REMINDER: Free Tenants Counseling this Thursday, November 20th

Free Tenants Counseling is offered every 3rd Thursday of the month!

Where: Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center  660 Lombard Street

When:  From 11am-12:30pm

  • Please bring any documents you have received from landlord
  • We have Cantonese, Spanish, and German speakers

Remember to vote this Tuesday, November 4th!!!

Please be sure to vote and vote YES on G!

Proposition G is the anti-speculation surtax, an attempt to halt evictions by taking away some of the financial incentive to buy long-term tenant occupied buildings at a lower price, proceed to then evict those tenants, do cosmetic renovations and then re-sell for windfall profits. We want above all to keep our tight-knit communities intact, the caring multi-generations, multi-cultural make up, and neighbors knowing their neighbors. Speculators have been rapidly dismantling our neighborhood-and neighborhoods throughout The City as their bottom line is greed.

One developer/investor, from Lafayette, has bought 3 North Beach buildings within a 6 month period of time and within the first week of “ownership” told the tenants that they either accept a “buy-out” or they will be Ellis Act evicted. He informed tenants that he intends to convert the units and sell individually for a $3 million dollar profit. Thus, three more buildings will be removed from our precious rental stock, selling to the highest bidder, while the original tenants search for homes nowhere near the City of San Francisco. Most often, it is the deceased owner’s family that sells at the lower price, due to the fact that it is fully occupied with longterm tenants-those whom the family would never dream of evicting  -and so in the end, the original family seller loses. And we lose yet more neighbors. The speculator is the only one who gains. Let’s try to stop the speculation with our lives, our communities.

As renters, we want and need landlords  real landlords,  and want to preserve our communities. Help stop the speculators, the serial evictors, and vote YES ON G!

To Neighbors Who Missed the August 19th Forum…

Our 2nd gathering of neighbors concerned with Ellis Act evictions and legislation dealing with the housing crisis took place this past Tuesday evening at the Tel Hi Neighborhood Center. Marla Knight, co-founder of the North Beach Tenants Committee, introduced the agenda and announced that Ellis Act evictions are down in numbers since February this year, but “buy-outs” are up. This is a tactic used by speculators to get around using the Ellis Act which would limit their investment-flexibility, ie. condo conversion. We are hearing of quite a range in terms of “buy-out” amounts: as low as $2,000.( to the perceived easy prey, ie. Monolingual and/or Elderly  and as high as $80,000.

July 2014 updated Anti-Eviction Mapping of Ellis:

Gen Fujioka, Policy Director at Chinatown Community Development Center, talked about Prop G, a November ballot issue and described it as being “our last firewall” in the fight for stopping evictions and preserving our rent-controlled housing stock for the majority of San Franciscans. I recently heard Supervisor Jane Kim state that we need affordable housing for our low income to middle class families, for the 60% of all San Franciscans earning between $0-$80,000.

Prop G, also known as the “Anti-speculation Tax”  only applies to Real Estate Speculators.

To learn more about Prop G:

Supervisor David Campos spoke about his Relocation Fee Increase for Ellisees legislation which passed in April 2014, and went into effect June 1st. While it is indeed being challenged in the courts today, Campos believes that it is legally solid. He also spoke about “Buy-outs”


Amy Chan, legislative aide to David Chiu talked about Vacation Rentals/Airbnb. North Beach is ground zero for vacation rentals: whole buildings are being converted to these short term rentals further exacerbating the housing crisis in a neighborhood hard hit by evictions.  Property values and rents are rising in response to units being taken off the market.  Clearly regulation is needed but given the gravity of the situation NBTC believes that Supervisor Chiu’s proposed legislation would benefit by more input by residents, tenants and home owners alike.  This is not a measure to pass in haste.


Many news articles about these temporary-rentals refer to a study that The Chonicle did earlier this year, for this reason, I include the link to this study here:

Upcoming Legislation

Here are some sites of interest dealing with Supervisor Campos’ legislation regarding buyouts and Prop. G, the anti-speculator tax:                                                                                               Follow this proposal at the Board of Supervisors’ website:


Prop G:


We had our first neighborhood meeting as a tenants committee in January, and our meeting to update all on the state of Ellis Act evictions is set for:

When:  Tuesday, August 19th from 6:15 to 8:30pm

Where: Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center  660 Lombard Street

We will present information about current legislation which deals directly with evictions/ housing, as well as ballot measures focusing on speculation in our city. Please invite your friends and neighbors; anyone interested in learning more about our housing crisis.

