Housing Rights Activists Eye Ballot Measure

Photos by Sarah McClure

En Español.

The push for a November ballot measure to protect tenants gained momentum in the Castro over the weekend.

Admittedly, most of the people at the Castro Tenants Convention at the LGBT Center on Saturday were “the usual suspects,” as one person in the audience put it. One of the main presenters was a leader behind the recent tech bus protests on Valencia, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s former editor Tim Redmond was there taking copious notes for his blog.

The event was co-sponsored by a cross-section of San Francisco progressive organizations: the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, District 8 Democrats, AIDS Housing Alliance and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.

The purpose of the event was to brainstorm November ballot measures that could slow evictions in San Francisco. All tenants were welcome, and Supervisors David Campos, Scott Wiener and David Chiu showed up.

Yet then there was a very unusual suspect among the crowd of about 100 people: a 20-something female tech employee, the type of person that Castro Supervisor Scott Wiener argued has been unfairly scapegoated for the city’s housing woes at a press conference last week. The woman identified herself as Rolla Selbak, and asked Mission Local that her employer not be named.

“I was a little scared to come here because I thought I was going to be labeled as ‘evil,’” she told Mission Local. “We live in this city, we are here now, so how can we help?”

Selbak proposed that the city levy a special tax on residents who work outside of San Francisco — which would include her. The ballot proposal only received one vote.

Yet it was just one idea of many. Over two hours, the attendees voted on more than 20 ballot measure suggestions — and a dozen more street-level action ideas, from political theater to protests.

“We don’t want to be talking heads bitching about the problem,” said Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, a housing rights activist who was both at the forefront of the tech bus protests in December and one of the hosts of Saturday’s event. “We need the room to come up with ideas on how to stop evictions.”

The organizers plan to present the potential ballot measures at a citywide tenants convention next month. In order to get a proposal on the November ballot, the supporters must collect 9,702 signatures — five percent of the electorate in the last mayoral election.

The idea that earned the most votes on Saturday was a proposal to enforce both the Ellis Act and owner move-in eviction law. The Ellis Act is a 1985 state law that allows landlords to evict tenants in order to get out of the rental business. The property has to remain off the rental market for at least five years — which dissuades landlords from simply evicting their rent-controlled residents and jacking up the rent for new tenants. Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco jumped 170 percent from 2010 to 2013, according to a report by the city budget and legislative analyst.

Saturday’s proponents wanted enforcement to make sure that the Ellis Acted properties do, indeed, stay off the market for five years. In the case of an owner move-in eviction, they wanted to ensure that the owner did, in fact, move into the unit.

Saturday’s winning proposal would also make the Ellis Act more expensive by increasing relocation costs for tenants: the payment would be the difference between the tenant’s current rent and the market rate rent in the neighborhood for four years.

For now, they’re all just ideas. Peter Menchini, who lives in Duboce Triangle, said he just wants the tech companies — targeted by many as the cause of the eviction crisis — to pay their fair share.

“If you are here then you have to contribute to the city, not just be a ‘taker’ — to borrow a term from the right wing,” he told Mission Local.

Increasing relocation costs is one of two tenant protection measures that District 9 Supervisor David Campos plans to float around the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor’s office. Campos’ other proposal would categorize buyouts as evictions so that they could be counted by the city. Currently there is no way to track how many tenants are accepting money from their landlords to move out.

“For every Ellis Act, there are two or three buyouts that are not recorded,” Campos said to Mission Local. Categorizing buyouts as evictions could restrict landlords from charging market rate rents to new tenants as well as limit the possibility of converting the building into condos, he said.

The specifics are not yet drafted, but, on Saturday, housing rights activists voted in favor of Campos’ proposal to count the buy-outs.

Sherburn-Zimmer said no matter what the coalition proposes, the ballot measure needs to be able to withstand a legal challenge. “Why put hundreds of hours for something that’s not going to pass?”

Among the more far-fetched suggestions for the policy proposals was making Silicon Valley a more culturally vibrant place, so tech workers will have an incentive to stay in the South Bay. Every time the idea was brought up, it caused the room to erupt in laughter. It only got one vote.

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  1. John

    It sounds like the “usual suspects” who showed up don’t have a fine appreciation for what is or is not legal, as the article acknowledges in the penultimate paragraph.

    Ellis Act evictions and OMI’s are already enforced. Tenants can monitor their previous home for rental activity and file an unlawful UD lawsuit on contingency.

