Evictions and gentrification fuel widespread concern in the Mission

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Erick Arguello of Calle 24 said lower 24th Street has witnessed an onslaught of real-estate speculators.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

A mix of neighborhood merchants, community activists and a couple City Hall staffers met for a community forum Sept. 23 on Mission gentrification, voicing anger and frustration about rising displacement in the face of soaring rents.

Arranged by organizer Andy Blue, the forum was hosted by Rose Aguilar of Your Call Radio and held at the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics on Valencia Street.

The recent controversy stemming from a bid by high-end retailer Jack Spade to move into a 16th Street storefront catalyzed the discussion, but many addressed the overarching transformation of a neighborhood that has been flooded with high-salaried residents who can afford to pay top dollar.

Gabriel Medina, policy manager of the Mission Economic Development Agency, said he’s troubled by the displacement of Latino-owned businesses. About 80 percent of Latino-owned businesses are passed onto proprietors’ children, he said, representing critical assets in a pricey city like San Francisco. “It’s getting cheaper to be able to start a business than to buy a house,” he pointed out.

Erick Arguello of Calle 24 (formerly the Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighbors Association) said he’d seen a similar trend along his strip of the Mission, where some Latino-owned businesses have managed to hold strong since they bought their properties years ago.

Nevertheless, Arguello said, the pressure is on. “There’s been an onslaught of realtors and prospectors on 24th Street,” he said. “They ask about the neighbor next door: Do you know when their lease goes to?”

Nor are businesses the only ones impacted. “We’re seeing a lot of evictions of residents along the corridor,” he noted. “The majority of them are Latino families.”

Laura Guzman, executive director of the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, decried a lack of funding for affordable housing and dedicated units for the homeless and impoverished.

She said many individuals living on the streets in the Mission lack options, leading them to pass the time in the BART plaza. “Support the people in the plaza. They’re human beings,” Guzman said.

Nick Pagoulatos, a legislative aid to Sup. Eric Mar who was previously involved with mid-90s anti-gentrification campaigns in the Mission, said he himself wasn’t sure if he would be able to remain in the city.

“I’m a partner to a woman who was born in the Mission,” he said, acknowledging the deep ties her family has to the neighborhood. “We know that when we lose our housing” – it is likely a question of when, not if, Pagoulatos said – “we’re not going to be able to stay in the Mission. And we’re probably not going to be able to stay in San Francisco.”

Some activist efforts have emerged. A direct action group called Eviction Free San Francisco has staged protests outside the doors of real-estate speculators. At the upcoming Dia de los Muertos 2013 celebration, curator Martina Ayala said at the meeting, “We are building altars to remember the life that we once enjoyed.” La Llorona, a Dia de los Muertos exhibit that will be held at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, is subtitled “weeping for the life and death of the Mission District.”

A similar transformation happened 10 years ago when the first dot-com boom flooded the Mission with deep-pocketed residents, Pagoulatos noted. Back then, “there was an organized reaction,” he said. “To be honest with you, we fought the good fight, we were at it for a long time and we didn’t win.”

This time around, “Our level of disgust for what’s been going on has been numbed,” he said. But he called for reaching out to engage unlikely allies, and for tapping into collective anger about displacement to bring about change.

“Get pissed, folks," Pagoulatos said. "Anger is a good thing, especially in the face of injustice.”

Comments

Who knows?

Maybe Latinos in Redwood City don't rely on Trulia to find rentals...

Posted by LOL Barrier on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 8:26 am

Weird that the Mission is so unaffordable when it is almost half Latino.

You want Latinos in a neighborhood, they are good for property values.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 8:35 am

Except that Latinos still are moving into Redwood City, and Anglos are moving out.

Using Trulia ads to deem Redwood City unaffordable is like saying that Oakland is unaffordable because some of the houses in the Oakland hills are real expensive.

Posted by LOL Barrier on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 9:08 am

really doesn't have any bad/cheap neighborhoods (Marin City is about as bad as it gets up there).

