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Public housing privatization and Ellis Act evictions are stealing our homes, our lives

February 24, 2014

by Queennandi Xsheba, Poor News Network

San Francisco – Over the last few months, calls have flooded the POOR Magazine office from families and elders in desperate search for help and support to battle land thieves that utilize the Ellis Act to break laws that are in place to “protect the people” but that are overlooked or flat out ignored.

'Uphill Struggle' 'Stop Ellis Act evictions' by Ronnie Goodman, web
“Uphill Struggle” – Art: Ronnie Goodman
As the hipster-techies invade the once family-oriented “City by the Bay,” which has its roots deep in the colorful, rich African, Raza, Samoan, Fillipino and Asian cultures – and many more – the families and elders who invested their blood, sweat, money and tears for generations into the security of knowing they have contributed to the life of the Bay Area now watch helplessly as our homes are being stolen from us.

Home prices have risen by 22 percent in the past three years while evictions under the Ellis Act have gone up 170 percent in the same period, as well as a spike in “child criminalization” evictions with the so-called gang injunction law.

Starting in 1993 and labled as a “boutique” real estate law firm, tyrants Bornstein & Bornstein are receiving a lot of praise from real estate devil-opers (as we call them at POOR) and investors on their success in evictions and for the free classes where the tenants are looked upon as “a problem” and the landlords are taught things such as “how to throw somebody’s grandma out on the street and really feel good about it.” Daniel Bornstein, founding partner and an attorney for Wells Fargo, and his firm have pursued thousands of unlawful detainer actions, from owner move-in terminations to non-payment of rent with success.

The firm recently claimed a victory when they represented property manager McCormick and Baron in the eviction of Sabrina Carter and her young children from Plaza East (PE) apartments under the “child criminalizing” act of failing to keep her eldest son away from her and the property. When Sabrina’s younger son was shot and wounded a while back, the property management had failed to follow protocol and disregarded the letter from the DA’s victim services to relocate Sabrina’s family to a different property for the safety and mental well-being of her family.

After signing a “railroad” stipulation with her lawyer present, agreeing to keep her eldest son off the rental property in order to maintain her housing, Sabrina is now battling an eviction because she cannot “control her son.” Sabrina also claims that once she signed the stipulation, her son all of a sudden became a target of the police and says that the police have been inside her home when she was not present.

Home prices have risen by 22 percent in the past three years while evictions under the Ellis Act have gone up 170 percent in the same period, as well as a spike in “child criminalization” evictions with the so-called gang injunction law.

She says that she has also been harassed and intimidated by the lawyer for PE apartments, Bornstein & Bornstein. Ms. Carter has jumped through every hoop to comply with the stipulation and exhausted every resource to get intervention for her son.

“I have done the best I could do with telling him to stay away. I have filed restraining orders, I have signed documents banning him from the property and I even have a letter from the judge stating that I have complied with McCormick and Baron to the fullest extent, but the truth is that he is a grown man that’s going to do what he wants.”

Sabrina Carter, Queennandi Xsheba 0214
At POOR’s Community Newsroom, Queennandi (right) listens and records as Sabrina Carter tells her all-too-familiar story of an imminent eviction. – Photo: PNN
Despite all Sabrina has done, she and her two younger sons face homelessness through the criminalization of our children.

With attorneys like Bornstein, J. Marquez and Judge Quidechay, who presides over and orders most of the “unlawful detainer” evictions in San Francisco, the people are starting to connect the dots of this gentrifukation conspiracy and now realize that all these so-called “we’re here to help you” nonprofits are eating out of the same plate with those who slap the eviction notices on our doors.

It looks as if RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) is moving in fast now with the $800 million grant it just received, and many nonprofits are indeed jumping on the bandwagon to get a slice of the gentifukation pie. In November of 2011, Congress authorized HUD to implement RAD as a budget-neutral demonstration program with two components, allowing for the conversion of assistance for both public housing and HUD assisted properties that have expiring subsidies.

The first component allows public housing and Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab) properties to convert, under a competition limited to 60,000 units, to long term Section 8 rental assistance contracts. The second allows Rent Supplement (Rent Supp), Rental Assistance Payments (RAP), and Mod Rehab properties to convert tenant-based vouchers issued upon contract expiration or termination to project-based assistance.

There is no guarantee that low-income families will be a part of RAD’s plan to move in and “improve the communities.” While the Ellis Act continues to wipe out our communities, who are these “improvements” for?

It looks as if RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) is moving in fast now with the $800 million grant it just received, and many nonprofits are indeed jumping on the bandwagon to get a slice of the gentifukation pie.

Are they for Sabrina and the seven other families evicted in the same week? Are they for 71-year-old Raza artist and curator Rene Yanez, well known in San Francisco as a cultural icon and artistic godfather to a generation of Chicano artists, who now faces an Ellis Act eviction despite a terminally ill wife with Stage 4 cancer and that he himself is in remission?

