Posts Tagged ‘eviction’

The San Francisco Chronicle’s CW Nevius Pushes Advocacy Journalism Beyond Its Limits: Rent Control en la Mision

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Is this bit here from CW Nevius at all persuasive to you? It’s not to me. And probably it’s not to most people.

And you know, there’s not a whole bunch of “tenant activists” in the bay area either. Yet CW seems to think the world is divided into two sections:

1. Right-thinking, right-side-of-the-aisle activist people such as himself; and

2. Tenant activists

But IRL, most people aren’t activists.

And the reason why it seems that CW Nevius works hand-in-hand with local pols who despise rent control is that CW Nevius actually is working hand-in-hand with local pols who despise rent control. Except CW doesn’t have to worry about losing future elections, so he’s free to speak out on behalf those pols who are terrified of being depicted as anti-rent control. So that’s your symbiotic relationship. I’m unaware of anybody else at the SF Chronicle who has this kind of relationship with local pols. I’m saying, from an outsider’s perspective, the writings of CW Nevius really stand out. He’s an outlier.

Leave us begin:

Through no fault of their own, the married couple has been displaced from their Mission District home by tenants who refuse to move unless they receive a payment of well over $100,000.

UH, NO THEY WEREN’T “DISPLACED.” WHAT HAPPENED WAS THEY MOVED OVERSEAS AND THEN RENTED OUT THEIR PART OF A TIC TO A COUPLE OF TENANTS IN A RENT-CONTROLLED CITY. THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION IS AN OMI PROCEEDING. SO, IN FACT, THEY CAN MOVE BACK “HOME.”

…an eviction would violate the terms of a TIC-to-condo conversion ordinance and they — and the other two co-owners of their building — would never be able to convert their tenancy-in-common unit to a condominium.

TICs AREN’T FOR EVERYBODY, RIGHT? LOTS OF THINGS CAN GO WRONG WITH A TIC, RIGHT?

“We may lose control of our home for the rest of our lives,” Rumpler said. “They must have been instructed that they are sitting on a gold mine. They’re dug in, and we’re stuck.”

AGAIN, YOU DO AN OMI OR YOU DON’T DO AN OMI – CALLING UP CW NEVIUS ISN’T GOING TO HELP WITH THIS SITUATION.

When the condo conversion ordinance was passed in June 2013, it seemed like relief for thousands of San Franciscans.

THOUSANDS OF WEALTHY SAN FRANCISCANS WHO WERE TAKING A CHANCE ON AN INHERENTLY RISKY TIC INVESTMENT, RIGHT?

They were buyers who purchased tenancy-in-common units and then spent years on a waiting list, hoping to be one of 200 chosen in the conversion lottery each year.

HOW IS THIS NOT LIKE ROULETTE?

“In this case the tenants were able to take advantage of the rules that were probably not designed to work this way,” Meirson said.

THIS IS RENT CONTROL IN ACTION. THE RULES WERE EXACTLY DESIGNED TO WORK THIS WAY. EXACTLY.

“It is a very real possibility that these tenants will remain with a lifetime lease and the owners may never be able to move back home. Is this what the law was meant to do?”

THIS IS RENT CONTROL IN ACTION. THE RULES WERE EXACTLY DESIGNED TO WORK THIS WAY. EXACTLY.

The irony, of course, is that if the roles were reversed and an older, married gay couple — one of whom has ALS — were being asked to leave a rental unit…

WHOA NELLIE! THE NEVIUSNESS OF THIS SENTENCE IS QUITE HIGH ALREADY, SO LET’S SLOW THINGS DOWN HERE. ALL RIGHT, IS IT REALLY A SMART IDEA TO “ASK” A TENANT TO LEAVE A RENT CONTROLLED UNIT? I SURE AS HECK DON’T THINK SO. THERE ARE POTENTIAL LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF DOING THAT, RIGHT? WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT WALNUT CREEK HERE, RIGHT? WE’RE TALKING SAN FRANCISCO, HOME OF SOME OF THE MOST EXTREME PRO-TENANT LAWS IN AMERICA, RIGHT? SO, IF YOU’RE NOT CUT OUT TO BE A SAN FRANCISCO LANDLORD, WHY WOULD YOU PICK THIS PLACE, OF ALL PLACES, TO BECOME A LANDLORD? AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T TAKE LANDLORD-TENANT ADVICE FROM CW NEVIUS, THE SAN FRANCISCO NEWCOMER STRAIGHT OUTTA THE 925.

