Meet the people who are getting forced out of San Francisco

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The interactive map can be found at crowdmap.com/map/narrativesofdisplacement.

The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project has come out with a number of visualization projects in the past year to document the trend of eviction in San Francisco, where rents have reached absurdly high levels and landlords have a greater incentive to oust longtime tenants.

Last year, the volunteer-based digital storytelling collective published a time-lapse visualization using San Francisco Rent Board data to plot Ellis Act evictions from the late-1990s to the present. It also published the names of landlords who were deemed to be serial evictors.

The collective’s latest digital storytelling project, a crowd-sourced map plotting narratives of displacement, goes beyond just data. Co-collaborators enter into longtime tenants’ homes, gaze into their lives, and dive into personal histories. The result is a tapestry of stories about the human beings who are departing from San Francisco due to eviction.

Much of the rhetoric around displacement trend and the lack of housing affordability in San Francisco has revolved around the idea of an endangered “soul of the city.” But that’s not an easy thing to conceptualize: How do we imagine the “soul” of a densely developed peninsula that’s home to more than 800,000 people, many with ties to far-flung nations, bound by city blocks and urban infrastructure?

This project might help define what's meant by that “soul,” by describing San Francisco through the lens of individual experience. Yasmin (a former San Franciscan who now lives in Oakland) expresses nostalgia for the days when she would regularly encounter queer women on the corner of 19th and Valencia. Stewart (who was displaced from his home in the Castro, but was able to find new housing there) describes his initial arrival to San Francisco, at a time when the AIDS epidemic was in full force. Nancy (who was evicted from Folsom and Cesar Chavez) describes how people in her Mission neighborhood stopped making eye contact as the character, class, and aesthetic of the area changed.

Displacement can affect residents who are being forced out, or those who are in San Francisco to stay – and the project organizers have invited anyone to contribute. People can post to the website directly, using the geolocation function to tag the place they want to focus on. According to a notice sent out by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project team, “this platform is intended for anyone to upload any story or anecdote that they observe or experience around gentrification. It does not have to be a loss of a home, though it could be.”

People who want to take part in the storytelling project can email narrativesofdisplacement@in.crowdmap.com, or send an SMS to 1-772-200-4233 with *narrativesofdisplacement in the message. 

Comments

live here only because of the vacancies created, including as you yourself note, residents of other nations who have perhaps long dreamed of living in our city?

For every door that closes, another opens.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

Anyone who is arriving here to live now is wealthy. So it's not quite the same thing as you imply. The only door that's opening with these new arrivals is the door to overpriced condos and apartments where other people (many of them from other countries who also wanted to live here) used to live and work and pay rent and taxes and contribute to the economy. When only the wealthy can live somewhere, there is no soul, no heart and no democracy.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

including many coming here for college, art or as an adventure.

And many of them are from "other countries". There are several young Europeans on my block.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

That's a soft way of saying pushed out. Displaced. I think she's talking about the rebel soul of the city, not the self absorbed, effete soul staring at their Iphones.

Posted by Blexxxxxch on May. 28, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

vacancies were more valuable to the city than those who took the vacancies?

And why do you hate and fear change?

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2014 @ 2:13 pm

A close neighbor was evicted by a tech person who works at Apple. Across the street it was a Yahoo marketing gal doing the evicting. Around the corner a few blocks a couple of Google elites evicted two buildings so they could build their dream google-life even closer together. I'm sure all of these neighbors were honored and proud to be evicted from the city by such elite corporate employees.

Back on point, this mapping addition is fantastic, adding names and profiles to the Late 20th, Early 21st Century San Francisco Diaspora. It's an historic time, where wealthy newcomers rapaciously evict middle and lower level income families from their homes and city. Someone needs to make a movie.

The map might be stronger still if the names, faces and history of the EVICTORS were added to each address. It's now "their" San Francisco. The map could be helpful for historians to have names, employers and personal histories of the evictors. The Rent Board should have a data file going back 20 or 30 years with the names of the evictors and related city address. Another city department - street mapping or recorder's office - might have a list of the condo and TIC purchasers who bought after an Ellis conversion, giving a face to those who also profited from SF evictions.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

All discussions of evicted tenants should include the rent they're paying for context.

