Some San Francisco Supervisors See ‘Epidemic’ Of Ellis Act Evictions

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Members of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors are considering the City declare a State of Emergency over what they claim is an epidemic number of rising Ellis Act evictions.

In a high-profile case last week the elderly Lee family, along with their disabled adult daughter, conceded defeat and left their home on Jackson Street to stay temporarily in a hotel. They are now homeless because of an Ellis Act eviction and Supervisor John Avalos is calling for action.

“We have to think how we can work outside of the box to save and protect this city from of its eviction crisis that’s happening right now,” he said.

“Many people in the community are asking the Board of Supervisors to declare a State of Emergency and it’s something that I think is worthy of considering.”

The Ellis Act is a provision in California law that allows landlords to go out of the rental business—without actually having to sell the property—to evict tenants. It’s often used by real estate speculators to circumvent municipal rent control provisions and sell off individual units.

Supervisor David Campos spent last Saturday at a protest in Noe Valley in support of Jeremy Michels—a gay senior who faces similar fate as the Lees.

“The displacement is happening in places like District 8 and it’s happening to members of the LGBT community. It shows that it is truly an epidemic,” said Campos.

Campos said he’s asked the supervisors’ budget analyst to conduct a city-wide analysis of Ellis Act evictions.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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