Shit happened (Oct. 23-29)

Tenant proposals and Guardian forum address eviction crisis; Students fight suspensions; Techies to NSA: Stop spying!

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Tenant advocates rally Oct. 24 on the steps of City Hall.
Mike Koozmin/SF Print Media Co.


Tenant proposals and Guardian forum address eviction crisis

Tenant advocates have proposed a sweeping set of legislative proposals to address what they're calling the "eviction epidemic" that has hit San Francisco, seeking to slow the rapid displacement of tenants by real estate speculators with changes to land use, building, rent control, and other city codes.

"In essence, it's a comprehensive agenda to restrict the speculation on rental units," Chinatown Community Development Center Policy Director Gen Fujioka told the Guardian. "We can't directly regulate the Ellis Act [the state law allowing property owners to evict tenants and take their apartments off the rental market], but we're asking the city to do everything but that."

The package was announced Oct. 24 on the steps of City Hall by representatives of CCDC, San Francisco Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee of SF, Causa Justa-Just Cause, Tenderloin Housing Clinic, UNITE HERE Local 2, Community Tenants Association, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

"San Francisco is falling into one of the deepest and most severe eviction crises in 40 years," SFTU Director Ted Gullicksen said. "It is bad now and is going to get worse unless the city acts."

The announcement came a day after the Lee family — an elderly couple on Social Security who care for their disabled daughter — was finally Ellis Act evicted from its longtime Chinatown home after headline-grabbing activism by CCDC and other groups had twice turned away deputies and persuaded the Mayor's Office to intervene with the landlord.

But Mayor Ed Lee has been mum — his office ignored our repeated requests for comment — on the worsening eviction crisis, the tenant groups' proposals, and the still-unresolved fate of the Lees, who are temporarily holed up in a hotel and still hoping to find permanent housing they can afford.

The package proposed by tenant advocates includes: require those converting rental units into tenancies-in-common to get a conditional use permit and bring the building into compliance with current codes (to discourage speculation and flipping buildings); regulate TIC agreements to discourage Ellis Act abuse; increase required payments to evicted tenants and improve city assistance to those displaced by eviction; require more reporting on the status of units cleared with the Ellis Act by their owners; investigate and prosecute Ellis Act fraud (units are often secretly re-rented at market rates after supposedly being removed from the market); increase inspections of construction on buildings with tenants (to prevent landlords from pressuring them to move); prohibit the demolition, mergers, or conversions of rental units that have been cleared of tenants using no-fault evictions in the last 10 years (Sup. John Avalos has already introduced this legislation).

Comments

TIC formations are not a sub-division and they are not a change of use. They are merely a form of ownership subject to State law.

Bierman tried something similar in 2000 and the courts bounced the whole thing.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 29, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

force TIC formations to go through the full condo conversion process. That would be ironic now that condo conversions are no longer possible (for probably another 15 years anyway).

This idea takes some of the processes of the condo conversion, e.g. the DBI approvals, and tries to insert them piecemeal into a TIC formation.

Won't work. If two non-married people buy a SFH, they often choose to own it as a TIC. That will look no different on paper from a full-blown TIC. There is no real way for the city to determine from a title document what is happening underneath.

Smacks of desperation to me. The focus instead should bo on offering help to evictees to find a new place.

Posted by anon on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 6:35 am

He has started talking about giving landlords "incentives" not to Ellis.

A smarter option that trying to mess with State law.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 04, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

The U.S. not only promotes Neo-liberal values that choose winners and losers, but also who is to be homeless. San Francisco Sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi is spot-on to say that “ … expansion of city services ot the displaced,” is essential. Otherwise, solve the Neo-liberal unfettered market problems.

Posted by Awayneramsey on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

All politicians can do, if anything, is tinker around the edges.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

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