eviction moratorium extended
File photo by Hélène Goupil — Nov. 3, 2013

District 9 Supervisor David Campos gave a glimmer of hope to activists and residents protesting recent evictions in the Mission District telling Mission Local on Saturday night that he plans to introduce legislation “in the next few days,” that would offer incentives “against the Ellis Act” evictions.

“I think we are facing an affordability crisis, a displacement crisis and we have to act like it is a crisis,” Campos added.

Campos, who was in the Mission to celebrate Día de los Muertos with thousands of others from across the Bay Area,  declined to expand on what that legislation will look like.

“We’re here to honor Día de los Muertos…and to mourn the displacement that’s happening in the Mission,” said Campos. “At the same time it’s very heartwarming to see the energy that is here, all these people who are coming together to support one another.”

Dressed in black with many carrying lit candles and signs reading “Our Mission, No Eviction,” approximately 80 protestors joined the thousands of Bay Area residents who participated in Saturday night’s Día de los Muertos procession through the Mission District.

Evictions rose by 26 percent between March 1, 2012 and Feb. 28, 2013, according to San Francisco Rent Board annual eviction report.  The Ellis Act, which Campos said he would  address with new legislation,  is a 1986 state law that permits owners to get out of the rental business by evicting all the tenants in a building and keeping the units off the market for five years.

Present at the march was artist René Yañez, one of the founders of the Mission Cultural Center and the person credited for making Día de los Muertos a citywide event. The artist, who is terminally ill, is facing an eviction order to leave the apartment he’s called home for 35 years by July, 2014.

When asked what he thought about the protest called take Día de los Muertos back, Yáñez said: “I’m not sure that we’re going to take it back or not but I’m glad to be participating with people that are concerned with evictions.”

“A lot of the artists that participated with me doing exhibits have been evicted from the city and it’s not the same as it used to be,” Yáñez said. “Myself included, I’m not too happy to be evicted. The kind of work that I do, as an artist, I’m not doing necessarily for the money.”

Marchers said they were also there to applaud the Latino and Meso-American culture that has defined the Mission for decades and to build support for citywide legislation to counter  displacement of longtime Mission residents.

“The little culture that is left here is being molded and changed and not being respected,” said Rodrigo Durán, one of the protestors as he held one end of a banner leading the marchers. “Money talks, people are being moved away…but if there is one thing people can take from this procession, from this celebration tonight, is to be more socially and culturally conscience of what’s happening.”

Marcher Víctor López added,  “The reason I’m here is because the Mission is dying every single day. My sons grew up here in this district. My mom lives near Mission Dolores and the new owner of that land, he tried to kick out my mom because he wants to make more money. My mom, she’s lived at that place for at least 30 years and I understand my mom pays less money compared to these days, it’s very low, but it’s not right. We’ve got to support each other.”

The protestors gathered at the corner of 24th and York streets Saturday evening in advance of the annual Día de los Muertos procession. While they were waiting for the procession to start, the protestors chanted their message to a lively drumbeat and listened to local poets and musicians play from a truck-bed stage.

“Working class people, everybody except rich people are being driven out of the Mission,” said Bernal Heights resident Bob Mason.

Mason and his wife said they wanted to join the march to protest an avalanche of rent hikes. “What is astounding and demoralizing about the whole thing is that the very reason these people are coming here is because they like multi-culturalism and artists …and they are driving these people out. It’s almost like cannibalism,” said Mason.

Organizers of the march said they hoped the effort would encourage people to get involved with similar protests in the future.

“I’ve been living in the Mission for the last 25 years and I’m sad to hear all the things that are happening,” said  María Calles, who carried  a ’Our Mission, No Evictions’ sign. “And it can happen to me too. I want people to take action, to be more political…[politicians] say they are helping the people but they are not really helping the people, they are helping the big corporations to do whatever they want with the city. I want the politicians to hear us.”

Asked how he feels about the changes he’s seen in the Mission over the past few years, Día de los Muertos spectator and Mission resident Jerry Connolly said, “uncomfortable.”

“It’s awkward I mean it’s unfortunately in a lot of regards and the people who have lived here for a long time aren’t able to anymore. But that extends beyond Latinos in the Mission. It’s a problem, I don’t have an answer,” said Connolly.

