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tv   [untitled]    November 15, 2013 12:30am-1:01am PST

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in the city seem to be rent burdened but could you define what that means again? >> sure, yes, it's paying more than 30 percent of your household income on rent or housing. and this one is particularly rent. >> can i ask you a question about that? >> sure. >> can you explain why that's perceived to be a burden, why 30 percent? >> that's sort of a benchmark used by the federal government for what a household should spend on housing. the benchmark that used to be used by the banking and mortgage industry as well, sort of the cutoff for what people could afford. i think those rules have been bent over the years because housing has become more expensive, but it is the traditional benchmark of the up err -- upper limit of what should be spent on housing. back to the overall economic
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condition, the pressure on the real estate market and why there may be more ellis act evictions occurring and other types of evictions. just from 2010 to 2012, the population has increased in san francisco by 20,400. there are 40,817 new jobs and during the same period there's only been 122 new housing units added to the housing stock in san francisco. so there's great pressure on rents and sales prices, it means you can command a much higher price of course if you are trying to sell a unit and could explain some of the interest on the part of landlords and property owners in ellis act evictions where they can turn their rental housing into another purpose or sell it at a steeper price than they might have got a year or two in the past. we attempted to get demographic information on
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people who have been evicted. it's not something the rent board collects, though they track all the evictions but they don't keep statistics on the demographic make-up of that population. we did go, though, to a number of community organizations that serve tenants and surveyed them, asked them if they had that kind of information for the 7 -- 4 of the organizations we surveyed were able to provide it. this is clients they served who had been evicted for not just ellis act evictions but any type of eviction. of the 2,208 clients that they reported on, 49.3 percent were reported below the poverty level for san francisco, 41.7 percent were reported to have a disability, 12.7 percent were 62 years of age or more, 66.7 percent or about 2/3 were evicted for nonpayment of rent or habitual late payment and
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racial profiles on the right, 39.1 percent white, 21 percent black or african american, 16 percent latino, 8.9 percent asian. they did not provide other information but certainly the information we had reported that showing the concentration in particularly 7 of the city neighborhoods. that is the quick summary, we have a lot of information in the report, happy to respond to questions now or as the hearing proceeds. >> thank you very much, mr. russo, again i want to thank you and your staff for the very quick turn around on this report. just want to make a couple of comments and i want to begin by thanking all of the residents who have come out to this hearing. i know that there are a number of people in this audience who they themselves have been impacted by this displacement, they themselves are being impacted by this displacement. and the point of this hearing is to not only get a better grasp of the
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data, the statistics, but it also put a human face to what's happening because for every eviction, for every person, for every displacement number, there is a human being behind that number and it's not just a human being but also that family that comes with that person that is also being impacted. i do want to ask you a question to provide some context as well. one of the things that i know is not included in this report because it's not something that we track or can track at this point is the issue of buy-outs. can you explain that, what we're talking about and how that could actually have a greater impact in terms of the number of people that are being displaced? >> chair campos, buy-outs occur and you are correct, they are not tracked by the rent board, they are privately negotiated arrangements where a land lord will approach a tenant and ask them to move and offer to pay a certain amount
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so that they can cover some of their expenses related to it. so if that occurs and the tenant voluntarily leaves it is not subject to rent board controls and regulations and would not be reported to the rent board. we don't know how many of those occur. we hear probably as you do that it is occurring. i know people who have been approached in that way and either moved or chosen not to move, so there is some number out there of those type of arrangements occurring. one other thing just to your point, we did a quick calculation of the 116 evictions reported for rent board year 2013, the average household size of a san francisco household is 2.63, so you can do the math, it is more than 116 people, that's units and within that could be households of varying sizes but
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certainly that gets us up to 380 or so people at average, some households being larger and some being smaller. >> thank you. before i say anything i want to ask folks if you want to speak if you can please fill out a speaker card, they are up here, available up here. let me simply say the following. we have been talking, i have been talking about a housing crisis for quite some time and i know there is a difference of opinion among some folks as to whether or not we have a crisis or not. i believe that the numbers that we have seen, especially when looked at in the context of the buy-outs that are not being reported, show that in fact we do have a crisis. it is a crisis that in many respects goes to the very request of who we are as a city. are we a city that will allow working people, middle class people, to be able to live in this city?