    Punitive levels of relo expenses would be held to be placing an obstacle to Ellis evictions (which is of course the purpose of it) but that is banned under State law.

    And although it is mentioned here, trying to force TIC formation through the DPW planning process, as Mar wants to do, is not legally possib;le as Sue Bierman discovered when she tried to do the same thing 15 years ago.

    What all these usual suspects missed is that Ellis needs to be amended at the State level because the law exists specifically to stop cities and counties writing laws to work around it.

    The ability to exit the rental business is deemed to be a fundamental right that trumps any inconvenience a tenant has by occasionally having to move.

    • You can fire your employee , you can divorce your spouse, but only in rent control addicted San Francisco do you have to live with a tenant for life…..

    • poor.ass.millionaire

      Nailed it. +1

    • Bob

      Yes, this sounds like another exercise in unconstitutional futility from the usual suspects. Build more housing, it’s the only solution.

      • marcos

        How many units would SF need to entitle and see built to began to stop the rise in housing price?

        How many units would SF need to entitle and see built to push prices down?

        How many units would SF need to entitle and see built over what time frame to push prices down for how much?

        San Francisco’s infrastructure cannot support current residents. Where will the money come from to finance infrastructure repair and enhancement to serve existing and accommodate new residents?

        What happens next?

        Show your work. Crayon on back of envelope or sharpie on cocktail napkin level work is okay. Make and share any simplifying assumptions.

        • Where will the water come from? The big drought is just beginning….

          • John

            He loves to ask rhetorical questions, but of course has no solutions himself.

            His strategy – attack everything and change nothing.

        • poor.ass.millionaire

          It’s easy Marcos. RC needs to be means tested. That will free up a lot of people who are getting discounts that don’t need them. I know a tech tenant, makes over $100k, rented in the mish 3years ago for $2300. His neighbor, same unit, is $3300. Why should the first guy get a $1000 discount per month when A- HE DOESNT NEED IT and B- he’s only been living there 3 years.

          There ARE LOTS of people like him. All of a sudden they get a free windfall and have no motivation to move. THAT Is THE CRUX OF THE PRIBLEM!

          Means test RC, for those who deserve it. That will free up a lot of housing, trust me.

          The best way to do this is, 1- leave all current tenants on RC. 2- any new tenancy: if your income is above X, you are not under RC. Guarantee you all those people will not be hoarding units due to unexpected rent discount windfalls.

          • landline

            On one hand, you tout the right to privacy for people to jointly buy property.

            On the other hand, you want renters to give up their right to privacy by requiring them to disclose their incomes to the rent board.

            Double standard.

            In your example, if you force that tenant to pay $1000 more in rent, that is $1000 he can’t spend in the local economy. More importantly for you home ownership fetishists, that is a $1000 per month he cannot save for his piece of the “American Dream.”

          • marcos

            How does means testing for rent control not immediately decompose into redlining?

          • John

            Marcosland – all means testing is refdlining. How shallow.

            Landline, the attempt to “control” TIC formation assumes that TIC formation is a process. It is not – it is a form of ownership governed by State law. Bierman made the same mistake and paid for it.

          • poor.ass.millionaire

            Landline- all I can say is OMG with that ridiculous line of thinking.

            Marcos- RC already draws red lines all over the place. It’s Crystal clear that the tech millionaire that just paid $1.5 mil for that nice mission condo (you know the one, big shiny windows, obligatory gourmet stove, open floor plan, chopped pillows at the open house…:) is financially worlds apart from his (literal) next door neighbor that rents a 600 sq ft inlaw, where 6 people live and they crush cans in the backyard. We already have that.

            The difference is that the middle class will have a better chance at renting in SF, as my proposal would flush out all the better off folks that don’t need, nor deserve, rent control. Overall rents in SF would: A- decline and B- not spike up so grossly when there is a tech boom, etc. Rental rates would have a much smoother curve.

          • marcos

            Your analysis is based on an erroneous assumption. RC does not apply to the craptacular condoliciousness that is encrusting our neighborhood as not only have they been built after 1979, but they are automatically subdivided into condo prior to occupancy.

          • John

            marcos, is your ludicrous idea that laws should never have any exceptions or carve-outs? Just all or nothing? No subtlety or refinement?

            We already grant exemptions from rent control based on the building type. So why not on the person type?

            Tenant activists should actually be looking for things they can offer, like means testing, in return for the extra things that they want. Everyone should get something.

