying comments are a showcase of why people laugh at liberals.

What does this whole argument amount to? What's the practical reality?

You have a limited supply of rental units in a city, and the price is being driven upward by high demand.

Then you have people who demand that the rental price be held artifically low for them, to be given something for free, in order to combat "greed".

It's not going to work out in the long run.

Obviously, controlling the rent is going to eventually result in a situation where being a landlord is a bad idea. So people will stop doing it.

Nobody is going to be willing to collect $1000 a month in rent on a $3M property and be hammered legally by the renters on top of it.

Of course anyone who can perform enough inductive logic to see this outcome is called names, because liberals are so very open-minded and intellectual.

Why come up with an opinion based on facts and logic when name-calling feels so good?

Why be an adult when tribal group-think and sloganeering makes you the self-righteous hero?

Posted by Bruce Q. Public on May. 02, 2013 @ 7:59 am

Somehow the groupthink has concluded that paying below market rent gives them the same rights as an owner.

It's a sad, bizarre delusion.

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 9:22 am

There are probably at least 150,000 rent controlled units in SF. According to SF Rent Board stats, about 100 of them are Ellis'ed each year.

So for all your doom and gloom reporting, it's really another form of lottery like the condo lottery. In any given year, a rent controlled tenant has less than a 1 in 1,000 chance of being Ellis'ed.

Now, that's higher than the risk of being struck by lightning, but lower than many regular risks that we all assume all the time. So why oh why are you making such a big deal about this?

What we really have here is a healthy compromise. A nuanced balance if you will. The overwhelming majority of tenants have rent control but, each year, a tiny proportion of them lose their homes.

It's like a pendulum. Rent control prevents the pendulum swinging too far in favor of landlords, and Ellis prevents the pendulum swinging too far in favor of tenants.

Given that compromise is the essence of politics, why do you seek total 100% victory here? Why isn't 99.99% victory good enough for you?

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 7:59 am

No one should ever be evicted from a home or an apartment except for two reasons: Nonpayment of rent or a noise nuisance to other tenants / neighbors. If a landlord wants to get out of the rental market, then he has two choices: A. Don't get in the rental market in the first place if you can't handle it, B. Wait until your tenant(s) either move or die.

People should not be forced out of their home simply because the landlord sees dollar signs. Evictions are downright wrong except for the two exceptions previously mentioned.

It's time for renter's to fight back: Remove Ellis Eviction exception to rent control laws and make ALL apartments, homes,in-laws and lofts rent controlled! Do it NOW!

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 8:12 am
Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 8:40 am

Here are some you missed:

Nuisance
Breach of contract
Persistent late payment of rent
Criminal behavior
Owner wants to live there
Relative of the owner wants to move there
Condo conversion
Demolition of unit (duh)
Merging units
Substantial rehabilitation of building
Purchase by non-profit or government agency
Redevelopment i.e. eminent domain

and so on.

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 8:48 am

It's a real tragedy when you can't force someone to offer their property as shelter for you at an absurdly low price.

Maybe we should force all businesses in San Francisco to offer their goods and services at the prices from 30 years ago?

LOL.

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 9:14 am

oh the humanity

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

Isn't it awful how all these Asian immigrants are working 80 hours a week to purchase houses and they can't tell Fanon from Foucault? How are educated middle class white people supposed to have that pleasurable colonization feeling when other ethnicities are wealthier?

The hip life is only authentic if there is a brown/black underclass below. It's a white hipster's burden to suffer these Asians. Death to materialism! Why won't these Asians get all Marxist and drink at the Uptown? These new Asians don't even seem to want to be inducted into hipsterhood as honorary whites. What's wrong with this mad mad world?

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 9:54 am

I lived there for 12 years. We had to appear as witnesses against our new landlords the Setos in a neighbor lawsuit. The Setos bought it after we were there for 9 years. They tortured us for three long years because we wouldn't lie to a judge. We had rent control. Need I say more. That's okay. We went to the Rent board and they had to reduce our rent since they lied and took away our parking. Then they finally did an Ellis act. No problem. They had to pay us 4K to move since we were low income by SF standards. Horrible, horrible people. They sued all their surrounding neighbors for years. Then they take SF's money for an Asian Community Center for the "good" of the neighborhood. LOL LOL LOL LOL. What a joke. No, actually, it's to get the 70K from the city since you lost your childcare license because of threatening to shoot neighbors and brandishing a weapon then hiding it in the bedroom with sleeping children. Yeah, Ellis Act evictions are righteous aren't they?.

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

um, what?

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

I am an outsider looking at this absurd situation. You can buy a TIC and rent it. You can buy a Condo and rent it. You can sell the Condo any time and the renters can stay or go but you can"t convert the TIC to Condo because the world will end??? Am I getting the nuances of SF real estate?

I still don't get how converting a TIC to a Condo changes the world. The new owners may want to rent it out same as the new owners of a TIC. As an outsider it seems like stopping homeowners from converting to a new legal entity seems like eminent domain by the City.

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

These tenants complain because they think it will reduce rentals, but these units are already owner-occupied anyway.

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 12:13 am

Right. If a renter turns into a homeowner, it's a wash (you lose a rental but you also lose a renter).

The reality is that this has nothing to do with preserving rentals and everything to do with preserving the political power base of particular tenant-advocacy groups.