…by a young, financially well-off couple in their 20s, there would be an uproar from tenant advocates.

WELL, NUMBER ONE, THERE WOULDN’T BE AN UPROAR. AND NUMBER TWO, WHERE DOES THE “OF COURSE” COME FROM, WHERE’S THE “IRONY?” THIS IS RENT CONTROL IN ACTION. IT SOUNDS LIKE CW NEVIUS DOESN’T LIKE SF RENT CONTROL.

Instead, this turns the whole scenario on its head.

I’M STRUGGLING TO UNDERSTAND HERE. IT WOULD BE NICE IF CW NEVIUS COULD FIND HIS WAY DOWN TO THE RENT BOARD TO SEE HOW THE RULES WORK IN HIS NEW-FOUND HOME. I DON’T THINK HE UNDERSTANDS.

The tenants, who declined to be interviewed, are in their early 20s and hardly impoverished. Rumpler says both of them work in the tech industry.

HERE’S A NEWS FLASH FOR CW NEVIUS: RENT CONTROL ISN’T MEANS-TESTED IN SF. IMPOVERISHMENT ISN’T A FACTOR. WHAT INDUSTRY THE TENANTS WORK IN IS NOT A FACTOR.

“My understanding is that they work in a high-income profession,” said Meirson. “They probably make more than the landlords in this case.”

OH “PROBABLY.” AND THEY PROBABLY HAVE LESS WEALTH TOO, RIGHT? I’M FAILING TO SEE HOW THIS ISN’T A RUN-OF THE-MILL RENT CONTROL SITUATION, SIMILAR TO OVER 100,000 OTHERS IN SF.

“We would be very happy to settle with them for a reasonable amount of money. We said, ‘We can give you $25,000 and they said, ‘Not even close.’”

ALL RIGHT, $25K. LET’S REMEMBER THIS FIGURE.

The quirky part of this story is that Rumpler and Scovern are victims of bad timing.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING IN REAL ESTATE, RIGHT? BUYING A TIC HOPING TO “WIN” A “LOTTERY” WHEN THE RULES ARE NOT AT ALL STABLE IS EXPOSING YOURSELF TO POLITICAL RISK, RIGHT?

When Scovern got a short-term job offer in Melbourne, Australia, in September 2012, Rumpler says they “pretty naively entered into the rental market.”

“NAIVELY?” DING DING DING DING DING DING! AND HEY, SPEAKING OF SCOVERN, GUESS WHO HAS AN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING DEGREE? SO NEVIUS RELIES ON A SECOND-HAND SOURCE FOR THE OCCUPATIONS OF THE TENANTS, BUT IGNORES THE “TECHIE” LANDLORD IN THIS CASE. THAT’S SO RAVEN NEVIUS!

They used a rental agent to find tenants, with the idea that they’d be back in two years.

IN A RENT-CONTROLLED UNIT. SOUNDS LIKE A BAD IDEA.

Because they are less expensive than an outright condo purchase, they have been a gateway to ownership in a city where housing is incredibly expensive.

TICS HAVE A LOT OF BAD ASPECTS. IS OWNERSHIP SUCH A GOOD IDEA IN SF? IT WORKS OUT FOR MOST PEOPLE, BUT THERE ARE RISKS. ALTERNATIVES INCLUDE DALY CITY AND … WALNUT CREEK. SRSLY.

At this point the two sides are at stalemate.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS. IF THIS LL/TENANT COMBO IS AT STALEMATE, THEN SO ARE MOST LL/TENANT COMBOS IN SF. WHAT MAKES THIS UNIT SPECIAL?

Rumpler says the first suggestion by the tenants for a payout to move was based on the idea that they would have to pay an additional $1,500 a month for 10 years. That’s $18,000 a year for a total of $180,000. “It might as well have been a million,” Rumpler said. “We’re not paying the ransom.”

