Evictions in the Castro and throughout the City have hit a twelve-year high that hasn’t been seen since the first dot.com boom. The reports are staggering: 2% rental vacancy and of that less than 10% rent controlled, Castro home prices have risen 34% over last years sales-outpacing the rest of the City which reports a 17% increase per home sale, Ellis evictions on the rise and crafty lawyers working for developers and speculators finding loopholes in tenant leases to excercise violations allowing long-term tenants to be put out.
Many of the Castro’s evicted are elderly or fixed income/HIV positive individuals who’ve been in their apartments for more than ten years and find themselves unable to financially compete in the new, hyper inflated, rental market.
Evictions in SF are coming in different forms. According to a post filed in the Examiner. Tenants breaking the terms of their leases accounted for the most evictions, at 468. Nuisance violations were second with 352. There also were 116 instances in which a unit’s landlord invoked the Ellis Act-in 2012 there were only 64 such evictions.
Tenant advocates say many eviction notices aren’t filed with the Rent Board. And some landlords use an “Ellis Act warning,” a non-legal notice coupled with a cash payment, to get a tenant to move out, said Ted Gullicksen, executive director of the San Francisco Tenants Union. “For every Ellis Act eviction filed, there are 10 or 15” of the warnings, Gullicksen said.
According to a recent report on evictions within the City limits of San Francisco the neighborhoods with the highest amounts of evictions are Potrero, Mission, Western Division and Castro/Duboce Triangle/Eureka Valley coming up forth in a race that no neighborhood wants to win.
What does the Ellis eviction rates look like? Brian Whitty put together a comprehensive map of 14 years of evictions starting at its infancy in 1997 and proceeding to present day. These are hundreds upon hundreds of tenants losing rent controlled apartments to tenant in common (TIC) conversions who also have the option to go condo. Once ousted they’re pushed out into a rental market so high they’re unable to continue live in the Castro or anywhere else in SF.
This rental squeeze is hardest on the poor, working poor and middle class that have as much right to call the Castro and San Francisco home as any other. Pro-development groups argue that this is just another version of the age-old edict of ‘law of the jungle’ where the strong survive and the weaker-renters and less wealthy-are left to fend for themselves.
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