From the eviction mapping credit (which mentions rent prices once):

>>> "The tenants in one unit have been there for 46 years and pay $485 a month for a three-bedroom apartment."

$485 for a 3 bedroom apartment! Can you really blame the landlord? I'm sure there's some greed in play (missing out on ~$50k/year isn't easy), but I'd be surprised if $485 / month covers property tax, garbage, water, etc, let alone regular maintenance! A plumber visit alone could put the landlord into the red.

Posted by James on May. 28, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

would no doubt yield a close relationship.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

All discussions of evicted tenants should include the rent they're paying for context.

From the eviction mapping credit (which mentions rent prices once):

>>> "The tenants in one unit have been there for 46 years and pay $485 a month for a three-bedroom apartment."

$485 for a 3 bedroom apartment! Can you really blame the landlord? I'm sure there's some greed in play (missing out on ~$50k/year isn't easy), but I'd be surprised if $485 / month covers property tax, garbage, water, etc, let alone regular maintenance! A plumber visit alone could put the landlord into the red.

Posted by James on May. 28, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

Being forced to move to yucky Oakland is indeed a crime against humanity.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

I demand that someone else pays my rent!

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

balderdash. most of my servants live in Oakland and they seem quite content to commute with the rest of the rabble.

Posted by ChristianPatriotLandowner on May. 29, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

And Aspen is way less affordable than SF.

The serving classes always find a way because they follow the money.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

Thank goodness the Ellis Act reform died in the Senate.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2014 @ 8:15 am

There are still some rational Democrats left in the legislature.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2014 @ 8:27 am

Either way, it's stillborn, thank God.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2014 @ 9:44 am

capital! can't wait to tell the boys at the club

Posted by ChristianPatriotLandowner on May. 29, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

Ellis act evictions are a tiny fraction of overall evictions in San Francisco.
All of this hand wringing is just hype - fodder designed for people who desire simple cause and effect tidbits so they have a good reason to be angry.

Posted by Guest on May. 30, 2014 @ 10:09 am

into HELL by the SF DA's OFFICE and both SENATOR FEINSTEIN and PRESIDENT OBAMA. The LIZARD PEOPLE have descended on our land and are DECIMATING us as we speak - PLEASE watch my VIDEOS on YOUTUBE and be prepared to have YOUR WORLD ROCKED.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 30, 2014 @ 10:54 am

Dude, shut up. JGG is somewhat annoying but your sideshow is pathetic.

Posted by Guest on May. 30, 2014 @ 11:47 am

I am seeking restitution for the LOSS of my FREEDOM and the SILENCING of my VOICE. You cannot SILENCE the VOICE OF FREEDOM.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 30, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

You are totally nuts dude. you should shack up with that lady detailed in the chronicle who is single handedly repopulating the city with rats and just call it a day.

Posted by Becky Backside on May. 30, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

and the INHUMANITY to what I've been subjected to at the hands of the SF DA, Senator Diane Feinstein, President Obama and QUEEN ELIZABETH I & II. Keep drinking the KOOLAID and be prepared to TASTE the LIES and SMELL the INHUMANITY.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 30, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

Have been reading newspapers where I am from, the idea of pushing people to Oakland is a common thread among comments.

Here it is people, in some of the other papers it is entire companies that need to relocated to Oakland. Fine but when you still throwing out people in Oakland, let me know how well that works.

Answer. Build housing, build now, build everywhere, Waterfront, Park Merced, Oakland and Hayward. While building add transit systems.

Posted by Garrett on Jun. 03, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

I'm an SF renter paying 2 grand and change for a two bedroom in the Outer Outer Sunset. I'm quite confused about anyone paying $about 500 for a three bedroom. Even with rent control, the landlord can raise rent 1 1/2% per year. These increases will accrue over the years, meaning the rent on that 3 bedroom would be much, much higher.

My landlord always hits me w the fee increase, and I don't mind. Having my rent being far below market would be quite an incentive to want me out of the apartment.

Could someone please explain how some of these rents are so low ?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 04, 2014 @ 7:26 am

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