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i have talked about how for quite some time it seems that we have a tale of two cities, that we have a small segment of the population that is doing extremely well and the economy certainly is booming for many people, but the vast majority of individuals are in fact struggling to stay in san francisco, as supervisor mar noted in the numbers that the rent burden in terms of the percentage of people or households who are spending more money on housing, that number is pretty high, it's close to half of the city that's facing that challenge. and in some neighborhoods like bayview, viz valley, you are talking close to 60 percent spending more on their housing. that's why i believe we must act urgently to address this crisis which i believe is a crisis and the fact we haven't reached the levels that we saw
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in 2000 doesn't mean that we are not facing a crisis and in fact i don't think that we have to wait for things to get so bad for us to act. not only is this effecting the 116 individuals and other individuals that are directly being displaced, but what we're seeing is creating havoc in individual lives throughout the city, it's creating havoc in individual communities, it is truly changing the character of these neighborhoods and i have heard repeatedly from so many people throughout this city who talk about how their block looks differently because so many of their neighbors have been pushed out. someone that i think put it really well who i know she herself is facing the possibility of an he will ils act eviction is beverly upton and beverly, i'm sorry if i quote you, but i think you said
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it well when you said the following: who will be left when the artists, organizers and those who care are gone? i think that summarizes is. who will be left in san francisco? i want to thank mayor lee, who just yesterday as reported in the chronicle, came out noting that it's important for us to change state law and specifically to make changes to the ellis act. i appreciate the fact that he is joining this effort. i am grateful that he's working with assembly member phil ping, with state senator mark leno, i think it's important for us, for we as a city to have a collective and united front as we tackle this crisis. but i want to talk briefly about some of the things that we have done. i am proud to
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have been following a strategy that looks at not only what we can do in sacramento but also what we can do here in san francisco. in sacramento i am proud that i have been working with assembly member tom ammiano, who has been a leader in terms of tenant protections, for so many years. we're working on legislation that would give san francisco the authority, the power, to place a moratorium on ellis act evictions in times of crisis such as the one we are facing (applause) at the ll level i am working on a number of pieces of legislation, including the first piece of legislation that i introduced a few days back, that will create a mechanism at the rent board for tenants to file a complaint if they believe that their land lord is attempting to circumvent one of the 15 just causes for
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evictions through harassment of the tenant. the second piece of legislation is a piece of legislation that i have asked the city attorney to draft and which will be completed very shortly that will double the amount of relocation assistance that landlords must provide to tenants who are being evicted under the he will ellis act (applause) and a third piece of legislation and i want to thank ted gullickson is a piece of legislation that addresses the very issue of the question that i raise the with the budget and legislative analyst, the buyouts. land lords regularly give tenants a lump sum of money to leave their homes without having to file an he will ils act eviction. my legislation would regulate that, it would require they
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track these buy outs so we keep a record of who is being displaced and also considers the prohibition from charging market rate rental prices after a buyout (applause). we are, i believe, at a critical juncture in the history of san francisco. we are fighting, i think, for the soul of san francisco. whether or not we really remain the city (applause) the city of saint francis and i am proud that we in the elected family of san francisco are united in recognizing that it is time to act. so, with that (applause) before i turn it over to public comment i do want to give my colleagues an opportunity to say a few words. supervisor mar. >> thank you, chair campos, i
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definitely wanted to thank you and the tenant movement for the, not only the pieces of legislation you meptioned but also working with my office and others to have even stronger protections for tenants but i'm really really glad that you are proposing great legislation that i will be co-sponsoring as well. i did want to sthai as i talk to people in the richmond district, district 1, renters especially there's fear in people's faces when you are a renter and i think fred russo and the budget analyst's report shows whats happening but that fear is real and it's based on data that we have from the rent board and it's been analyzed by mr. russo i think the solution as we move forward with many of the community-based organizations who come forward to speak will be very helpful. i wanted to say from the report it's useful to see from the inner richmond