For instance, there is a significant hispanic population around San Rafael. They manage to find cheap places to live outside of the main streets.

I give Hispanics credit for being resourceful, as well as for working hard. Ironic that white liberals should think that they need so much help when they're perfectly good at adapting to changing times and places - better than whiney white liberals anyway.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 9:24 am

Latinos don't feel pain like we do either.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

because pain is a private sensation.

But the indicators are that they tolerate adversity better than, say, the average whiney, middle-aged, gay white San Francisco failed activist.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

Ad hominem troll.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

I support diversity and people like you add no diversity to SF because there are already lots of people like you here.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 5:25 am

define "middle aged"

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 2:54 am

qualifies by almost anyone's definition.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 5:15 am

but when the hispanics reach a critical mass, everyone else elaves, and RE values decline.

In any event, the average white liberal here doesn't care a crap about hispanics and do not mix with them even when living next door to them. the limit of their interaction with hispanics is getting a gourmet vegan burrito.

They just want cheap rent for themselves and think having hispanics around will keep their digs low rent.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 9:14 am

isn't a concern here. In fact the Mission is much more diverse than it used to be when no whites would dare set foot in it.

I went to that American Cheese joint at 20th and Harrison a few Sundays ago and it was full of white children. Twenty years ago that site was a ratty old bodega that anyone who couldn't speak Spanish wouldn't risk their life going into.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 9:26 am

are tiresome. And the rather regular allusion to white children makes me think that you are a pedophile.

Of course, a white supremacist racist wouldn't be concerned about the decreasing percentage of minorities in the Mission (while throwing out false charges of racism at long term white residents of the neighborhood.)

With apologies to Neil Young: "White children are better bumper stickers will be issued."

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 9:49 am

makes an area more affordable then there is nothing wrong with that, surely?

The problem here is that you have talked yourself into a corner. An area that is a 50/50 mix between whites and hispanics is clearly more diverse (and therefore more desirable according to progressive dogma), than one which is 100% any one race.

But you are arguing against whites moving into the Mission even though that makes the Mission more diverse.

IOW, your pretence of favoring diversity goes out of the window. What you really want is a non-white neighborhood.

And that makes YOU the racist.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 10:07 am

If a white person moves into a hispanic neighborhood, that is bad, but if a hispanic person moves into a white neighborhood, that is good.

In other words, what you do is moral or immoral based only on your skin color.

In other words, he is a racist.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 10:23 am

Most all of the speakers on stage and from the audience were advertising their nonprofits.

There was no indication that they are prepared to do anything but suck useful idiots into raising the threat of political power that can then be sold out for continued funding for the nonprofits. How many times has the SFBG called a community congress or forum that ends up proposing grandiose policy prescriptions, everything but a viable plan for rebuilding a viable political electoral coalition.

Rose Aguilar asked why nobody was talking about poverty. On the progressive side, success is viewed by the level of funding for poverty services and nonprofits and that dominates the discourse on whether progressive needs are being met.

So long as the interests of very small minorities spearhead a progressive political program to the exclusion of policies that appeal to a wider range of San Franciscans, corporate San Francisco will continue to clean our clocks.

Nick P said that progressives need to expand their reach, but he's been paid to do this work for 15 years and along with the other poverty nonprofits and they've shown nothing but a deep seated prejudice against most San Franciscans based on ethnicity and income.

The only win has been on free Muni for low income kids, $5m/year against a backdrop of playing a losing game of defense against every Next Big Thing that the boosters throw at us.

Until there are structures put into place that can hold these monopolizers accountable for their ongoing sell outs of our communities when these community forums get held every year or so, we'll continue to lose ground and they'll continue to get paid.

I'm horrified that we've lost so much on my watch, that I've not been able to make it work. How can they sleep at night, knowing that on their paid watch, their communities are being eviscerated? Why does a community center get named after someone who fumbled Eastern Neighborhoods and gave our neighborhood away to developers?

We need more Jazzie Collins and fewer Eric Quezadas.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

no watch or responsibility. Instead you stayed on the sidelines carping and whining, all sound and fury signifying nothing.

