New Mass Ellis Evictions Hit Mission

by on March 18, 2015

Tenant activists stop Ellis Eviction: Can Imhoff eviction be stopped?

Notorious Mission District landlord Robert Imhoff has filed Ellis Act eviction notices at a 12-unit building on 3301-3311 Cesar Chavez Street (at South Van Ness). The mass evictions primarily targets Latino families and include a tenant who has lived in their home since 1969.

Imhoff, doing business as 3301-3311 Cesar Chavez Street LLC, was one of the most controversial San Francisco landlords in the 1970’s and 1980’s when operating as owner of Landmark Realty. Known then for his slum housing, he has kept a very low profile in recent years.

In 1986 and 1987 I represented tenants at 250 Taylor Street in the Tenderloin in a long, drawn out battle with Imhof that included multiple mass turnouts at the Board of Appeals and a successful San Francisco Superior Court jury trial. After the jury trial, we again sued Imhoff for the longstanding habitability problems at the building

Imhoff was seeking to evict all tenants for substantial rehabilitation, which would have exempted the building from rent control. He ended up having to give the tenants the option to return after repairs were made, along with a sizable relocation payment.

Imhoff has always been a secretive man. You can find few if any photos that show his identity. The late Victor Miller of the New Mission News and reporter Brian Doohan spent years exposing Imhoff’s wrong, which were primarily based on substandard housing.

The mass evictions at 3301-3311 will likely raise Imhoff’s public figure. Based on records filed with the Rent Board, 25 tenants face displacement.

The property is not far from the Bernal Heights house that just got a $6755 rent increase (415%). This adds to anger over rising no-fault evictions and rising activist opposition to new market rate housing in the area.

When you add to the Mission and 22nd Street fire that displaced tenants and the planned evictions of Station 40 at 16th and Mission, fears among longterm tenants throughout the Mission are at the boiling point.

I will provide a detailed update  on the progress of Ellis Act reform in Sacramento for Thursday’s edition. Ellis Act reform is more important than ever, and the combination of so much displacement in such a short period requires all hands on deck for those battling to stop this new outrage.

Randy Shaw is Editor of Beyond Chron.

Randy Shaw

Randy Shaw is the Editor of Beyond Chron and the Director of San Francisco’s Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which publishes Beyond Chron. Shaw's latest book is Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America. He is the author of four prior books on activism, including The Activist's Handbook: Winning Social Change in the 21st Century, and Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century. He is also the author of The Tenderloin: Sex, Crime and Resistance in the Heart of San Francisco

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