SO YOU’RE WILLING TO PAY $25K IN RANSOM BUT NOT $180K IN RANSOM BUT THE $25K ISN’T RANSOM? MMMM…

WHAT NEVIUS DOESN’T SHARE WITH HIS READERS IS THE DOLLAR AMOUNT SPENT FOR THE TIC AND THE VALUE OF IT NOW AND ALSO THE VALUE OF IT AFTER CONDO CONVERSION. THESE NUMBERS ARE PRETTY KNOWABLE BUT THEY MIGHT TURN OFF SOME OF THE READERS THAT NEVIUS IS TRYING, FOR SOME REASON, TO PERSUADE.

AND YOU KNOW, SOME PEOPLE BOUGHT REAL ESTATE IN 2006, AND, “THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN,” ENDED UP UNDERWATER. WHERE’S THEIR NEVIUS COLUMN?

IF I WERE THE NEVIUS, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP ON THIS STORY.

SOME FISH YOU SHOULD JUST THROW BACK.

What It Looks Like When SF Rec & Park Evicts You from 24th and Fulton on a Sunday Morning

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Golden Gate Park tent patrol definitely works on weekends:

Click to expand

1049 Market Street Tenants Win a Reprieve in Their Mass Eviction – Presser at City Hall Today at 4:30 PM

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Word comes from tommi avicolli mecca:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

1049 Market STREET Tenants Win a Reprieve in Their Mass Eviction

San Francisco – Tenants of 1049 Market, who are facing eviction at the hands of a landlord wanting to turn their live/work apartments into office spaces, will be holding a press conference today at 4:30pm on the steps of City Hall (Polk Street side) to announce that they have won another reprieve in their battle to stay in their homes. Their landlord has withdrawn his appeal of the suspension of THE permit that would have allowed him to demolish their apartments and evict them.

The appeal on that suspension was scheduled to be heard today at the Board of Appeals at 5pm.

Officials of the Department of Building Inspections (DBI) suspended the permit after a walk through of the building. DBI officials DETERMINED that they had discretion in requiring the landlord to install light wells, a very expensive renovation, to fix a major code violation cited in a 2007 Notice of Violation: the lack of natural light in some of the apartments. Other violations are minor and can be easily addressed by the owner.

Tenants received eviction notices last September, but with the help of Housing Rights Committee, legal support from Tenderloin Housing Clinic and the involvement of Supervisor Jane Kim and DBI, they organized to stay in their homes and fight back.

“It’s a clear victory for us tenants,” said 1049 Market resident Marcele Wilson, “This is about evicting working-class tenants and artists so that they can convert our apartments into offices and cash in on the mid-Market tech boom. But these are our homes, we’re not leaving.”

Tenants will be on hand for interviews today at 4:30pm.”

Ellis Act Eviction Essays from the Left and Right Sides of the Aisle, Plus a Detached Observer

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

If you use the term moderate, then that implies the opposition is immoderate, right?

So, imagine an aisle. Some are on the left of it and some are on the right of it and some have moved from left to right and some have moved from right to left and some camp out in the middle of the aisle blocking the exits.

In San Francisco, the San Francisco Bay Guardian is on the left side of that aisle and San Francisco Magazine is on the right.

Keep that in mind as you peruse:

The Eviction Crisis That Wasn’t – Why carping about the Ellis Act won’t solve San Francisco’s housing problem by Scott Lucas, January 20, 2014

Ellis Act: So There Isn’t an “Eviction Crisis.” So What? by Joe Eskenazi, Mon., Jan. 20 2014

Debunking SF Mag’s Ellis Act apologist article, point by point by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, 01.20.14

A purposefully-distorted version of an already-stylized image, soon coming to an Asian American Studies curriculum near you, no doubt:

OMG, It’s the Great 2014 Haight Ashbury / Richmond District TENANT CONVENTION – January 18th – Eric Mar

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Supervisor Eric Mar is pissed off these days – just look:

“Upcoming Tenant Convention

Please join me and tenant leaders from the Richmond and Haight-Ashbury for a Tenant Convention to be held on Saturday, January 18th at 1:00 p.m., at the Park Branch library (1893 Page St. between Cole and Shrader).

