Watch this depressing time-lapse visualization of Ellis Act evictions

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Each red dot represents an Ellis Act eviction. The size of the circle is determined by the number of units.

A series of red circles explodes on the screen, each representing another rental unit where tenants were driven out by an eviction through no fault of their own.

With a new time-lapse visualization of San Francisco Rent Board data spanning from 1997 to August of 2013, viewers can instantly grasp the cumulative impact of Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco.

It was created by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a newly hatched volunteer effort started to raise awareness about the rising trend of displacement in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Watch it here.

A landlord doesn't need just cause to oust a tenant under the Ellis Act; the law permits a property owner to stop renting units, evict all tenants, and sell the building for another purpose. The recent wave of tech startups and resulting influx of highly paid employees has fueled a spike in Ellis Act evictions as demand for housing has increased.

Working in collaboration with the San Francisco Tenant’s Union, Anti-Eviction Mapping Project volunteer Erin McElroy teamed up with core volunteers Olivia Jackson, Jennifer Fieber and a team of several others to analyze and map data from the San Francisco Rent Board.

The Ellis Act visualization is the first of several planned by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project. The size of the circles that pop concurrently with each date corresponds with the number of units displaced.

“We started it with the idea of making a comprehensive map that would show things that weren’t being documented by the Rent Board,” McElroy explained. To that end, the project team has spearheaded a survey to gather data on tenant buyouts, harassment by landlords, rent increases, and bogus attempts to use the Ellis Act to carry out an eviction. The survey is available in Spanish and English, with a Chinese version coming soon. 

“We also want to map where people relocate to, in order to display the current and pending gentrification of other areas – particularly the East Bay,” she added.

In the next few weeks, the team will release maps based on data showing owner move-in evictions and foreclosures.

“We don’t have funding or anything like that,” McElroy explained, but the Tenants Union has allowed them use of its office space for meetings. The effort took several months of research and programming, and the result is a story of the displacement of 3,705 housing units over the course of 16 years – all of which can be absorbed a matter of minutes.

Comments

running them on socialist lines. What are you waiting for?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

that's what we need ese

Posted by bdorgijrl on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 12:37 pm
Posted by fkgfsdjuh on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:24 am

so it must be true (i saw it on tv......)

Posted by fkgfsdjuhj on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:23 am

is it true, or tros

Posted by fkgfsdjuhjd on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:22 am

while givin' none of their owwwwwnnnn

Posted by fkgfsdjuhjdf on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:20 am
Posted by fkgfsdjuhjdfh on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:19 am

Have you ever been evicted?

Just stop for a moment, you're getting your kids ready for school in the morning, cooking them pancakes and pouring them their orange juice while you're reading the morning news on a tablet. When its time to go you shepard your kids out the door only to find an eviction notice on your front door. "But I just paid my rent this month" you might think for yourself.

Then you're faced with the fact that you now have to find a new place too live. Your children are now about to be homeless if that takes too long.

Being evicted for no other reason because of some law that allows a landlord to sell their property for another purpose (and allowing the city to collect property taxes, and thus the real reason why the law exists).

So, kindly, get some bloody compassion.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 6:29 am

You cannot shame the shameless, be they predatory speculators or ineffective advocates. All that is to be done is to organize to wrest political power from them.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 6:52 am

you might lose that condo on a dumpy Mission street that you seem like.

If people want long-term residential security they do not rent. Or if they do, they make sure they pay a market rent rather than a rent that is so low that the property owner needs to invoke the Ellis Act.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 7:25 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by ifuyhghn on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 8:47 am

so don't bother with that game

kick em out instead and give the people

bread

Posted by fkgf on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:29 am

You're faced with 120-365 days notice and a $5000-15000 payoff? Oh the inhumanity!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 6:52 am

I feel sorry for him if at age 60 he is living in the same dump he lived in when he was 20.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 7:30 am

by kicking someone out of his home. At least, he isn't trapped in your mind.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 7:57 am

Renting is temporary

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 8:26 am

rent (or squat). Profit seeking is what is the issue, not renting vs. owning. People are capable of making the best decision for their situations. In SF, over 60% of people have decided that renting is their best option.

Accept that reality rather than advocating kicking people out of their homes for no fault of their own for their own good, or acknowledge that you support economic terrorism.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 8:45 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by ifuy on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 8:55 am

A communist calls me an economic terrorist?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 9:15 am

They believe the myth that if you take away the profit, everything will be cheaper by that amount.

The experience in communist nations has, of course, been the exact opposite. Things become not just more expensive, but often only available on the black market.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:33 am

most of the left (in the US) are still dumb-head capitalists

Posted by racer x on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:47 am

but also understand that such policies have very little broad support in the US. So the choice becomes simple. Either remain a "purist" like marcos, refuse to ever compromise and achieve nothing. Or work with others to achieve policies that achieve at least some of what you want.

It's not shock that the two lefties who have achieved the most - Clinton and Obama - both moved to the right to obtain and maintain power. While Nader stayed "pure" and achieved nothing material.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:59 am

you mean

like clinton almost completely demolishing welfare? or handing the airwaves and the internet over to huge media giants?

or ratifying the GATT to create the WTO?

like obama, making the US the most undemocratic security state in history and destroying the 4th amendment? or kicking more than 2 million undocumented people out of the country, dwarfing the anti-immigrant intolerance of the Republicans by orders of magnitude?

or purposely destroying the progress of international climate crisis negotiations

or forcing the public to buy incredibly expensive private health insurance from rapacious corporations....?

now that's what I call progress!

Posted by racer x on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 11:17 am

Obama and Clinton did not move to the right, they became economic right wingers after getting elected on center-left platforms. In both cases, when Obama and Clinton screwed their base over, they were punished at the ballot box by losing at least one house of Congress. Each was fortunate in that the Republicans ran born losers to challenge them for reelction.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 11:23 am

Because you have no power at all, it's easy for you to be ideal and pure.