SF is becoming an affluent playground because that is what most people here want - success and prosperity. Compared with that, progressives offer only misery, failure and political correctness.

No contest, and it shows.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 25, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

Progressive is a misnomer for the failed socialist polices in San Francisco. It is really regressive to construct expensive to maintain housing for non self supporting freeloaders and addicts….

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 4:02 am

progress. They are the true conservatives, believing that SF should be frozen in time forever.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 5:24 am

Of course, the sections of the Government Code that require California counties and cities to adopt general plans and land use regulations that were enacted into law by white Republicans in the 1940s is nothing but Pure Unadulterated Socialism.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 6:36 am

market in, access to and usage of land is a form of interventionism, and therefore socialism. But parties of both wings have had their own reasons to give the government more ability to interfere in our activities, and the history of this nation is one of ever larger government, with occasional rebellion e.g. Reagan, Tea Party.

But we remain Americans, imbued with a strong independent streak and suspicion of the government, instilled in us by the founding fathers, and so we ultimately resist the government taking too much control. The Ellis Act is a perfect example of the people saying "enough is enough".

The Mission is more diverse than it was 20 years ago, crime is down and the housing stock is much better. Good enough for government work, one might say.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 6:51 am

No, only a clueless imbecile would argue that any government intervention in a capitalist economy is socialism.

Capitalism needs government intervention like a junkie needs junk.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

CA and SF have gone way beyond that, and the result is flawed and dysfunctional, hence the problems being discussed here. If you cannot build freely then rents will be high - no way around that.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

So you admit that you're a hypocritical prostitute and have now reduced yourself to merely quibbling about the price and the services to be rendered.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

The point you missed, quite simply, is that if there is a problem in the Mission at the moment, as the articles claims, then that is not due to a failure of capitalism, but rather with a failure of attempts by the city to interfere with it.

Cities with laxer land use regulations have enough or even too much housing. SF micro-manages land to the extreme, and has a massive housing problem.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2013 @ 7:41 am

Ad hominem troll changes the subject to the person after s/he incoherently whines that all regulation of commerce is socialist and then conceded that some regulation is not socialist.

The US Constitution includes the Interstate Commerce Clause and the 5th Amendment due process clause, the government gets to regulate commerce and take your property under certain rules. If you don't like that, move to some crony libertarian capitalist utopia like Russia.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 28, 2013 @ 8:06 am

fool anyone into thinking that the essential point made was correct - excess regulation suppresses supply, leading directly to higher rents and home values, and opportunistic evictions - exactly the situation in the Mission.

You whine about the rents and evictions and all, and yet have no policies to fix that. Indeed, it is your policies that have caused it. The quasi-socialism of land use in SF has failed the very people it was designed to help, while letting the wealthy speculators run riot.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 28, 2013 @ 8:36 am

Capitalism need government regulation like a junkie needs junk. You only want regulation to run one-way even though regulation is democratic in nature.

Posted by marcos on Sep. 28, 2013 @ 9:30 am

evictions and homelessness.

Anyone who claims to care about those should oppose the regulations that cause them.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 29, 2013 @ 9:49 am

As a Chinese immigrant myself, I can sympathize this family. I hope some charitable organization can help them

However, look at it at a different angle, this family have had subsidized housing for at least 20 years. Chinese families know very well about acquiring property and not subject to a landlord whims. Why this family did not pool their resources with other family members and buy a home 20 years ago is beyond me.

Perhaps having a disabled daughter is their reason. This family needs help for sure, but let us not politicize this incident and make tougher rent control laws. This family's problem is poverty and disability. Look at them. I cannot find anger on their faces. There is sadness. Who would not be sad if they were to leave their home of 34 years ?

SF needs more housing. Rent control discourages housing construction and creates more housing shortages.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

who are due to be evicted by the sheriffs any day now. That case is in the news but wasn't referred to in this article which is about the Mission, while the Asian family are in Russian Hill/Polk Gulch/ChinaTown borders.