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and the outer richmond we as a district, as a whole district, i think i would add up the over 80 -- 79-plus since the data was crunched, about 80 ellis act buildings that were, that many many seniors and family space evictions, it's probably the highest of all the different districts. i wanted to say district 1 in the report of the top 7 neighborhoods, the inner richmond and the outer richmond are fourth and fifth, so it's a huge amount of people, especially seniors and people with disabilities that we're looking at. that fear is real for people in the richmond as well. the growth in property values of homes in the richmond district coupled with excellent schools and improved public transportation and parks make it a very tempting target for many of the speculators out there that are looking to quote u.n. quote flip buildings and evict people. the high
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concentration of seniors in our district, i know there's a number of seniors who will be testifying in the inner richmond about 18 percent of the population are seniors in the outer richmond it's about 18.5 percent, way above the city's averages, so i know there are a high number of seniors that are renters in our district. currently there's a building at 15 ogt and anza that's a renter's building. i want to thank mat for a story he broke, a story of ellis act evictions from an investor who admits to real estate conspiracy. in this 4-unit building michael winter and others include a single parent with child and two seniors under threat of an ellis act eviction. if the tenants are forced out like the we family in upton and many families like
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them, they will have no viable options, or very limited ones as mr. russo's report identifies in san francisco and they would likely be pushed out of the city. these stories are not unique to the mission, to russian hill, to the castro, but the richmond district has huge stories as well of people displaced by the ellis act and other no-fault evictions and in fear of their residence in our city. i did want to say from the sf appeal article it's very clear who the culprits are as well in who's driving the fear and the displacement. the eviction according to the appeal article is driven by a group of speculators, craig good man and associates and craig malloyy who is stated goal is to flip the property for massive profits. we need to figure out as a city how to figure out how
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to keep these speculators from doing this. there are 80 buildings involved. tech workers moving to the city seems to me a very prdive approach as well as looking at the broader factors as well. early this month another resident as well working with me to convene the richmond no evictions town hall and efforts to defend our homes in the richmond district and really raise the awareness of renters and everyone in the richmond district of what's happening and to support solutions like the great ones that supervisor campos and others of my colleagues are presenting and the mayor as well. a recent fire at 12th and clement also damaged a number of apartment -- an apartment building that displaced 8 residents. though we're hopeful all of them will be able to return to 24r units we've seen
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as supervisor campos has mentioned as many buildings are not repaired in a timely manner and tenants give up and move away but it's one of the ways that land lords instead of evicting people use different tactics to push them out and it's another example of why we need better data gathering as well. lastly, i'm aware of a number of landlords that carry out what i would call unnecessary construction in order to make it for difficult for tenants to live peacefully in their units. it may not be to a level of harassment but at times it is. it pressure people to get the hell out or to move out of their units so they can be rented at much higher rentals. this is happening not opl the push out from ellis act units where you have some buildings vacating before others and the owner wants the units vacated as quickly as possible and we're working with different
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tenant organizations that would help address this problem as well. i want to thank the tenant organizations and community groups and supervisor campos as well. >> thank you, supervisor mar, supervisor yee >> thank you, chair campos and thanks for bringing this hearing to our attention. i read over the report and some things -- it's a good report. there's a lot of information in there. i felt like there's some missing pieces to help me understand better what's, the report focused on the results of things and what i'm not understanding is what's causing these results. as supervisor mar was saying, is it the, are we blaming the
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tech companies that are coming in? is that really what's causing this? what's putting the pressure on to the market, the rental market? and i never quite understand this because being a native san franciscoan and seeing the changes over the years of what every group pushing out another group, i'd like to understand better, if we can get more data. are these new type of employment really pushing out the people that have lived here for a while? and, if so, what are we going to do about it in regards to for our city to create the type of jobs that can keep our people here and not put undue pressure into our housing market. the other piece that i felt missing in this report was -- and i asked my staff this and i
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don't have the answers. is our city, where are we compared to other cities in the u.s. when it comes to building affordable housing? are we at par, are we below other cities, are we ahead of the curve or what? because i think it's important for us to understand that if we are indeed below average in terms of building enough affordable housing then we really need to refocus on our approach of how city planning is going to accept the type of development that we see in the city. >> thank you, supervisor yee, and let me say i think all of those questions are excellent questions and our hope was that this report would provide an initial view of what's happening but clearly we need to delve into the why and i think that we have to be careful in making sure that we