          • poor.ass.millionaire

            Marcos, my idea has nothing to do with new construction! I’m talking about means testing RC. Going forward (leave everyone existing on it.) THAT would prevent well off people from hoarding units. Kapish?

          • John

            poor.ass, marcos knows that means-testing is fair but he doesn’t like it because it will split the tenant vote, making it more likely that other things he supports will not pass.

            He’s more concerned with politics and demographics than he is with fairness and justice.

            NYC has had means testing of their rent stabilization for years now and it works fine. We should be helping the poor and not the devious.

          • marcos

            NYC does not have income means testing. Rent control in NYC only applies to rents below a certain level.

          • John

            Exactly my point – cheaper rents have an income maximum, and a 1040 is required to be submitted.

          • marcos

            You need to seek mental health treatment from a mental health professional for your mental illness. Such cognitive malfunction is morbid.

    • C. Russo

      “The ability to exit the rental business” is really about the ability of an outside speculator to flip a property. Cut the b.s., J.J. (Violins for the SF property owner, so victimized, so misunderstood.)

      • John

        I don’t think that is true, Russo. Buildings are Ellis’ed because the rents don’t flow right or because the owner simply doesn’t want the hassle any more.

        Once a building is Ellis’ed, obviously it has to be used for some purpose, as it cannot be rented again for at least 5 years. An owner could just leave it vacant for 5 years and then re-rent, and I know one LL who did exactly that.

        Or the units could be AirBnB’ed because tenancies under 30 days do not fall under rent control anyway.

        But usually a LL will either sell the building vacant or rehab it and sell the units as TIC’s. If it’s the latter, no “speculator” is involved. But if the LL does sell either pre-Ellis or post-Ellis, the only buyer will probably be what you would call a speculator (and I would call an investor).

        They provide liquidity to the market, and that is always helpful if we wish to maximize out use of RE resources.

  2. marcos

    Didn’t Daly try to rein in buy-outs back in the day but got slapped down in court because the City had no legal standing to insert itself into the private business conversations between landlord and tenant?

    Hitching relocation assistance to well established federal standards is a winner, that’s why I had to explain it with finger puppets and interpretive dance for Tim Redmond on his blog.


    Did Tim give me credit for it? Of course not. Reaching for the highest journalistic standards, in this case by plagiarizing the work of others by not citing the source, is why Tim was axed from the Guardian.

    • John

      Yes, Daly introduced some appalling rule that forced tenants to hire an expensive lawyer and, for a while, landlords stopped payoffs and just evicted instead.

      In the end the courts bounced it, as often happens when the Supes or the voters pass something that goes way too far.

      And of course it is “going too far” that brought us the Ellis Act

  3. It’s all been done to death nothing more can legally be stolen from land lords that San Francisco already steals from them trial court ruled that a local San Francisco ordinance, seeking to discourage persons from acquiring private residential property using tenants in common (TIC) agreements, violated the constitutional rights of privacy and equal protection guaranteed by the California Constitution, and was preempted by the state Ellis Act, Government Code, section 7060 et seq. We affirm the judgment.

    • poor.ass.millionaire

      Exactly. It’s amazing how these “housing activists” don’t think twice about violating such basic constitutional protections! I can buy a home with 3 friends and share it as we wish. I can buy a bike with a friend and share it. I can buy a 3 unit bldg with two others and share it. Kapish?

      • John

        What these people never get is the entire reason we have state laws like Costa-Hawkins and Ellis is because the cities went too far.

        So what is their remedy? To try more of the same!

        It wouldn’t surprise me if all this meddling led to a state law banning all rent control, like Mass did. That would set the cat among the pigeons.

  4. pete

    Campos won’t be happy until the city resembles Calcutta.

  5. Eva Lucien

    I get that a policy making meeting might not be the best place to share the idea of fostering culture and changing people’s perspective on a place but is it all that far fetched? It seems to me that getting local governments and wealthy Bay Areans to invest in establishments for music, art, food, dance in the Peninsula and South Bay would be a very productive use of time and effort.

  6. poor.ass.millionaire

    The only avenue “the usual suspects” haven’t tried, and is relatively new, is to guilt some money out of tech co’s. Maybe google can create an adopt a low income renter program? Or have tech co’s contribute to an Ellis eviction fund.