Their eviction is scheduled for July 24, while Mark Zuckerberg and his wife bought their $10 million dollar pied-a-terre in the Mission and plan to do $1.6 million in renovations that will include “a new basement garage, complete with a turntable pad so cars can get in and out more easily,” according to the SF Chronicle.

This is exactly why POOR Magazine made the bold move of bringing up charges against landlords for elder abuse. Mr. Yanez cannot care for himself and his wife on the streets where there are sit-lie laws that may land them in jail!

That is genocide towards the same generations who have worked so hard for the establishment of this city and our communities, way before the hipsters and the techies were an itch in daddy’s pants. Now it is them who come into our neighborhoods uninvited with their stolen privilege and huge war buses and arrogantly erase all of our historical murals, as if we never existed.

Queennandi Xsheba is an activist and journalist with POOR Magazine and Poor News Network. She can be reached via deeandtiny@poormagazine.org. To learn more, visit www.poormagazine.org and www.racepovertymediajustice.org.

 

7 thoughts on “Public housing privatization and Ellis Act evictions are stealing our homes, our lives

  1. John Mulligan

    How many sons does Sabrina have? And they are thugs? One shot, one a gangbanger? "Through the criminalization of our children," is a pretty passive phrase. What does it mean? "Her son all of a sudden became a target of the police and says that the police have been inside her home when she was not present," there's another one. He just "became a target?" He did nothing, it just "happened?" Here's the big question: "The families and elders who invested their blood, sweat, money and tears for generations into the security of knowing they have contributed to the life of the Bay Area now watch helplessly as our homes are being stolen from us." How exactly have Sabrina and her sons contributed to the Bay Area?

    Own up to it. You'll get sympathy that way.

    Reply
  2. Sabrina

    Into responce to what your saying . First of all my son is not and never was a gangbanger. A simple case if mistaken identity. Far as my baby that was nine yrs old at the time he was shot outta retaliation for the mistaken identity case. In the world we live in is sourround by evil and hatred not only am I speaking for my child but everyone else’s as well no child deserves that no matter what is going on in a persons head. Ever since my son went to juvenile police have been on his case trying to put everything under the sun on him and still no luck with that. I feel that all three of my sons have been victims here. Have you looked at the news lately cops are the one’s that haven’t been telling the truth around here lately. Know what your talking about before making negative comments. Far as what I have contributed to my Community everyday by any means necessary.

    Reply
    1. John Mulligan

      You admit you can't control your son, and, despite restraining orders, can't keep him from the property. I really doubt that he's as clean as you would like him to be Sabrina. You are either lying or are willfully ignorant. You wouldn't be the first parent of a thug to live in denial, but that's certainly the case here.

      Reply
  3. Tiffany

    It shouldn’t matter that her son thats a juvenile got shot it shouldnt matter what people think of her grown son that shes trying to keep away shes doing everything tbey wanted her to and then some no one deserves to have there privacy and home invaded when there not there either people need to know her like we know her and her kids don’t pass judgment on something you clearly know nothing about

    Reply
  4. JEAN

    people are so quick to pass on judgement now days its not even funny ! my heart goes out to ms carter and her family i feel that it is unfair how they are treating this young lady and her children why must she and her younger boys have to be the ones to suffer due to the fact of a grown man actions and to railroad her into signing a paper to keep her son off the property i mean really how do u really expect her to do that she can only control what is going on inside her unit behind her doors !!!.. and for the police to invade the privacy of her home for what ?? police are so quick to do everything but their job !! from what i am reading housing are being bullies and this should not be allowed ! im also puzzled that her young son was shot and housing ignored the fact she had a letter for relocation for the safety of her family ….sounds like housing had other plans like putting her out cause it was easier for them to do that than do their job !! people must remember to stand up and fight for whats right and this right here is so wrong in so many ways GOD IS NOT SLEEP TRUST THAT !!!…. Ms carter i will keep u and your family in prayer honey GOD has the last say in everything !!!

    Reply
  5. Mabel Robinson

    It's hard to get any news from Poor News Network. As John Mulligan pointed out, phrases like " criminalization of our children" and "genocide" are less than useful. "Stealing our homes"? "Land thieves"? Are you seriously saying a property owner shouldn't have control over who rents her property? And if the oldest is so innocent, why isn't he complying with his mother's wishes that he stay away so her family won't be evicted? Why did she sign the stipulation in the first place? People need to own some personal responsibility

    Reply
  6. Jordan

    Can anyone explain to me the legal status of those apartments? Were they public houses owned by the city now sold to Mccormack Baron? can they sell or demolish them? Are they trying to kick everyone out so they can build condos?

    Reply

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