Jeremy Mykaels is making certain that any buyer for his home of more than 18 years is aware that the purchase means throwing out a disabled elder.
Join Eviction Free San Francisco at a rally at Jeremy Mykaels' home at 460 Noe St. (near 18th St.) on Saturday, October 19 at 1 pm to protest the eviction of a gay, HIV-positive Castro resident. You can learn more from Mr. Mykaels' website, Ellis Hurts Seniors.
Last January at Time Goes By I used a Gay and Gray column to pass along some Mr. Mykael's own description of what is happening to him. Here's a bit:
The Ellis Act is a California State law that overrules local tenant protections. Buildings dating from before 1979 in San Francisco fall under rent control and eviction protections for longstanding tenants -- unless an owner can clear all the tenants out and promise to hold the units off the rental market for five years. The owner can however sell the vacated building as a "tenancy-in-common" for a group of new owners, frequently strangers assembled by a real estate entrepreneur. There are huge profits to be had in this speculative churning. Over the last year, the number of owners going the Ellis Act route increased from 64 to 116 properties.
The current tech boom has created 55,000 jobs in this housing starved market. The influx of well paid techies provides huge incentives to drive out tenants who have been protected by rent control. Decontrolled units are seeing huge increases. According to a New Yorker blog post:
Each wave of prosperity followed by gentrification changes the character of this city. If my partner and I had not been able to buy in over 20 years ago, we'd have almost certainly been gone by now. Many of our friends are gone elsewhere.
And we all have to wonder: where will the people who do the ordinary work of a city live? Attractive cities all over the country are going to have to answer that question. San Francisco has a relatively good minimum wage, current $10.55/hour. In Seattle, both major candidates for mayor have needed to express openness to the once-farfetched notion of a $15/hour minimum. But where will low wage workers live? Can cities maintain their diversity as the cost of living in them soars? Will they still be desirable as gentrification homogenizes them?