Eight Chinese tenants in North Beach ranging from 69 to 89 years old who spent two years trying to save their homes will finally have peace of mind. In a courtroom settlement this week, their landlord – a real estate speculator who bought the building to evict them – agreed to drop the Ellis Act eviction against them. With help from organizations like Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC), these tenants attracted substantial media attention – and even picketed a restaurant owned by the landlords. Their case also got Supervisor David Chiu to pass legislation that regulates garage installations in North Beach, in order to curb such speculators. But in the end, these tenants just wanted to stay in their long-term homes.
“This is a great victory for the seniors facing the life-threatening loss of their homes,” said attorney Steve Collier of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic. “These and other tenants are often told that they cannot win an Ellis Act eviction and should just move. This settlement shows that tenants can fight back and keep their homes.”
The work that Tenderloin Housing Clinic (which publishes Beyond Chron) put into representing these tenants was made possible by a $125,000 grant from the City to fund Ellis eviction defense for indigent tenants. Last year, the Newsom Administration proposed cutting it – but the Board of Supervisors restored the funding. Last week, the Human Services Commission unanimously voted against cutting it from next year’s budget. While the Mayor could still remove it from his budget proposal (which is due June 1st), this recent victory demonstrates the value of providing such funds.Filed under: Archive