    But leave us small landlords the fuck alone. You keep going after us, expecting private citizens to solve city wide problems. Turn your efforts to the tech firms. Judging from the “tech women” who attended this meeting, there are some prime guilty liberal types there. Work with them, and leave us small landlords the fuck alone for a change.

    • I am also sick of these people calling your private property the “rental stock of San Francisco” as if it was publicly owned and part of the government infrastructure. There is public housing that fits that definition, but your private property is no it !

      • C. Russo

        Your property is rental stock.

        • John

          There is no such thing as “rental stock”. There are just buildings, some of which may at times be used as rentals.

          But a designation of a unit as a “rental” is not something that exists either as a matter of law or as a matter of city classification.

          So if the phrase “rental stock” has any meaning, it is simply a collective term for all the housing units that, at any point in time, an owner chooses to rent out.

    • ThatGuy

      And quit tagging the city you apparently love so much.

  7. Way to much fucking greed in this town, it’s absolutely disgusting and ruins lives. The only people opposed are the wealthy and well off and they are the ones that complain and throw a wrench into anything that benefits the middle class. I applaud these groups!

    • John

      Hiram, why isn’t it greed to want to pay only 10% of the real world rent for a home?

    • pete

      The irony is, these laws won”t benefit the middle class. It will have the opposite effect just like that ill thought condo conversion law.

      • John

        The law of unintended consequences is rarely more perfectly seen than in Sf’s attempt to micro-manage land use.

        SF passes rent control, so LL’s evict instead. so then SF passes eviction control and that leads to Ellis.

        Now SF tries to micro-manage Ellis which is specifically written to stop cities micro-managing it.

        Every time SF passes another law either a court bounces it or LL’s simply find another avenue.

        And if Costa-Hawkins and Ellis were repealed, and it became illegal for LL’s to ever evict or raise the rent or leave a unit vacant, other strategies would evolve. One way or the other, the rental market would dry up.

        In the end, you cannot force A to rent to B at a loss. Accepting that would be a major breakthrough.

  8. John

    Imagine a County in Alabama that never accepted a higher law, say, the de-segregation laws?

    Now imagine they kept trying to pass local ordinances to over-ride the Federal law and the Constitution, and those efforts getting legally slapped down.

    Now imagine the State of Alabama passed specific laws stopping that county from passing these punitive local laws. Let’s call them the Hosta-Cawkins Act and the TrEllis Act.

    But still the County tried to squirm and dodge and winkle it’s way around the higher laws, never accepting the fundamental property rights in the constitution.

    Change Alabama to California and that county to SF, and you have this situation in a nutshell. SF progressives LOVE that higher laws bans segregation but HATE that higher laws ban excessive rent control.

    Maybe SF should secede?

    • landline

      Landlords in San Francisco are just like black people in the south under Jim Crow. How did I miss that?

      Once again, you inject race into an unrelated topic.

      Is your hood back from the cleaners yet? When is the next meeting of the San Francisco chapter of the George Wallace Appreciation Committee?

      • John

        You missed the point spectacularly.

        In both cases a local municipality is trying to squirm it’s way out of a higher law, either State or Federal.

        The exact topics and examples matter much less than the principle, which evidently went right over your head.

        The State has decided that SF cannot do most of these things, so why persist with what you know won’t work and can’t work?

        If you do not like the laws of this State, either move to another State or work to change the law in Sacramento.

        • landline

          Your choice for the analogy speaks volumes about your racism. You could have chosen anything. Your commenting history confirms your racism.

          • John

            Pick abortion rights or gun control if you prefer. It’s not important.

            What is important is the way you are trying to change the topic, which tells me my point rang home strongly.

            Do you believe that a County should be able to violate State or Federal Law if and when the local lawmakers or voters say that they want to?

            Yes or No. I predict you will duck the question and try and deflect.

  9. Kevin

    move to fucking Oakland….I just bought a 1800 sf house on a 8000 sf lot for under $300….ya’ll are a bunch of fucking idiots…it’s called a free market….

    • nutrisystem

      Housing is not a free market, it’s a regulated market.

      Regulation of markets is more the rule than the exception, and it exists to make society work better.

      Do you want a con-man to be able to call himself a doctor and operate on you? No. You want regulations.

      Do you want the Acme Chemical Company to be free to sell TNT to teenagers? No. You want regulations.

      Do you want a regional gasoline retail monopoly to be able to charge $10/gallon? No. You want regulations.