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 3:45 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

Condos are not subject to rent control but TICs are. You do understand that, right?

Posted by glenparkdaddy on May. 03, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

I see your point. TIC owners will NEVER rent out their units because of rent control. If they do not want to live there any more, they will sell.

But condo's can and are freely rented out because RC doesn't apply.

Great point. More condo's are good for tenants.

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 10:57 pm

Landlords are responsible for putting more Americans (including the elderly and veterans) on the street than terrorists. When will Obama take care of those violent landlords who are bringing economic depression to hard working Americans. If people need housing, seems like we just need people and buildings, no sniveling middle-men trying to up prices for "the market".

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

buy their home from their landlord, and then the picture that you present will happen. You can cut out the middle-man now by forming co-operatives to buy your homes.

No change in the law is needed, so what are you waiting for?

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 12:12 am

If they did that, they would realize that providing housing actually involves doing work and taking risk. Which might be hard for them.

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

The Old Left is busy fighting over a diminishing pie. This is a lose-lose game. Instead of doing that, figure out a way to grow the pie and build more housing. Then we can bring in more Lefties into San Francisco. This would be a winning long-term strategy.

Posted by glenparkdaddy on May. 03, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

many, many people. We need many more towers like that to improve out skyline and house all those who want to live and work in SF.

Posted by Guest on May. 03, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

So Guest 22 says "If you purchase an apartment building, that is not your "home." If you buy a building with rental units, then you are buying the business as well as any "owner's unit."

This is IDIOTIC. Maybe stereotyping all property owners into faceless corporate entities is easier for Guest 22's tiny mind to grasp, but it isn't accurate.

I own an apartment. It is MY HOME. I left the city for a few years and I RENTED IT. When I returned I had to pay the tenants (who, by the way, were not by any means destitute, they have better paying jobs than I do) to move, so that I could move back into MY HOME.

What you fail to realize is that these idiotic policies that equate occupying an apartment with owning it are ridiculous. I was a renter for years before I bought, and IT IS CHEAPER than owning. Tenants have none of the investment or risk that goes along with owning property - they don't have to sink $$$ into a down payment, they are not responsible for repairs. etc. So why so many think they should be entitled to the "benefits" of owning, like not having to move when they don't want to, is mind boggling.

It is sad to see what started as legitimate protections for tenants taken over by a bunch of entitled vultures. I personally will never rent again - if I leave the area again I'll leave it vacant. Another apartment permanently off the market = victory for the renters, eh?

Posted by Guest on May. 07, 2013 @ 10:34 am

EARTHQUAKE

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 12:32 pm
Posted by proud_bay_man on May. 22, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

Sad. You must be in a really dark place to be looking forward to such a calamity. Hopefully you won't lose friends or family when that day comes.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

You can't condo-convert a building that has evicted more than two tenant units without cause. So the claim that there is some relationship between this map and condo conversions is utterly specious.

Posted by Guest on May. 08, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

how about proposing "means testing", so that only those who meet standards needing help with housing get it. no residents making six figure, or those commuting outside the city for work, or the kids or friends of the tenant who lucked out twenty years ago and wants to pass on the great deal he or she got?
Maybe if there weren;t more abuses to rent control than examples of those needing help getting reduced rent, landlords would not be getting out of the rental business. and, btw, rent control was not initiated for the well-educated middle class with lots of options, or the "creative classes" as the tenants union is now re-framing. it was designed for working class with few work options, who help support the lifestyles which the middle and upper classes in sf enjoy. and sorry, there are many sf middle class who own and who have moved up in work and can still afford fair market rent. that everyone cannot live in one of the most desireable cities in the world is sad, but it is not a god-given right. news flash: oakland is pretty good.

Posted by martin on May. 22, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

how about proposing "means testing", so that only those who meet standards needing help with housing get it. no residents making six figure, or those commuting outside the city for work, or the kids or friends of the tenant who lucked out twenty years ago and wants to pass on the great deal he or she got?
Maybe if there weren;t more abuses to rent control than examples of those needing help getting reduced rent, landlords would not be getting out of the rental business. and, btw, rent control was not initiated for the well-educated middle class with lots of options, or the "creative classes" as the tenants union is now re-framing. it was designed for working class with few work options, who help support the lifestyles which the middle and upper classes in sf enjoy. and sorry, there are many sf middle class who own and who have moved up in work and can still afford fair market rent. that everyone cannot live in one of the most desireable cities in the world is sad, but it is not a god-given right. news flash: oakland is pretty good.

Posted by martin on May. 22, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

to Oakland.

Posted by proud_bay_man on May. 22, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

Let's all vote the puppet of the real estate market out of office! Scott Weiner has got to go. He is a major player in the evictions of many in this city. He is absolutely horrid for the renters in this city. Let's start taking control of our city again and keep it out of the hands of people like Scott Weiner!

Posted by proud_bay_man on May. 22, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

There is no US Constitutional right for a landlord to go out of business. The Ellis Act is a state law passed in 1985 after the Calif. Supreme Court ruled there is not a constitutional right to evict tenants for landlord to go out of business. Hopefully the Ellis Act will be repealed soon.

Posted by Richard Hurlburt on May. 23, 2013 @ 9:29 am