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Homeless allowed to break into private property

by sfishome on April 5, 2010

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on scene as homeless and tenant activists marched to and then broke into someones private duplex.  Their reasons – 1) to encourage the City to take over vacant buildings and turn them into housing for the homeless, 2) the building’s owner used the Ellis Act to evict an 80 year old tenant who had lived there for 43 years – including 15 years with the current owner.

Astonishingly, the Police watched it happened, and the story closes with the police ASKING when the protesters planned to leave and getting a we’re not sure answer.

My comments:

I ask myself, where’s the line?  If I go away for a week long vacation, or a month, or am away for a year to attend to a sick parent – at what point do I become a target for renegade groups like these?  And can I not expect help from the police?

I think we need to have enormous sympathy with the vast majority of homeless.  But I think the protesters in this story – especially the tenant advocate Tim Gullickson – should have been arrested immediately for breaking an entering. 

San Francisco does actually have a new policy in place where they require owners to register their vacant properties.  Here is the Nov 16, 2009 press release and here is the ordinance itself.  I basically scanned the ordinance so double check it for the facts, but it appears that if a vacant building isn’t being repaired or offered for lease or sale the owner must post their name, address and phone number on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sign on the building, and must pay an annual $765 fee.

Only in San Francisco.

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San Francisco’s vacant building ordinace
April 6, 2010 at 4:34 am

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