      • John

        The problem is when the regulations stifle the very business it is designed to improve. And that is clearly the case with SF rent laws since the State has twice seen fit to limit SF’s powers to do that, not to mention dozens of lawsuits that the city has lost when it went too far.

        You talk as if all and any regulations are good. Clearly that is nonsense. The tendency to over-regulate and over-tax businesses until they are no longer viable is a major reason why we’ve been seeing de-regulation and lower taxes for the last 35 years.

        We gave your types some power and you went crazy, so we had to slap you down.

        • two beers

          Deregulation did wonders on Wall St: it led directly to the biggest bubble in history.

          • John

            We had bubbles before deregulation. We had bubbles after deregulation. The Dutch had tulip bubbles before there was any regulation. Europe had a recent bubble despite massive regulation.

            Bubbles are opportunities. The only people who complain about them are those not smart enough to profit from them.

          • two beers

            More fallacious reasoning, John. I’m not talking about other bubbles, I’m talking about the most recent one (not the one we’re in now). Without the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass Steagall Act regulating financial institutions, and the Commodity Futures Act of 2000, which eliminated oversight of derivatives, the derivatives-driven housing bubble would not have occurred, or if it had, it would have been exponentially smaller.

            Btw, both bills were signed by the aggressively neo-liberal Bill Clinton, so, while both bills were written by Republicans, the Dems are equally culpable.

            Bubble are opportunities for extractors of wealth, for insiders, for graduates of Ivy League business schools, for the financial institutions that engineer them. Bubbles are destructive to an economy at large; as they cause massive upward transfers of wealth, and then, when the bubble pops, Wall St bankers get to cry to Washington, and the taxpayer bails them out.

            Even the neo-classical economists you apparently cleave to are vehemently opposed to bubbles; even though the policies they favor are the root cause of bubbles, neo-classical economists are terrified and appalled by the concept of bubbles (on paper, because in practice, they never see the bubble when we’re in it)..

            Befitting an acolyte of Ayn Rand, your view of economic value is sick, twisted, disgusting, amoral, deeply cynical, and misanthropic.

          • John

            I don’t really like the word “bubble” or find it helpful. Markets go up (usually) and markets go down (occasionally). That is in their nature and a prudent investor or market participant uses his or her judgment to try and extract opportunity while managing risk.

            Down markets present wonderful opportunities. You could buy a 3BR home in Oakland for 100K at the bottom of the RE slump in 2010. Now it is two to three times that.

            While up markets allow the accumulation and realization of wealth.

            As a believer in the efficient market hypothesis, I do not attach value judgments to market levels. They simply are what they are. But there is more opportunities when markets cycle than when they stay flat and dull.

          • two beers

            “efficient market hypothesis”… well,. there’s the problem, right there. The efficient market hypothesis, like most libertarian/neo-classical economics, is conjectural, unproven, discredtied twaddle Bubbles are prima facie evidence that the efficient market hypothesis is dysfunctional. The efficient market hypothesis doesn’t account for an endogenous collapse like that of 2008.

            By definition, healthy, productive economies don’t have bubbles. Repeat, healthy productive economies don’t have bubbles. Bubbles are the sign of a sick,extractive, manipulated, and gamed economy.

            You are right, though: bubbles are indeed opportunities for accumulation of wealth: the top 1% of the population accumulated 93% of economic gains since 2008. Quite an opportunity for those on the inside with personal connections to the government and control over financial policy.

          • John

            twobeers, the founders of EMH, Fama and French, hold that bubbles are entirely consistent with EMH:


            You might need to put the title in a google search to bypass the paywall

          • two beers

            I’m not familiar with French, but Fama is a typical University of Chicago clown, steeped deeply in the Leo Strauss/Milton Friedman cult of “LEAVE JOHN GALT ALOOOOOONNNE, or he’ll pick up his toys and go home!!”

            Frankly, the 99% of the population that works for a living would all be much better off if the John Galt/Superman little whining babies _did_ pick up their toys and go home.

            I favor productive economies that benefit and provide opportunities for everyone; you favor extractive economies in which the wealth created by the population that works for a living is transferred to the rentiers at the top.

          • John

            Ya know, two beers, I thought like you did maybe 20 years ago at college, but I kinda grew up when I had kids and real bills to pay.

            Can I ask how old you are?

    • John

      Agreed, Kevin. People talk like Oakland is a thousand miles away or in another urban area. But in fact it is about ten miles and minutes away by BART and bridge, and also served by buses and ferries.