Organizer Roberto Hernandez added, “It’s the spirit that Latinos bring and our culture, it’s rich. If we’re not here, then what’s left?”

Hélène Goupil contributed to the reporting.

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Greta Mart is a Bay Area-based newspaper reporter and freelance writer, and currently a student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. From 2005 to 2012 she was a staff reporter at two community newspapers in WA and CA, and has contributed to several Bay Area and Seattle area newspapers, as well as Pacific Yachting and Italy's Gulliver and La Republicca's D magazines. Greta holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and studied history at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She lives aboard her sailboat at the Berkeley Marina.

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    Maybe beyond the scope of this proposed legislation but the proposed development at 16th & Mission is a case in point. A TBD % of truly affordable units should be mandated with priority given to current, displaced and long term residents and small local businesses.

  2. After reading through these comments and other postings on the changes happening throughout the Mission due to the housing shortage, it’s clear there are no easy answers. What will definitely not work are penalties and restrictions imposed on property owners to deter them from invoking their right to remove their buildings from the rental market and try to recover the money they lost due to rent control. It’s straight-up supply/demand economics. I would like to see Mr. Campos come up with suggestions on how to incentivize property owners to keep their units on the market instead of penalizing them. A penalty cost will just get added to the cost of the units being sold, effectively raising the cost of housing even further. I don’t pretend to know how this can be done, but it would be nice to hear real win-win solutions instead of pitting one group against another. This is a major desirable metropolitan city. People from all over the world want to live here. And many want to be home owners, not renters, so there will always be this economic force, especially in boom times, and the result will be the influx of new people into desirable neighborhoods.
    What would be preferable to hear being discussed, is not the gentrification of the Mission, but the INTEGRATION of the Mission. FYI: The slogan “Our Mission” is insulting no matter who says it..it’s everyone’s Mission. How can the influx of new people contribute to this rich and dynamic neighborhood? And how can the longer term residents help these new neighbors? One way would be for the tech companies who are profiting from a densely populated workforce (we’re looking at you Yahoo, Twitter, FB, etc) is to donate employee’s time to volunteer to train the young people of the mission in the skills necessary to land these higher paying jobs. Or maybe they can donate the space and equipment for this training? On the flip side, there are many new neighbors who would love to learn to be fluent in Spanish, to be more integrated into their neighborhood, and to get to know their new neighbors. There are many new neighbors who would love (and probably pay) to learn how to cook traditional latin dishes, and to learn and understand the meaning of traditional latin holidays and how to fully participate in them. Are there long term residents who would be willing to donate their time to pass along their language/culture to these new neighbors? There must be a ton of ideas that could work with the help of private/government partnerships that would help limit (but not eliminate) the impact of these neighborhood changes. I would love to hear Mr. Campos’ ideas along these lines of thought, rather than spend the time pursuing legislation that will in the end, not help at all. If you have any ideas that would help serve to bring new and old neighbors together, rather than drive them apart, please post them.

    1. Let’s put an end to the myth that landlords lose money due to rent control. If a landlord is prevented from raising rents to current market levels, he isn’t losing anything, he’s simply not able to charge as much. All of his pre-skyrocketing-rent costs are still covered, and he can raise rents annually to account for (as well as adding to) inflation.

      Imagine you are eating a meal, and suddenly there’s a ruch on whatever it is you’re eating: the proprietor can’t just raise the price in mid-course. He’s already making money from you, just not as much as he now thinks he can.

      Even with strict rent control, most landlords make out like bandits. However, many landlords aren’t happy making out like bandits, and want to make out like pirates instead.

      1. It’s not a myth. When you buy a rental property at market price, the property tax, mortgage, and insurance increase significantly. The Rent Board sets a 7% cap on Maintenance and Operating Expense making it impossible to attain a positive cash flow, particularly if there are low paying tenants.

        Believe me, I tried being a landlord in SF, but couldn’t make the numbers work.

        1. Awwww, poor Ron!

          He wanted to become a landlord and live off the sweat of his tenants, but couldn’t make the numbers work!

          I guess now he’ll have to work for a living and use his property as a home instead of a blood-sucking machine..