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don't, you know, cast a wide net that doesn't recognize that there are also, you know, within the land lord community many responsible players and i know that the san francisco apartment association has been helpful in assisting some individual families. i think the speculators that supervisor mar is talking about in many respects are making everyone look bad and i think we have to figure out, you know, what the real reason for this is. i will also point out that relative to where we are compared to other parts of the country, if you look at the front page of the examiner today it shows that the new numbers that have been reported in other cities demonstrate that san francisco has the
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nation's highest rents, even higher than new york city. that's where we're living today and so i think it's important to provide that context. before i open it up to public comment i want to give a representative from assembly member ammiano's office the opportunity to come and say a few words. i know that assembly member ammiano, who has been working with us on this issue, could not be here today, he is working in sacramento so i would ask cecelia trent to please come. >> thank you, supervisors, for holding this meeting. the assembly man has long been concerned about san francisco in general and the ellis act in particular. he has seen how housing speculation has threatened our san francisco
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neighborhoods. aids patients have been particularly hard-hit by ellis evictions. with the absence of other affordable options this has forced many of them far away from the health and support resources that they depend upon and likewise this is a threat to seniors and people with disabilities who can be torn from the only affordable housing options they have. the assembly member has been consistently meeting with supervisor campos as well as housing and tenants rights groups around these issues and is deeply committed to crafting state legislation to rectify them. residents should not be pressured unfairly to leave and if they are legally evicted they must be adequately compensated. the assembly member looks forward to continue working with supervisor campos and all stake holders with an honest plan to support those at risk. in conclusion, we all know that this is a tenant city and we'll do all that we can to protect our tenants. thank you. >> thank you and thank you,
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assembly member ammiano, for your leadership. i'm going to call out some speaker cards and i would ask if you could please line up on your right, the aisle, our left, and please come up as your name is being called and given the large number, and we have standing room only, i have been informed by the clerk of the board that we have an overflow room, room 263. so speakers andrew long, victor flores, jose chan, michael lyon, ben caty, hennie kelly, beverly upton, jackie naylor, please come on up. >> yes, my name is andrew
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long, i might possibly be the only rental provider in this room at the moment. i have been coming it these kinds of hearing for over 15 years. different supervisors, different faces, but same issue. the reason we're having an uptick in these kind of no cause evictions is because of 30 years of bad housing policy. we have seen a continuous ratcheting up of the rent control law on owners, especially small owners including the extension of rent control to small owner-occupied 2 to 4 unit buildings. we have an annual increase allowable of only 60 percent of cpi, which does not keep up with costs or inflation. this has caused rents for long-term tenants to be quite low, which is great for them, but it doesn't keep a building up. your rent control laws need to be more even-handed with the land lords. you are driving
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land lords, especially small land lords, out of business, and when they go out of business having to sell their property off the people who buy it are these tic developers. if you want to keep small owners in the rental housing business you need to reform the rent control laws to make it fair for land lords, especially small land lords, it needs to be more balanced, you need a 100 percent cpi, you need to exempt small owner-occupied buildings to keep small owners in the building. otherwise anything you do, pardon my french, is just shoveling shit against the tide, rents will continue to go up and more and more places will be taken off the rental market. i think you need to address and incentivize owners to stay in the business and be more fair to owners, especially small owners. >> thank you, next speaker,
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please. >> my name is jose chan,
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(speaking spanish) i am a member of casa the experience i have had in san francisco has been one of displacement and eviction. three years ago my partner and i separated and to this day she has not been able it find an affordable place to live for her or my two children. they tried to rent apartments or rooms to her at a rate that she cannot afford. my coworkers, my friends, members of my community, all have been evicted from our homes with their whole families. a lot of our friends and coworkers live very far away from me now and are
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additionally in my apartment it hat been two weeks since our elevator has been out and there doesn't seem to be any movement by the manager or the owner of the prpt -- property to fix it. there are six floors and there are people, a lot of seniors that haven't left their home because the elevator is not working. thank you. >> next speaker,as