Approximately 100 in the South of Market area gathered to protest against the a trend of evictions taking place in the neighborhood. Demonstrators from various San Francisco neighborhoods, such as the Mission and Chinatown districts showed their support.
Organizations such as the Bill Sorro Housing Program and the Senior and People with Disability Action spearheaded the rally.
Bill Sorro Housing Program Coordinator and Case Manager Juslyn Cabrera Manalo’s goal is to educate residents about their housing rights.
“In the Filipino culture, it seems as residents would rather take the buy out than to fight back,” said Manalo. She hopes to work with the board of supervisors to regulate the actions of landlords.
High school student Alexa Drapiza and her family are among the tenants who are being bought out of their homes.
Other residents of the community have been bought out or evicted through the Ellis Act according to Bill Sorro Housing.
The Ellis Act is a California state law that permits real estate developers to “go out of business” in order to sell to another landlord, or for conversion into a condominium. Units with rent control are not allowed to be evicted without a reason, however the Ellis Act gives the landlord the right to evict all the units in a building. In the process of an Ellis Act eviction, landlords must evict the building of all its tenants.
During the past two years, 18 individuals have been evicted from a residential section of Natoma Street, spanning two city blocks.
Resident artist Reynaldo Cayetano is a demonstrator who was raised in the area and has noticed drastic changes, such new businesses that cater to people with higher incomes. In order to preserve the history of his neighborhood, Cayetano documents people in the area through photos.