          1. Being a small scale housing provider is hard work, and it was a responsibility I took seriously.

            You may be happy to learn that the TIC developer that bought the property made multiple upgrades that I could never afford. Obviously now he doesn’t have to worry about creating a viable rental business.

          2. Ron, isn’t it interesting that people who have never been a landlord claim to know how it works so much better than those who take the risk and actually do it?

        2. I am with you! Renters have a picture of SF landlords as rich, and making big huge profits . My property taxes are much higher than what I get from my rent controlled renters. They drive better cars, and sometimes, I wonder if I should Ellis Act my building!! I just want a fair rent! I do am not acting out of greed, but by fairness!

      2. twobeers, unless you have been a landlord, you cannot really understand the finances of it.

        Annual rent increases are capped at 60% of CPI, so rent raises do not keep up with inflation. Moreover, prices for the kind of expenses that a landlord have, e.g. maintenance, insurance, rise more quickly than inflation.

        But even that assumes that the owner bought a long time ago, and has a small mortgage and property tax basis. What if you buy a rental building now, and have low-rent tenants? You are going to be losing money every month with no prospect of that changing.

        Ellis provides the only way out.

        Only two things save the bacon of a landlord in SF. First, the fact that you can depreciate the building on your tax return. And second because you will probably see #a capital gain.

        That’s not the way the business is supposed to flow.

        1. Hey John,

          Dallas is calling… they like the way you think.

          Imagine how happy you would be there: no rent control, no neighborhood nimbys, no socialism. Just vast amounts of land for you to make into TICs! Plenty of freeways and strip malls, and a streamlined planning process. Good pure capitalism!

          Why would you and your ilk want to be here anyway? Dallas, Texas… now that’s a paradise for soulless real estate types.

          1. Because, nutrisystem, the profits are much higher here IF AND ONLY IF, you get turnover and can play a waiting game.

            If you own a rental building and get turnover, it flows nicely. But if you’re stuck with low-rent squatters and hoarders then, at some point, the enterprise becomes marginal. And that is what is being discussed here.

            Being a LL in SF is essentially a lottery. You do well if your “customers” leave and you do badly if they stay – the exact opposite of how a business should work.

            It’s also a lottery for tenants – will they or will they not get evicted?

            It’s that lottery element to rent control that makes it bad policy. The law of unintended consequences is confirmed.

          2. In what alternative universe are rent paying tenants defined as “squatters” and “hoarders?”

          3. Noah, the vast majority of tenants cannot be described that way.

            The reference was to the thankfully small but still significant number of tenants who stay in a unit for decades, even though they want to progress with their lives, for no reason other than to cling to a below-market rent.

            And don’t try and tell me that you do not know people like that. I know of one guy who is around 50 and is still in the same place he rented with roommates as a student nearly 30 years ago.

            His roommates all moved on long ago, to have real lives. But his big achievement in life is to hoard that unit. He sublets rooms to others so pays almost no rent himself.

            And of course the place is a dump. A totally unworthy way to live and it’s all due to rent control. Ask me if I will shed a tear if he gets Ellis’ed.

          4. So the short answer is “In John’s alternative universe.”

            Squatters and hoarders are people who live in apartments for longer than John would like or in conditions that he doesn’t like or choose lifestyles he doesn’t like.

            Word definitions are supposed to be objective, not subjective.

          5. Noah, how is it in the public interest that someone who rents a dumpy student flat in 1983 should still be hanging in there now, even though they would love a better or bigger home, just because our public policy bizarrely rewards him for doing that?

            How does that help with mobility or the ability to house those arriving in San Francisco to perform the jobs the city needs?

            Why is inertia an important public policy imperative for you?

          6. I’m here to clarify word definitions. Bait someone else into your public policy discussion maelstrom.

          7. So, Noah, while you concern yourself with theorizing about semantic over-precision, some of us are actually housing people, taking risks, and building prosperity.

            I’ll leave readers to decide which approach the city needs more.

      3. Other tenants like my family certainly do

        My 3 person crammed into a 900 sq ft while people in my building have flats with empty rooms, huge incomes and in one case a house elsewhere

        Rent control is BS

    2. Yes!!! INTEGRATION.

      If my entrepreneur Latino grandparents were still alive they would be cashing in on all the money coming in to town. They would be selling anything they could get their hands on, and then make the family build a house somewhere for all of us to live in. I am sorry but money talks in all cultures and all colors. I suggest to empower and to educate all the communities to thrive and be in harmony together.

