Saturday, September 19, 2020
Uncategorized Tenants explain why Campos bill is needed

Tenants explain why Campos bill is needed


Sup. David Campos introduced his Ellis Act relocation bill


By Tim Redmond

Sup. David Campos announced a bill today that would substantially increase relocation fees for tenants at a press event featuring three heart-rending (and all-too typical) stories of tenants whose lives and communities are being shattered by the Ellis Act.

The measure would mandate that landlords who want to file Ellis Act evictions pay their tenants the difference between the existing rent on that unit and market rent for a comparable unit in the same neighborhood, for two years. In some cases, where tenants have been living for decades in rent-controlled units, the fee could be substantial – and could help an evicted tenant remain in the city.

The law wouldn’t, by itself, solve the Ellis problem, but tenant activists say it would give longtime residents a fighting chance to avoid being forced out of town. “It’s a band-aide,” Theresa Flandrich, a nurse who is losing her home of 30 years in North Beach, said. “But when you’re bleeding, you need a band-aid.”

The measure has won strong support from tenants meeting in neighborhood conventions, and it’s something I’ve been writing about for months. (I got the original tip from Potrero Hill activist Tony Kelly, who told me to check out the way the federal government does relocation fees. Under federal law, tenants forced out by eminent domain are entitled to the difference between their current rent and market rent for as much as four years.)

“Frankly,” Campos said at a press conference in his office, “This is something we should have done a long time ago.” The idea, he explained, is to help tenants who have been evicted stay in their communities, “to mitigate the displacement.” (more after the jump)

Marke B.
Marke Bieschke is the publisher and arts and culture editor of 48 Hills. He co-owns the Stud bar in SoMa. Reach him at marke (at), follow @supermarke on Twitter.


  1. The displacement of people especially seniors is wrong. I am witness to a 98 year old living in San Francisco that received a Life Time Estate in Lui of being Ellis Acted out on the streets. In a six unit building that converted to TIC. At 88 years she had to purchase the Life Estate for $250k for her unit however the property reverts back to the owner in the event of her death. The life Est. document is a recorded deed which gives her the right to live in her apt until she dies, however it stipulates she must live alone and be responsible for all of her own repairs and maintenance, leaking ceiling, cracks in the walls, popcorn asbestos ceiling… other words code violations up the yang. She signed in under fear that she would be put on the streets. Now that the owners have a chance to to fast track to condo conversation they have decided to foreclose on the Life Estate, suing her for the remainder 171K , she is 98 years of age has never missed a payment and has lived in her apt since 1965. By law they did not and did not have to give her first rights of refusal although the owners backed with all of the TIC purchases in the other 5 apts the other tenants have the luxury of ownership for their monthly payments, however the senior is being displaced and sued, suggesting her apt has fallen into disrepair, needless to say this will severely impact her health. This type of personal greed saddens me and is completely wrong in every way.

  2. Why not use the City’s first time homebuyers program as downpayment assistance for existing long time tenants and cap the monthly payment close to the existing rent to create a fair playing field while adding new opportunities for homeownership .

  3. NO, Tim, I am not reading the comments section to your blog. I did when I first started to follow you but there are a couple of people whose inane right wing comments are so ridiculous that I just gave up. And they seem to have an incredible amount of time on their hands. I’d rather just read what you write.

  4. David Campos already pretty much said that it is a matter of looking over the property owners shoulder, counting his money on the table, (with covetous eyes and a heart full of envy), and then grabbing all that you can, with the assistance of political people like Campos, of course. What a property owner obtains from the sale of his or her property is none of his tenants damn business. You ever hire an employee who is far less concerned about their weekly pay check than they are interested in what is inside of the cash register and how much the store owner is making, where he is living and what kind of car he is driving? That is the kind of thinking that is going on in the Board of Supervisors. You kick an employee like that to the curb, owing to their envy and resentment, before they can damage your economic interests.

  5. You mentioned that owner-move-in evictions are unrestricted, but in Ms Diaz’s example, she’s trying to prevent the new owner (the original owner’s son) from moving in. Please clarify which is the case, since this is an important point! Thank you!

  6. The fee us an interesting idea, but there are other remedies, some of which fortunately have already become law. David Chiu’s efforts to put a 10 year moratorium on condo conversions would be a help as well as the legislation he passed to give priority in affordable housing to Ellis Act evictees. Personally, I think the Ellis Act needs major revisions if not total abolishment. Important is for the tenants to have a viable voice, fair rent and security, and for landlords to have the means to maintain buildings to be stable and safe.

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