Good News on Ellis Reform!

Image courtesy of Tenants Together

Image courtesy of Tenants Together

The Berkeley Rent Board voted at their March meeting to ask Senator Hancock and Representative Skinner to work on our behalf to allow cities like Berkeley to be a part of the statewide Ellis Reform. Meanwhile, the current bill from Mark Leno (SB 1439) – which will only protect San Francisco – narrowly passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. Now it heads to the Judiciary. Although BTU wants protections against these speculative evictions to be open to Berkeley renters, we are still excited to see help for San Francisco may be on the way!

Tenants Together has published a fascinating report called The Speculator Loophole with help from the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. The report shows that more than half of the owners who want to “go out of the rental business” bought the property within one year of deciding to evict everyone. The Leno bill calls for owners to hold rental property for five years before they can “go out of business” with the Ellis Act – San Francisco hopes this will stop speculative evictions.

http://tenantstogether.org/downloads/Ellis%20Act%20Report.pdf

San Francisco also voted this week to increase relocation assistance for Ellis evictions: “On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 to approve legislation that requires property owners in such eviction situations to pay the difference between the tenant’s current rent and what the tenant would have to pay for a similar apartment under current market conditions for two years…a tenant who moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the Mission district in 1987 at a monthly rent of $909, a relocation payment of $44,832 would be required.”
http://www.sfexaminer.com/PoliticsBlog/archives/2014/04/09/sf-boosts-compensation-for-ellis-act-evictees

SF Gate on Relocation Payment Increase:
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/S-F-supervisors-OK-bigger-Ellis-Act-payouts-5386872.php

San Francisco Starts Pilot Program to Legitimize In-Law Apartments:
http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=69627

SF Tech Companies Support Ellis Reform:
http://www.beyondchron.org/articles/SF_Tech_Companies_Formally_Back_Ellis_Act_Reform_12534.html

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