It will build on the momentum that was generated by the Our Richmond/No Eviction event that I convened on December 4, which drew over 70 participants from the Richmond eager to talk about what can be done to stop the eviction crisis that is tearing apart communities in District 1 and throughout the City.  

Come and learn about what you can do if you or your neighbors are being faced with eviction and help us to plan for legislation to fight back.

This gathering is sponsored by the San Francisco Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee, Causa Justa/Just Cause, Senior and Disability Action and ACCE.”

More for the City Attorney to Investigate – Rick Thurber Crew – “Jack Sween is a Fraud, Community Action Does Not Exist”

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

The notorious Rick Thurber crew is back threatening people over signs posted about the 415 again. The latest names used are “Community Action” and “Jack Sween.” The latest letters “served” upon people look just like the one posted below.

Here’s what SFGov has to say about posting signs:

And here’s the background from a couple years back:

 

Crazy Rick Thurber‘s legacy is the current group of “small ‘f’ facists” who use the color of authority to go around scaring San Franciscans who have done nothing wrong.

Anyway, here’s what the city and county has to say about you posting signs about garage sales and missing pets and whatnot – it’s not illegal. SFGov goes on to add:

The SF Cleanup Project and Quinn Cooper are not affiliated with the Department of Public Works or the City and County of San Francisco. If you receive a letter from one of these entities about signs you have posted, please submit it to DPW, Director’s Office, City Hall, Room 348, San Francisco, CA 94102 and DPW will deliver it to the City Attorney’s office. For more information, contact DPW’s Bureau of Street Use and Mapping at 554-5810.”

See? The Thurbians accuse you of a crime but, in fact, the City is trying to hunt them down for their transgressions.

(Isn’t ironic, dontcha think?)

These days, frustrated San Franciscans are resorting to posting on the craigslist to get the word out. Thusly:

IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO POST SIGNS (inner richmond)

Date: 2010-07-18, 3:29PM PDT
Reply to:
sale-u4fyj-1850054366@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

The person(s) going around threatening people with fines for posting garage sales signs needs to stop. Get their name and ID please. Forward their emails to Eric Mar (Richmond supervisor) and also to craigslist. These people are bullies at best. If they are actually collecting fines, they are committing a crime. Stay legal, but make them stop. Call the police if they approach you in person. Thanks. It has happened before:
http://sfcitizen.com/blog/2010/04/14/nimby-outrage-trickster-uses-color-of-authority-to-threaten-eviction-over-a-garage-sale-sign/
So when you get one of these illegal notices after using a phone pole or whatever to posting a notice about a lost pet, turn it over to the City and let it figure out what to do.
D’accord? D’accord.

 

The gritty nitty from the City:

“The public may post information on some utility poles if the postings follow regulations outlined in the Public Works Code. The law was adopted to ensure that flyers posted on public property do not contribute to litter or blight. Illegal postings may be removed by DPW and are subject to fines from $50 to $500. 

Signs are defined as any card, decoration, poster, campaign sign, or any object containing or bearing writing that is affixed, posted or fastened to a utility or light pole that is permanently attached to the street or sidewalk.  Signs do not include handbills, banners or A-Frame boards. Bulletin boards designed for neighborhood postings are exempt from this regulation. Signs attached to buildings are regulated by Part II Chapter I of the Building Code.

Tips for Legally Posting Signs on Public Property


To legally place a sign on a utility pole, it must:

  • Be less than 11 inches in height
  • No higher than 12 feet from the ground
  • Conform to the shape of the pole
  • Be attached with tape or other non-adhesive material such as twine, string or other non-metal banding material
  • Include a legible posting date in the lower right hand corner
  • Be removed after 10 days, if the sign is promoting a date specific event
  • Be removed within 70 days of the posting date
  • Not be installed on historic street light poles*, traffic signal poles or traffic directional sign poles. 