  3. Folks- for what it is worth–when you talk about racism by Latinos you’re missing the point & are misinformed. It is not about white folks invading the Mission. It is about people- irrespective of color or gender -disrespecting Latino people, culture & traditions because they think it is ok to do so with boatloads of money or arrogance. Local’s Corner denied food service to a Latino family this year– illegal by any definition in CA. Rent control has been around a very long time and so has the Ellis Act. It has only been until very recently that new landlords have been using that loophole en masse to try to cash into a supposed new gold mine (ie SF). The protests are about all of that. Campos is not a clown. He has the integrity to speak an uncomfortable truth. I am a native of SF, born in the Mission from immigrant Central Am parents and have been a property owner in SF for decades. I support rent control and property rights- that is not a contradiction. I’m one of the few lucky ones in my city & I’m compassionate regarding those less fortunate, Latino & non Latino. I call on all of you who appear to love the Mission to stand with us Latinos who are supporting Campos to protect the Mission’s vibrancy from obliteration. Come up with constructive ideas if you think Campos’ ideas don’t work. Mara

    1. The city can sponsor programs which assist tenants in buying their buildings when they go up for sale.

      Rather than seeing the trend toward TIC conversion as a threat, it can lead to more community members gaining true ownership, security, and something to pass along to their families.

  4. Campos is a clown. Always will be a clown. Should be more concerned with pot holes and gang bangers but that doesn’t get him press.

  5. Renting is defined as the TEMPORARY use of another’s property! No where is it defined as permanent, but in the delusional banana republic of San Francisco

    1. True, Kevin. Sadly there is a subset of people in SF who believe that all normal laws, whether man-made or natural, are suspended here just so that they can live somewhere cool that they really cannot afford.

      I’d like to drive a Bentley and it simply isn’t fair that I cannot afford one. There ought to be a law that allows me to drive a car I cannot afford. Or at least that someone who owns one has to rent it to me far below cost and then never get it back.

  6. SF politicians get elected by promising to stop evictions, but usually just make the situation worse. Almost all of them own their homes, so they don’t have to deal with the unintended consequences of their legislation.

    1. The inconvenient and incriminating dirty secret of the SF progressives is that they mostly all own real estate (Redmond, Welch, Hestor, Shaw, Daly, Ammiano etc.) and they have a vested interest in Bay Area property prices and rents escalating ever upwards.

      And the best way to boost their home value is to fight against anything that will create vacant homes e.g building new homes or abolishing rent control.

  7. I’m pretty sick of being told I don’t belong in my neighborhood and that I’m killing it, or that’s dying at all. The Mission is vibrant and in the midst of a huge renaissance.

    The opinion that it is dying is just that – an opinion, and it shouldn’t be taken as fact. When Campos and his cronies bring race into that opinion, it just makes it worse and I can’t believe it’s being tolerated.

    1. I’m shocked that when (white-owned) Local’s Corner was left with a smashed window and “Keep [the] Mission Brown” graffiti, no one came out to protest that. How is that not a civil rights attack?

      1. Sadly, racism is permitted in the US but only if it is directed against whites.

        Some call it reverse racism but for all practical purposes, it is just old-fashioned regular racism.

        Whites have been intimidated out of even thinking in terms of race, so non-whites now have open season on their caucasian brethren.

        Scientists tell us that race does’t exist. This would be a good place to start with that.

        1. Racism can only be perpetuated by groups in economic and legislative power. And yes that means, you as a white person cannot be the victim of racism. Bigotry, yes, Hate crime, yes. But Racism is a term reserved for the systematically disenfranchised.

          Cue irrational white rage in 3, 2, 1…

          1. MikeK, that’s a very specific definition of racism that has been concocted by non-whites to give them a free pass to be as racist as they like.

            Your instinct is correct. any race can be racist and, at this point in out history, whites are demonstrably less racist than any other race, if only because of the hegemony of political correctness.

            An inconvenient truth.

