We all know the rent is too damn high in San Francisco, recently passing the $3000 a month mark for a two bedroom home. Part of this is due to the tech industry’s shift north, from Palo Alto and Mountain View to San Francisco proper, where companies like Twitter and Square call home. And that’s creating tensions between the new tech gentry and other residents.
Meanwhile, evictions under a piece of legislation known as the Ellis Act are up 170 percent. Between March 2012 and February 2013, there were 116 evictions under the Ellis Act, which allows landlords to evict tenants as long as they are taking the unit off the rental market (though they can still sell it or move into it themselves).
Granted, the situation is not as severe as it was during the first tech boom. In 2000, Ellis Act evictions reached a peak of 384. And Mayor Ed Lee is quick to point out the Housing Trust Fund which will put $1.5 billion toward affordable housing over the next thirty years.
Our music video below explains the worsening rent and eviction problem in San Francisco. Regardless of how you feel about rent control or the tech industry’s impact on the city, it’s hard to disagree with USC history professor Kevin Starr when he tells the New York Times, “You can’t have a city of just rich people.”
[Homepage illustration by Hallie Bateman]
[Video by Explainer Music: Sharon Shattuck (video), Andrew Bean (music), David Holmes (music and lyrics) plus additional vocals by Brandon Amato and Dave Koch]