But when you are responsible for the economy, national security, and so on, you cannot act in a pure, ideal or extreme way. You have to take into account every factor and interested party.

It's called compromize and it is your inability to compromize that condemns you to political obscurity.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 11:53 am

The reality is that voting has marginal impact on most public policy. The reality is that can only last so long.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

that even includes SCOTUS which is appointed by those we elect. you just claim the electoral system is ineffective because your ideas are hopelessly unpopular.

The system has lasted for centuries so do not hold your breath waiting for the revolution.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

kicked out anyone from their home, or ripped off anyone, regardless of what title you give me.

You are an economic terrorist, who revels and makes money off other people's misfortunes.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

The fact that it might happen to be legal doesn't change that.

And when that property owner gets sick of having his profits stolen, he Ellis's to restore justice.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by ifuyh on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 8:51 am

Lilli's up early today!

Posted by Troll Maginot Line! on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 8:56 am

Lilli doesn't use that handle any more, although he may now start re-using it to try and throw us off the scent.

Too late! The biggest troll in the history of SFGate is now the biggest troll on SFBG. He just can't help himself.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:34 am

Not even a condo conversion does that.

Only a sale.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 7:26 am

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by ifuyhgh on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 8:49 am

yeah yeah yeah.....

Posted by fkgfs on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:28 am
Posted by fkgfsdjuhjdfhg on Oct. 21, 2013 @ 10:18 am

In a city of this size, that is trivial.

What about the 99% of SF housing units that have not been Ellised? Isn't that about 100 times more significant?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 15, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

The best way to slow or remove the current Ellis Act evictions is to enact new (or adjust existing) TRANSFER TAX codes so that the profit-motive, for flipping real-estate into Ellis Act evictions, is removed.

Now that we finally have Ed Lee's ear, we should press for this strategy. And at the same time we should be approaching Governor Brown's office about necessary exclusions of the Ellis Act, when the special needs of dense urban areas are considered.

Why should we let any greedy organization or individual falsely inflate the value of our housing costs?

San Francisco is a special city, and in the same way that we don't let just anybody play on our sports teams, we should also be selective about who we give the responsibility of rental housing to. It’s time to take the speculators and parasites out of the rental housing industry, and only allow responsible individuals.

A Ballot Initiative might also be a good way to start dismantling the Ellis Act in San Francisco.

Posted by ThinkAgain on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 9:11 am

You write: "necessary exclusions of the Ellis Act, when the special needs of dense urban areas are considered" missing the obvious point that the Ellis Act is designed ONLY for dense urban areas. It is irrelevant in rural counties.

A differential transfer tax would be illegal without a doubt. And would be inflationary pushing up the price of residential buildings even if it were possible.

Oh, and a SF ballot about Ellis would be worthless because it is state law and not a local law.

Don't you get sick of being wrong all the time?

Ellis exists to help property owners who otherwise have a lifetime sentence of tenants who do not pay their way. Market rent buildings NEVER get Ellis'ed and their tenants have no fear of eviction.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 9:27 am

The real-estate speculators and eviction enthusiasts must really be running scared about the new discussions the Ellis Act has been receiving in media, or they wouldn't be wasting their time flailing around in the Comments Section.

“So desperate is a drowning man, that he will even grasp at a sharpened sword.”

Posted by ThinkAgain on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 9:41 am

But I do think that rent control is bad policy and that Ellis is the antidote.

More importantly, so does Sacramento.

Posted by anon on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 9:57 am

ThinkAgain, do you honestly think big time developers and real-estate moguls would waste their time even reading the SFBG, let alone getting into pointless ideological arguments with anonymous commentators in the comments section?

You must realize your assertion just makes you seem paranoid and possibly mentally ill.

Who would the developers hope to influence with posting comments here? The small group of readers of the SFBG who bother to scroll down through the comment section, and who are likely in direct opposition to the interests of the developers??? That would sort of be like a gay rights group going to fundraise among the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

You and I belong to the minority of people in SF who even read the SFBG, let alone take the time to comment on any articles in it. An open debate is interesting, but let's not lose perspective here.

Posted by Chris B on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

about how developers and capitalists are so scared of the SFBG that they pay people to post here.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

but all you ellis act wet dreamers just keep grasping at those straws of denial

people are getting pissed

and if you don't back off of evictions

your golden goose will soon be served for dinner to the city's tenants

Posted by racer x on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

What's illegal is charging different people different rates based on some perceived behavior.

It's also illegal to try any de facto ban on Ellis evictions. So if, for instance, there was a $100,000 application fee for submitting an Ellis notice to the Rent Board, the courts would reject that.

Sorry.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

but you just keep on dreaming and blithely stumbling into the tenant revolt that is now rising in san francisco in order to shut your ass down

the less you deign to pay attention the better

Posted by racer x on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 3:26 pm

Not likely. Leno introduced a bill to modify the Ellis Act but got ZERO support from other legislators. It's more likely that we'll see revisions to rent control as the city becomes increasingly affluent and owner-occupied.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 3:54 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

this is simply a barricade against trolls

it is a signpost to indicate to the reader that other anonymous posters on this thread are beginning to purposely diminish the conversation into repetitive reactionary hyperbole, and/or petty, mean spirited personal attacks and irrelevant bickering

the barrier is put in place to signal that there is probably little point in reading more replies in the thread past this point

proceed at your own risk

Posted by rolf dungren on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

"and if you don't back off of evictions

your golden goose will soon be served for dinner to the city's tenants"

Lilli - the SFBG's own Madame Lafarge...

Posted by LOL Barrier! on Oct. 16, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

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