* Historic street light poles are on these streets:

  • Market Street from 1 Market to 2490 Market
  • Mission Street from 16th Street to 24th Street
  • Grant Avenue from Bush Street to Broadway Street
  • The Embarcadero from King Street to Jefferson Street
  • Lamp Posts on Fisherman’s Wharf from Hyde to Powell
  • Howard Street from 3rd Street to 4th Street
  • Lamp Posts within Union Square
  • Mason Street from Market to Sutter
  • Sutter Street from Mason to Kearny
  • Kearny Street from Bush to Market

Stow Lake is Closed From September 19-23, Per This Sign – A Quiet Time for the Boathouse

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Here’s a tour of the Stow Lake Boathouse area these days.

Looks like you won’t be able to park your car around the lake this week:

Click to expand

They’ll probably let you walk around most of the place most of the time, but the whole area will be getting worked on through the end of September 2011, looks like.

The boats are gone:

 \

And the protest signs as well:

Frank Klein has the keys now:

“Got the keys to Stow Lake Boathouse today! Great feeling beginning to restore this landmark property for the next generations of SF residents”

Mayor Ed Lee’s “City Family” Evicts Stow Lake Boathouse Operator – Rent-Free Blowout Party Sept 10th

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

Well, you probably already know all you want to know about the Stow Lake Boathouse, but here’s the latest.

(Oh, Joan, this vendor lost 5-0. Was that competition rigged, do you think? I don’t know, if you don’t like Rec and Park, you take it out on the Mayor, right?)

The case against the current operator:

Click to expand

IndyBay weighs in:

“The local concessioner is being evicted by SF Rec & Park in retaliation for protesting unfair bidding process.”

Uh no, it’s more like local concessioner refuses to leave after losing competition, legal proceedings. IMO.

Let’s see, I can write maudlin headlines too. How could I spin a different type of possible news:

“Beloved, local 68-year-old rapist apprehended by vacationing, off-duty, out-of-state, evil cop from New Mexico. SaveStowLakeRapist.org”

Or something like that.

Now, realize that the boathouse isn’t going anywhere, IRL, but, anyway here are the last gasps of the most ridiculous grass roots effort I’ve ever seen:

“Yet another treasure lost!”

And Phil Ginsburg Lied, People Died, something like that:

Do the blondie Euro tourists care that the Stow Lake Boathouse will have a new operator?

Not in the least!

The only thing left to do is to have a blowout party on September 10th, since, you know, you’re not paying rent anyway:

It’ll cost $500 each* (or best offer) for the faded paddleboats. Apparently, they went for $3000 when new. Apparently, their faded surfaces will “buff out real good.” (But if you’re 5’8″ or taller, you won’t fit in so hot…)

The KTVU was on hand, for the finale:

Maybe they’ll have something for you to watch, sometime. (Oh, here it is. This report is somewhat more maudlin than expected. Realize that the current operators were given extra points for being local, for being in operation for so long. Even with this kind of affirmative action/legacy/locals-only type of assistance, the current operator lost five votes to zero. Oh well.)

All right, as long as nobody torches the place this month (which would take some doing in this kind of foggy weather), look forward to a revivified Stow Lake Boathouse soon…

*Oh, the old paddle boats “start at $200,” per KTVU-TV. Hey, why not buy one and then put rubber tires underneath? You’d be all set for the Burning Man Playa next year, or a Critical Mass or something. Hey, even better, pilot the thing to La Playa in Nevada next year, why not? That would be quite a road trip…

Rick Thurber’s Legacy: NIMBYs Gone Wild. Yet, “IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO POST SIGNS” in S.F.

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Crazy Rick Thurber‘s legacy is the current group of “small ‘f’ facists” who use the color of authority to go around scaring San Franciscans who have done nothing wrong.

Anyway, here’s what the city and county has to say about you posting signs about garage sales and missing pets and whatnot – it’s not illegal. SFGov goes on to add:

The SF Cleanup Project and Quinn Cooper are not affiliated with the Department of Public Works or the City and County of San Francisco. If you receive a letter from one of these entities about signs you have posted, please submit it to DPW, Director’s Office, City Hall, Room 348, San Francisco, CA 94102 and DPW will deliver it to the City Attorney’s office. For more information, contact DPW’s Bureau of Street Use and Mapping at 554-5810.”