      It has better weather, great communications, and is right here, and yet is maybe half the price.

      Why don’t these whiners take some responsibility for themselves and find a home they can afford instead of sticking their hands out and expect cradle-to-grave subsidies just so they can live in a place they cannot afford?

      • nutrisystem

        The problems with (most of) Oakland are many and serious. The fact that it is (like SF) becoming prohibitively expensive makes it a lose-lose.

        Telling people to “go live in Oakland” is like telling your grandma to go live in the backyard. .. it’s obnoxious and makes you look like a total a-hole.

        Oakland is the poster child of what’s wrong with car-based urban design. It is spread out and full of freeways and freeway ramps – making it polluted and ugly. Add to that the high levels of property and violent crime, the fact that the people who already live there don’t want SF refugees displacing THEM, that nobody wants to visit you there, and that you need to drive everywhere, and you start to get the picture…

        No, the solution is not pushing the little people to Oakland. The solution is for the little people to stay put, and throw the anti-life real estate speculators the fuck out.

        • John

          Oakland has some walkable neighborhoods just like Sf has some car-centric areas. You are over-simplifying.

          But of course there are some drawbacks to Oakland. That is why it is cheaper! Money gets you better stuff generally, and better areas. The problem is that not everyone can afford the best areas.

          Your idea seems to be that everyone can have a mansion in Pacific Heights and hang the cost because someone else will pay most of your rent for you. And then you act shocked when such policies aren’t working and people are moving to Oakland anyway.

          We cannot throw free everything at everyone because the folks you expect to pay for that will react.

  10. Kaliman

    The out of control evictions and Ellis Act abuses have reached a tipping point.

    Expect more regulation to curb the real estate greed that’s fueling the speculation and displacement of low (and now MIDDLE) class residents throughout this City.

    Hey, even the TV shows are coming to Flip San Francisco.


    Protections against this sort of shenanigans are sorely needed.

    • John

      Except, Kaliman, that Ellis is a state law and the city cannot really do anything about perfectly legal evictions.

      Perhaps your energy would be better invested in trying to understand why, after 35 years of rent control, we have super high rents and why RE investors are bailing left and right on the business, thereby ensuring home shortages as far into the future as we can see, and then some.

      It’s a failed policy and yet you want to step it up?

    • Bob

      Hysteria about evictions has reached a tipping point, is more like it. All this drama is just going to create incentive for new Ellis filings to preempt communist-style property controls…

      • John

        Agreed, this alleged hysteria is restricted to a few whiney self-interested parties. Most people aren’t talking about it at all, and 99% of residents are safe in their homes.

        Unless you are paying a stupid cheap rent, you have nothing to fear.

        • landline

          You whine the most of anyone here. A landlord, whose self-interest is to oppose rent control, has finally admitted his motivation.

          • John

            My motivation is to see a more sane, practical and mutually-beneficial rental market rather than the current insane endless battle between classes.

            You need not worry about me. I make plenty of scratch regardless. But rent control hurts tenants.

          • Lydia Chavez Staff

            John: I appreciate your engagement, but two comments on a piece is probably engaged enough. IF you disagree, let’s meet for coffee to discuss. Thank you, Lydia

          • John

            Lydia, I appreciate your appreciation. Activity, energy, commitment and engagement are of course the lifeblood of any interactive medium.

            I would respectfully point out that (so far) four other posters have also posted more than two comments to this piece. So there appears to be a quorum of commentators here who prefer discussing topics in more depth.

            If they agree to a “two post” limit per thread then I’d certainly have no issue with the same constraint.

      • Frank

        Absolutely true. I personally know property owners with ridiculously low paying tenants who have consulted with their attorneys about invoking the Ellis Act before it’s too late.

        • John

          Yes, Frank, I think one thing that this noise is doing is pushing LL’s into Ellis’ing now rather than waiting.

          Although it is highly doubtful that the city can do anything to over-ride a state law that proclaims an important right and freedom, it could get more messy around the edges.

          So why wait? And in fact the move last summer which put off any new condo conversions for at least a decade took away the last reason not to Ellis – that it prevents a future condo conversion. That’s off the table anyway.

          What you are also seeing is payoffs. That happened to very tenant in one building on my block a few weeks ago, and that was the last-but-one rental building on my block.

          20 years ago most of the buildings on my block were rentals. Now there is only one left.