          2. I was trying to be nice. Sounds like a Jesse Jackson definition of racism or Spike Lee. Whoever cries the loudest is the least racist? It’s like the new saying where they say “San Francisco Values” I am born and raised here and the people who talk of “San Francisco Values” should have tried that shot in the crappy towns they came from.

          3. I was trying to be nice. Sounds like a Jesse Jackson definition of racism or Spike Lee. Whoever cries the loudest is the least racist? It’s like the new saying where they say “San Francisco Values” I am born and raised here and the people who talk of “San Francisco Values” should have tried that shit in the crappy towns or countries they came from.

          4. White people are less racist than other groups.

            Some prime examples from US history: genocide of Native Americans; enslavement of Africans.

            White supremacy means never having to say you are sorry.

          5. DD, clearly I was talking about now and not hundreds of years ago when the world was very different.

            I see far more racism by non-whites, particularly towards Asians because Asians typically don’t cop the victim mentality or play the race card ad nauseum. Asians give the lie to the notion that it’s a white world, by out-performing white on many measures.

          1. 2nd Gen SF’er, here…Mikey. SF values for me mean respecting other cultures, and knowing that as a white male I have had a privilege that others will never know.

            As for definition, here’s a snippet that explains the concept: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Prejudice_plus_power

            basically, dude it boils down to this: Women cannot be sexist, oppressed peoples cannot be racist, etc. POWER. It comes down to POWER. If you have some time check out any academic article on race and class, or hell ASK A PERSON OF COLOR. “Poor white me,” ain’t the look in 2013. That’s some ‘ol Mississippi they’re-coming-for-our women shiz and as a native quite honestly, I’d expect better.

          2. Hazbeen, I don’t buy your “only whites can be racist” line because it is a little too convenient for any non-white who wants to be a racist.

            But in any event, consider this. A black American man is the most powerful man in the world, and a black American woman is the richest woman in the world. Are you saying that they can be racist because they have power? Or that they cannot be racist because they are black?

            If it’s really all about power, then it isn’t about race at all. There are powerful blacks and vulnerable whites.

            As for privilege, anyone born in the US has that. That’s why so many non-whites want to come here. Hard to imagine they would aspire to be here if all whites are racist and all non-whites are not. The real world is far more complex than your convenient cliches imply.

            Your viewpoint is a rationalization of hatred by non-whites, and it stinks.

    2. I doubt anyone has told you that you don’t belong here. And what renaissance? An influx of new money and expensive restaurants to replace the vibrant culture we have here now?

    3. I completely agree with you! I belong here as much as anyone else. Human beings hate change…but the nature of this world is that things change, nothing stays the same forever. One of the hardest struggles for any civilization is for those people to either evolve or go extinct. The Mission doesn’t just house Latinos, it is home to many ethnicities, cultures, age groups, etc. It used to house a large lesbian population…until that demographic got priced out of the neighborhood and moved to Lake Merritt. I didn’t hear any Mission organizations raising alarm bells then. There are a lot of elderly Asian people living in the Mission…how do these Latino organizations represent their presence and belonging in this neighborhood? And then there are a lot of younger techies and their families living in this neighborhood, too. Some have been here for 10, 15 years…and some just arrived last week. But telling them they don’t belong where they live is a terrible thing. I understand that no one likes being kicked out of their homes (it’s happened to me!). But the Ellis Act is not the problem, it is a symptom. Rent control is the reason that building owners need the Ellis Act. An individual should not be paying $400/mo for a two bedroom flat in the Mission while his/her neighbor pays $3500. The latter is subsidizing the former. The Ellis Act is the only way out a lot of landlords can find. But that’s not the problem. A bigger issue is at stake, which includes the issue that Campos and the other Supervisors time and time again support big developers in putting up more “luxury” condos and apartments, but never really force them to create legitimate affordable housing. Sure, they are legally supposed to create a certain percentage of BMR units, but the city allows those developers to get off the hook from that requirement if they either pay a relatively small one-time financial penalty, or allow them to promise to build that affordable housing…in some other part of the city! So no real, meaningful attempts to create affordable housing here…and add to that Sup. Weiner’s pet project of allowing developers to create micro-units without any requirement that these uber-tiny spaces be reasonably affordable, and you have a perfect storm of incompetence on that part of our city’s leadership! They *say* they want to help this city’s low- and middle-income residents, but when push comes to shove, they don’t take any meaningful steps towards fixing the problem at its core. Campos may spew whatever b.s. he wants about wanting to help “families” and Latinos, but at the end of the day, he has lofty political ambitions, none of which include forcing developers to add even more below-market-rate units to the market.