See? The Thurbians accuse you of a crime but, in fact, the City is trying to hunt them down for their transgressions.

(Isn’t ironic, dontcha think?)

These days, frustrated San Franciscans are resorting to posting on the craigslist to get the word out. Thusly:

IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO POST SIGNS (inner richmond)

Date: 2010-07-18, 3:29PM PDT
Reply to:
sale-u4fyj-1850054366@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

The person(s) going around threatening people with fines for posting garage sales signs needs to stop. Get their name and ID please. Forward their emails to Eric Mar (Richmond supervisor) and also to craigslist. These people are bullies at best. If they are actually collecting fines, they are committing a crime. Stay legal, but make them stop. Call the police if they approach you in person. Thanks. It has happened before:
http://sfcitizen.com/blog/2010/04/14/nimby-outrage-trickster-uses-color-of-authority-to-threaten-eviction-over-a-garage-sale-sign/
 
So when you get one of these illegal notices after using a phone pole or whatever to posting a notice about a lost pet, turn it over to the City and let it figure out what to do.
 
D’accord? D’accord.
 

The gritty nitty from the City: 

“The public may post information on some utility poles if the postings follow regulations outlined in the Public Works Code. The law was adopted to ensure that flyers posted on public property do not contribute to litter or blight. Illegal postings may be removed by DPW and are subject to fines from $50 to $500. 

Signs are defined as any card, decoration, poster, campaign sign, or any object containing or bearing writing that is affixed, posted or fastened to a utility or light pole that is permanently attached to the street or sidewalk.  Signs do not include handbills, banners or A-Frame boards. Bulletin boards designed for neighborhood postings are exempt from this regulation. Signs attached to buildings are regulated by Part II Chapter I of the Building Code.

Tips for Legally Posting Signs on Public Property

 
To legally place a sign on a utility pole, it must:

  • Be less than 11 inches in height
  • No higher than 12 feet from the ground
  • Conform to the shape of the pole
  • Be attached with tape or other non-adhesive material such as twine, string or other non-metal banding material
  • Include a legible posting date in the lower right hand corner
  • Be removed after 10 days, if the sign is promoting a date specific event
  • Be removed within 70 days of the posting date
  • Not be installed on historic street light poles*, traffic signal poles or traffic directional sign poles. 

* Historic street light poles are on these streets:

  • Market Street from 1 Market to 2490 Market
  • Mission Street from 16th Street to 24th Street
  • Grant Avenue from Bush Street to Broadway Street
  • The Embarcadero from King Street to Jefferson Street
  • Lamp Posts on Fisherman’s Wharf from Hyde to Powell
  • Howard Street from 3rd Street to 4th Street
  • Lamp Posts within Union Square
  • Mason Street from Market to Sutter
  • Sutter Street from Mason to Kearny
  • Kearny Street from Bush to Market

NIMBY Outrage: Trickster Uses Color of Authority to Threaten Eviction over a Garage Sale Sign

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Have you ever heard of an outfit called “Neighbors for Clean Neighborhoods” or something? Well, neither has the Internet. But somebody is using that name to threaten tenants with eviction over things that tenants can’t control.

Like if there’s a sign advertising a garage sale on a traffic signal pole outside of your apartment building, you just might get “served” with a massive missive that discusses how you could get evicted.

The return address is listed as 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place San Francisco, CA 94102, which is of course San Francisco City Hall. Somebody named “Bob Williams” is behind this, but who knows who that is. Are you allowed to use City Hall’s address to threaten people with eviction freelance? I don’t think so. 

Anyway, look forward to getting this notice yourself someday. I’ll tell you, tenants were confused by this official-looking notice, some of them thinking that it came from the landlord.

One might think that you’d need an actual backyard before you can go all NIMBY on people, but it looks like Bob Williams has found a loophole. (You real NIMBYs might want to reuse some of the florid language – it’s pure gold.)

Click to expand.

Mostly you can read it. Mostly

Needless to say, I cry foul.

[UPDATE: Turns out that Chuckles Nevius was all over this issue last year.]