Mayor Ed Lee is acknowledging for the first time that there may be a problem with illegal Ellis Act evictions, and this week his office announced they would be tripling the funding for Ellis Act legal assistance, though the total amount for those services will still only total $375,000 — basically chump change compared to what developers and landlord would be likely to spend getting tenants out.

The city currently provides $1.6 million in tenant counseling and general eviction prevention services from the Housing Trust Fund, and this week's announcement increases that budget to $2.3 million. Also, currently, 55 families are being given assistance to fight illegal Ellis Act evictions, via city funds.

So, the total new amount of money being thrown at this eviction problem is $950,000, which is a decent gesture in the right direction, though still not a huge amount. The SF Bay Guardian would like to take credit for all of this, however the Board of Supervisors has been doing a decent amount of rumbling on their own — even though the decision earlier this year to clear the backlog of TICs in the condo lottery has perhaps had the effect of encouraging landlords to convert to TICs, even though the lottery is now technically closed for ten years.

Organizations that provide counseling and legal assistance to various tenant populations will now have the opportunity to bid for the new city funds, which are hoped will help up to 150 families facing eviction.


All previous eviction epidemic coverage.