      1. Yes, digging this last comment!!! Campos had many chances to help the community and in my opinion, failed. Now, as he gears up to run for state office, he offers people a solution that contain “incentives” but will not announce what they are? Landlord incentives given to tenants in the rent ordinance are specifically barred. How does this “lawmaker” think he is going to get around state law? Lastly, I do not like the general notion I read often on this website that Latinos do not want increased there home values to increase and nice places to go for entertainment. I am Latino and I welcome change. I am happy that I came from a low income family and now feel secure to own a home in the Mission that was once under water and now it is not. I rented for over 20 years and never expected my rental to become mine. Instead, my family worked our butts off to buy and live where we wanted to.

        And lastly, has anyone thought about who is selling and cashing out to this “new money” coming to town? Just maybe, here is a thought, they are the Latino landowners who want to make a boat load of money and cash in on their long-term property investment. I say congrats to them; they earned the choice to do it. There are no buyers without the sellers.

      2. Thank you for your intelligent and thoughtful comments. I salute the person whose family worked hard and bought a home in the Mission. I am a Latina artist, have known Mr. Yanez for many years. I am saddened by his situation. But, it seems to me that if your truly in love with a community, you would make every effort to make a permanent home there. Renting for 30 years does not mean you own the building! It is a temporary living space in which you are subject to the law of supply and demand!

  8. Did anyone actually read the manifesto they posted on Facebook (link in the article)? It basically says they want to keep Dia de los Muertos all Latino with no white people and that their concern is with Latinos and only Latinos. If you don’t recognize this as race-based, you are in denial.

    1. You are a liar.

      Here’s the link and the actual text:

      “OUR MiSSiON ~ NO EViCTiONS Community Action for Dia De Los Muertos will be on Saturday, NOVEMBER 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM. We will gather in front of BRAVA & CASA SANCHEZ on 24th Street between (Hampshire St. and York St.)

      We all feel the death in the Mission by the forced displacement of familias, artist, seniors & residents who have lived here for decades & have contributed to the formation of the Latino cultural identity of our Barrio.

      We are under attack by speculators, developers, and new residents who love our culture but don’t care about us residents & local merchants. The impact they are causing to our familias, residents & merchants has created a CRISIS!

      The tech industry was given tax incentives & breaks by the City of SF to be in SF and their employees along with greedy speculators have caused increase in rents & property.

      Our annual Dia de Los Muertos has been invaded by these new residents who think its a Mexican Halloween party & drink beer, get drunk & disrespect our cultural sacred tradition.

      We are taking back our dia De Los Muertos cultural procession which this year is dedicated to XOCHIPILLI (Aztec God of Flowers, Poetry & Musica) & XOCHIQUETZAL (his twin sister). This year is a new calendar cycle,marks an era of rebirth, enlightenment & the evolution of a higher consciousness towards mother earth & all life.

      In the spirit of unity and community we are asking you to wear black, bring candles, flowers, poems and photos of love one.

      We will have Our Mission No Eviction Dia de Los Muertos t-shirts!

      We are a coalition of neighbors, community organizations, and local merchants opposed to the rapid pace of displacement/evictions in the Mission, destroying the cultural and social fabric of the neighborhood.

      A cross section of the community united to create policies and long term solutions to stop these evictions.”

        1. In bad times blame the undocumented and in good times get rid of them. Its been that way through history.

        2. and you think illegal aliens are only Latinos living in the Mission… ha ha you are in denial!

      1. I moved to the mission to be around Latinos and Latino culture. It reminds me of home and I have been living here for almost 15 years. This community is very important to me and I love to interact with my neighbors and friends here. But all these new residents do not care or respect this community.