*REMINDER: Free Tenant Counseling every 3rd Thursday of the month: August 21st

From 11:00-12:30 at Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center 660 Lombard

City Legislation Challenged

In April the Relocation Fee Increase for Ellisees was approved and went into effect June 1st, 2014; all those remaining in their homes on this date onward,would be eligible for the new increase. On July 24th, 2014 the first challenge to this law was filed against the City and County of San Francisco. See the following sites:
DF of the Tenant Relocation Assistance Legal Challenge Presskit (July 28, 2014)

Joint City Attorney and City Seal
Herrera, Campos confident in the face of legal challenges to tenant relocation assistance
Ordinance balances San Francisco’s ‘compelling public interest to protect renters from financial devastation’ with the property rights of landlords, City Attorney contends

SAN FRANCISCO (July 28, 2014) — A recently enacted city ordinance to mitigate the potentially devastating financial impacts on tenants who are evicted under the state Ellis Act is well positioned to overcome a pair of legal challenges filed late last week, according to City Attorney Dennis Herrera and the measure’s primary sponsor, Supervisor David Campos.
The ordinance provides that when landlords make use of the Ellis Act to withdraw their residential units from the rental market, they must compensate the renters they evict with the difference between the tenant’s current rent and two years of rent at a comparable unit in San Francisco, as determined by the City Controller. If the difference is less than the per-tenant payment required under the city’s prior tenant relocation assistance law, then the higher payment applies. The new ordinance additionally creates two administrative appeals processes to protect small property owners from undue burdens. One avenue of appeal would enable property owners using the Ellis Act to challenge the Controller’s rent differential calculation; another would allow landlords to petition for relief from tenant relocation assistance payments when they can show evidence of financial hardship. Landlords are free to pursue both appeals.
“I’m confident that the arguments both legal attacks present are non-starters,” Herrera said. “My office was already successful in defending tenant relocation assistance payments in the 2006 Pieri decision, and courts have previously recognized that the Ellis Act allows for local authority to mitigate harms caused by tenant evictions. Our amended ordinance balances San Francisco’s compelling public interest to protect renters from financial devastation — including homelessness, in some cases — with the property rights of landlords. It creates administrative procedures that previously didn’t exist to make sure small property owners are protected from undue economic burdens, and it is well within San Francisco’s policy-making authority under existing law.”
“My legislation was carefully crafted to address the reality that rents have recently skyrocketed in San Francisco. In early 2014, the median rental list price for a two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was $4,150 a month,” added Supervisor Campos. “Before passage of my ordinance, when a tenant was evicted under the Ellis Act, in the vast majority of cases, he or she was forced to leave the City. The average person and family in San Francisco cannot afford current market rates. The new relocation assistance amount gives tenants a fighting chance to continue living in the City so their children can continue learning in local schools and individuals can remain stable parts of their community. I am confident that legal precedent allowing legislators to mitigate adverse impacts of Ellis evictions include the right to craft legislation aimed at allowing tenants to continue living in the City they love.”
On Thursday, July 24, lawyers from the Pacific Legal Foundation, an arch-conservative public advocacy firm, filed suit in United States District Court in San Francisco to invalidate the law, which they allege violates the U.S. Constitution’s takings and due process clauses, and also violates the state Ellis Act itself. On the same day, veteran real estate litigator Andrew M. Zacks sued the city and six individual tenants in San Francisco Superior Court to strike down the law. Zacks’s lawsuit on behalf of two individual landlords and the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute contends that the ordinance is preempted by the Ellis Act and doomed by procedural defects.
The Pacific Legal Foundation is a familiar legal foe to the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office in terms of federal constitutional takings challenges to the city’s affordable housing policies. PLF spent twelve years suing San Francisco over its Hotel Conversion Ordinance, a 1981 law that prohibits owners of single room occupancy hotels, or SROs, from converting residential units into lodging for tourists unless steps are taken to address diminished housing stock. Ameliorative steps required by the HCO include: replacing the converted units through construction of an equal number of units for residents; rehabilitating an equal number of residential hotel units; or making an “in lieu payment” to the city to cover some construction costs for new units to replace those being converted. San Francisco finally won the case in a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision involving PLF’s bid to re-litigate in federal court issues it had already lost in California’s state courts. The case, San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco, was decided on June 20, 2005.
The newly filed cases are: Levin et al. v. City and County of San Francisco, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, filed July 24, 2014, case no. 150085; and Jacoby et al. v. City and County of San Francisco et al., San Francisco Superior Court, filed July 24, 2014, case no. CGC-14-540709. Additional information about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is available at:
Reminder: Contact your attorney if your moving-out date is nearing and you receive correspondence from your landlord about your relocation fee.