    • Mike k

      He isn’t coming to “Flip San Francisco ” he is offering courses to teach people even though the crap he teaches won’t work here.

    • poor.ass.millionaire

      Scott yancey! I love that duchebag! He’s right up with the montelongo’s. Now those guys are real flippers!

    • poor.ass.millionaire

      Two beers you listening? This course is for you!

      • two beers

        Fraudulent get-rich-quick hoo-ha.

        I prefer to earn my living the old-fashioned way: by working.

        Why do landlords hate and disparage work and workers? I mean without workers, you’d have no customers!

        • John

          You think landlords do not work?

          Most that I know have regular jobs as well.

          • two beers

            In SF, where many buildings are 3-unti flats, many people who own them fone their own residence are landlords by default, but they’re not “professional” landlords, so you;re right,many LLs in SF have a real job.

            I was addressing the get-rich-quick flipper mentality exploited by the RE hucketers on tv and radio who claim they can teach you “the secrets to get rich flipping RE.”

          • John

            “flipping” and “speculating” are used as dirty words there, but the truth is that liquidity is important in any market, and particularly those markets where transactions are slow, expensive and sometimes impossible, like real estate.

            In the aftermath of the subprime crisis, you could not sell RE because nobody could get borrowing. So sales of RE would have impossible but for the existence of investors who had the funding to buy.

            If you own a rundown building with low rents, then no small landlord or investor is going to be interested. The only buyers for such a dismal investment are investments groups who can extract the underlying value from the building.

            And in the end it does not matter whether I Ellis a building that does not flow, or sell to someone else for whom that is the only viable option.

            The real point is that if a building doesn’t flow, nobody will want it, and it’s only value is it’s Ellis value. Why don’t you push for the city to buy Ellis’ed buildings and continue to run them as rentals?

            Perhaps because the city doesn’t want to run loss-making businesses either. So why expect landlords to?

  11. jennifer

    Hello to the world at large I want to share my testimony to you all which i believe you can still try your best to give a testimony like this so i was married to morphy at first will both love each other but short time he started a new behavior which i cannot even explain to any one then i keep it to my self hopping one day he will change for good no way he did not change so i was in pain every day don`t no what to do on till one day when a friend of mine visited me in my office she met me crying then she was asking me what is going on i try to be cam but i could not then i open up to her telling me there is a way out which i will do before he left me with my kids i look up and not knowing what to do then i ask her to tell me. shortly she open up to me and say there is a man called agadaga he is a spirit man he can do it with in three days then i look an said okay i will try my best to contact him four days later, my husband did not come home i called his phone switch off then i try my possible best i did not hear from him so i began to look for one way for a help so i remember my friend told me about one man called agadaga i quickly run to my friend asking her if she still have Dr.agadaga contact then she gave it to me that was how i contacted this great man of spirit he did it for me so quick so now i can now control my husband in any thing even i can tell him that i don`t want him outside today he will not. Now i have a happy family so via email :agadagasolutionground@gmail.com

  12. Blurpy

    May be a new record for John. 21 posts in under 24 hours. And check out that 5:23 a.m.(!) post today!


    • landline

      I think he surpassed that level of frequency several times; specifically, during some of his flame wars with various foils, especially when he first arrived to discuss the proposed condo development adjacent to the 16th/Mission BART Plaza.

      • John

        Landline, another interesting statistic is that 100% of your posts in this thread have been personal attacks on another poster.

        Sounds like you’re having a flame war of your own.

        • landline

          Untrue. Pointing out contradictions and double standards is not a personal attack. Nor is highlighting your commenting frequency or your constant injection of race into almost every comment thread.

          Feel free to share the results of your summit talk with one of this publication’s editors. Did you know that 67 divided by 24 is about 36%?

          • John

            When it is directed at only one person, then it is stalking. Then again, if you are happy to lose credibility in that way, why should I care?

            I doubt that you will be on the agenda at our strategy meeting.

    • Ted

      I suspect he’s employing witchcraft.


    No k No k at trust

    They have 500 tenants paying rent while forkin to an affordable land use fund

    It’s one thing to be overly generous to landlords with Agenda of Eviction

    Yet it’s fair to allow tenants to earn credits toward a home purchase (or housing safety net fund) for each month of paid rent. Winning housing credits for good deeds became a national passtime

    I wonder if landlords have any foresight. Do they pay a price for “poor” decisions? Didn’t knowwwwww hahahaha


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