Lee Family Ellis Act Eviction

25 09 2013

Today’s rally to protest the Lee Family Ellis Act Eviction, with CCHO members CCDC, HRC, and allies in the tenant, community, and labor movement.

IMG_8175 IMG_8187 IMG_8189 IMG_8198
From the San Francisco Tenant’s Union:
San Franciscans are facing a spiraling threat of speculation, evictions, and astronomical housing cost increases. Evictions, even of the elderly and disabled, are becoming routine throughout the city. And as vacated apartments are sold or rented at higher levels the speculative pressure on remaining rent controlled housing grows sharper. The intensifying cycle of speculation is radically transforming neighborhoods and threatening the City’s diverse character and its social values.

The impending eviction of one family in Polk Gulch is representative of these trends and threats. But the outcome of the Lee family’s fight against their eviction may also help the movement to help tame our present overheated market.

Like thousands of other working class San Franciscans, Mr. and Ms. Lee worked for decades in the city. Now elderly and caring for their disabled adult daughter, they are facing eviction by a real estate investor who bought their eight-unit apartment building in the once blue-collar Polk Gulch neighborhood. The investor has admitted that from the start, his business plan was to evict all the tenants and sell off the apartments. He has almost succeeded. All the other families have moved out and the Lees have also desperately tried to move. But as seniors on a fixed income with a disabled family member they faced a costly and doubly discriminatory rental market. They have applied to dozens of apartments without success. Yet their investor landlord has rejected their requests for help finding alternative housing and has asked the sheriff to force the family into the streets.

The Lee family’s story might be like thousands of others who have been quietly moved without public awareness. But overcoming their initial fears, Mr. and Ms. Lee have decided to take a stand: they are staying in their apartment and publicly protesting their eviction by the sheriff. With the support of the Tenants Union and others, they hope their fight will result in increased protections for all tenants and help for evicted tenants like themselves who need housing in the City.
IMG_8173 IMG_8179 IMG_8190 IMG_8193 IMG_8195 IMG_8202