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Facing the eviction threat: Tenants push back and slow Ellis evictions in 2014

January 5, 2015

By Gen Fujioka : 48hillsonline – excerpt

Part one of a two-part series

JANUARY 5, 2014 — As San Francisco’s tenants and their progressive allies take stock and develop their agenda for this new year, it’s worth considering a significant achievement in 2014:  a multifaceted effort pushed back a wave of Ellis Act evictions.

Given where we started at the close of 2013, this is a very big deal.

This chart shows the annualized rate of Ellis evictions initiated each month from 2010 through December 2013:…

Tenant organizations held a series of protests and rallies throughout the summer of 2013. In September, 2013, hundreds of supporters from across the city blocked the sheriff from evicting the Lee family.

Despite the protests, the number of Ellis evictions continued to grow. In December, 2013, landlords filed to withdraw 60 units of housing in a single month. The rate approached 450 units a year during the final quarter of 2013.

Then something remarkable occurred: Beginning in January, 2014, the number of new Ellis evictions initiated by landlords began to subside.   At first the trend was erratic but it became consistent by the middle of the year…

What happened?

Housing market conditions didn’t change. Rising rents and a strong TIC market continued to favor the Ellis-eviction industry. But political and legal efforts to resist and constrain Ellis evictions disrupted speculator and landlord plans to invoke the Ellis Act.

Given the chronology of events and the eviction trend data, no one single factor was probably responsible for restraining speculators and landlords…. (more)

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