By Tim Redmond
There was not a lot of good news for my city in 2013: Evictions soared, nonprofits were forced out, artists have become an endangered species … and everyone who doesn’t already own a place wakes up in the middle of the night wondering if the Ellis Act notice will arrive tomorrow and they’ll be forced to leave. (And no, Mr. Brown, it’s not okay to just toss the middle class over to Oakland.)
It’s been a bleak winter for anyone who isn’t rich or getting rich, and while the mayor has finally noticed and is talking about building affordable housing, that doesn’t do much good for the existing residents who are getting displaced. The new housing, in the best of circumstances, won’t be available for years. And in an affordability crisis, the most valuable housing is the rent-controlled property that already exists; every tenant who gets an Ellis Act eviction is one more person either leaving this place for good or competing for the small number of new affordable units. Every rental that is protected is one less tenant in the market – and all of those folks who love the free market should understand that.
But something has started to change: The San Francisco that was here before Twitter is fighting back. (more after the jump)