Benito Marcell Santiago is a teacher with San Francisco Unified School District who has been living in his apartment in the Mission District for 37 years. In November 2013, Marcell received notice of the Ellis Act Eviction by Vanguard Properties and was given 120 days to move out of his apartment.
The Ellis Act is a state law that allows landlords to evict tenants if they want to stop being a landlord. These apartments can then be flipped and turned into condominiums, which are exempt from rent control. Ellis Act Evictions have become commonplace in recent years; between 2011 and 2013, evictions in the city quadrupled. The disparity between tech workers and longtime residents of San Francisco widens as rent soars and more and more tenants are displaced.