Your analysis of the broader issues is far. Rent Control cannot really be made any tougher and stay legal and constitutional. Indeed, it is when rent control has been pushed too far that we see State laws like Costa-Hawkins and Ellis get passed to level the playing field.

And I believe it is level and fair now. Rent control exists for about 2/3 of SF homes but Ellis provides a way for any landlord suffering hardship as a result to exit the business with a decent return.

And as you say, this family have had cheap rent for decades AND they are being paid move-out expenses equal to more than two years rent. That's as fair as anything in SF, and nobody ever promised you that live would always be fair anyway.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

I read the Jackson Street story in the SF Chronicle. I always have strong feelings about rent control to the point I mixed up the two stories.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 26, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

I have been in Mission since 1981 and I welcome and pray for the Gentrification! Thank God they torn down the NASTY Valencia Gardens project. It was a cancer on the neighborhood, just the kind of degradation you get from pandering to the users and losers that made a great city a toilet for the last 40 years. Welcome Techies! With your bright minds and terrific apps. clean out the riff raft and turn this city into our paradise!

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 2:38 am

Oh, I can welcome real PROGRESS, because I bought property here when it was cheap ( 278K for 2 properties now worth at least 1.5 million and PAID FOR, no debt! ) That how you function in a capitalist society. You whiners act like we live in Cuba, no wonder you are malcontents.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 2:48 am

I'd assess half my net worth as deriving from the capital appreciation of the properties I have owned, and I never Ellis'ed one of them. I'd have made even more if I had Ellis'ed but, overall, I didn't have too many "loser lifers" in my buildings, and I got decent turnover, which is nirvana for landlords here.

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 5:14 am
Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 7:37 am

In Europe, wealth and success are almost causes for shame and guilt. In America we praise and admire our leaders and achievers. Are you sure you're not living in the wrong continent by mistake?

Posted by Guest on Sep. 27, 2013 @ 8:00 am

How short and narrow is yours, are they coming to Ellis Act it?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 01, 2013 @ 8:07 am

I only own non - rent controled property, but would Ellis Act if I bought some, just to not be the SFTU's bitch…..

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

eight times since you first bought it in 2002, but all transactions have your name on it?

Is it a capital gains tax scam?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 11:32 am

Better send Steven T. Jones to investigate.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 11:55 am
Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

Some idiot troll cannot tell the difference between refinancing and selling a home when reading the assessor/recorder's file.

Our housing cost is 3/5 of what it was 10 years ago.

No evictions, foreclosures or gentrification in our house.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

Nothing to see here. I'm just a gentrification-free software engineer refinancing my Mission District real estate.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

Any problem with me citing the link showing what you and your "partner" have been up to, so readers can decide for themselves?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

rental housing opportunity in the Mission, i.e. their neighborhood not yours.

You are simply part of the all-white tech invasion of the Mission. Not that I care about that but call it for what it is and don't be a hypocrit.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

between buyer and seller, back and forth? Refi's do not show up on the online assessor-recorders records - you have to go down to city hall to find the liens.

Try again, Marcos.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

Using rent control as part of your retirement planing, is as stupid as using the lottery as an investment vehicle.....

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

malinger to their rental home as if they feel entitled to it.

They are the ones that whine the most when reality catches up with them, and Mister Ellis pays them a house call.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 02, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

It is sad to see the changes occurring in society. There is too
much love for material things and money. Money does not last forever. Your soul
does. Love does. You cannot take money, material things, or technology with you
when you are gone, only love. There is a God. I believe in Him who is
more powerful than any greed in this world. He is coming and He will rule over this
world. So don't sell your soul for money or anything finite. Live for compassion and
and love for your neighbor. Eternity exists. Technology will one day end. And God will ask did you love one another? Or did you only care for yourself? it is very sad. I see a lot of greed in this world but I also have a great belief in the power of prayer and I know that God one day will come back. I have no fear because He has more power than anything in this world. Prayer is power.

Posted by Guest peace12 on Nov. 02, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

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