  9. Campos is running for the State Assembly. This is his last hurrah. He needs the votes. Doubt very much he can do anything to change the Ellis Act, end evictions.
    Close to 800,000 people live in SF; 200-300 people protesting evictions is very small. Not too much support.
    If Campos really wants to do something positive for everyone who lives in District 9, he needs to clear out all the quality of life issues that still blight sections of the area.
    Look at Valencia then & now – Huge improvement.

  10. Evictions are definitely painful but I think rent control is a big contributor to the problem, by giving some people the expectation that they could hold on to $450 apartments forever. It puts landlords in a real bind.

    Not sure how much success Campos will have fiddling with the Ellis Act since it is state law– supporting lots more housing construction in the Mission and elsewhere in SF seems like the way to go.

    1. I agree, Bob, and Campos will struggle to come up with a form of words that will not violate the Ellis Act strict prohibition against municipalities passing any law that seeks to suppress or deter an owner’s absolute right to exit the rental business and get his property back.

      For instance, if Campos suggested a $100K fee for filing an Ellis eviction at the Rent Board, or required 50K moving expenses per displaced tenant, that would be bounced by the courts because it would be in violation of a higher jurisdiction.

      Better approaches are Wiener’s idea of enabling more “illegal” in-laws, providing more city help to those who are displaced, and of course building more homes.

      But trying to repudiate Ellis head on without corresponding legislation in Sacramento will fail, just as it did when Sue Bierman tried it over a decade ago.

    2. Campos said, according to the report, his legislation will offer “incentives” not to use the Ellis Act. That wouldn’t “fool with the Act” but offer landlords something that might induce them not to use it. If he meant what he said, and generally I don’t like or trust him, that could be a good thing.

      1. Yes, it certainly makes more sense to offer inducements for owners not to Ellis rather than try and bash landlords as people like Campos usually like to do.

        Ideas include breaks on property tax for rental buildings, or direct subsidies to landlords who do not Ellis or reverse an Ellis.

        Of course, a market rent tenant is never Ellis’ed and so a more structural and fundamental solution would be to relax the rules about the rents that can be charged. It is instructive to note that Ellis evictions never happen where rents are not controlled.

        The best protection against an Ellis eviction is to pay a realistic rent.

        1. I agree, I understand that renters feel that they should not have to pay higher rents. But, I cannot fix my building, upgrade security, install a much needed sprinkler system with out receiving “reasonable rents”. Rent control was enacted originally as an emergency measure, but people have been using it for 30 years!

          1. That is what a Capital Improvement hikes are for. I have had three and think that this is a reasonable way to help assure landlords have a reason and incentive to maintain property.

          2. Renter, the process for getting a passthru, either for capital improvements or for “operations and maintenance” is ponderous, requiring a petition to the rent board with onerous documentary requirements.

            There is then an administrative law hearing, which is essentially like a trial, where both sides make cases, often with lawyers representing them.

            And even if the landlord prevails, low-rent tenants get a pass on paying the hike. While for the rest, there’s a 10-20 year payback period.

            As a result, a lot of landlords I know don’t even bother with it, as it is more trouble than it is worth. If you’re going to go to all that trouble, you might as well Ellis.

            So one may to deter Ellis is to offer a simplified, streamlined passthru mechanism, along with property tax breaks and interest-free loans to owners.

      1. Congested, it is rare for a landlord to hold a SF building for anything like that long. And remember that anyone who has owned since before 1979 had rent control foisted upon them. At least people who bought after 1979 knew the deal.

        And your landlord is still in a bind. He could get far higher returns on his investment elsewhere, so he still has a huge cost – the opportunity cost of having most of his net worth tied up in your building.

        In fact, the only reason he may be clinging to it is because he doesn’t want to pay the capital gains tax on a sale. He must be old and, when he dies, the cost basis of that building is lifted to current values. Expect an Ellis and sale shortly thereafter.

  11. Granted it is difficult to estimate crowd size, but there were more like 200-300 people assembled outside the Brava Theater for the Our Mission No Eviction contingent of the Dia de los Muertos procession.

    1. …along with thousands more beyond the numbers quoted here who didn’t come out but completely support the beliefs and efforts of Our Mission, No Eviction. Supporters are also registered voters, experienced in working with government red tape and experienced at speaking publicly. There is a word called activism. Look it up.