SAN FRANCISCO – Having being served an eviction notice four separate times, single working Filipina mother Teresa Dulalas can finally be at ease.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced that Dulalas’ building is among five properties that was recently purchased with the help of The City’s Small Sites Program, which provides loans to non-profit organizations to protect existing tenants and establish long-term below-market-rate housing.
“Today serves up an example of how many people got together to not only stop the Ellis Act eviction but to also prove a point,” said Lee. “That if you want to get out of the business of being a property owner. Ok, no problem but you don’t have to evict long term tenants in doing so.”
The Ellis Act is used by landlords to evict tenants from rent-controlled housing after purchasing the property.
Dulalas’ property owner, Paul Iantorno, says he is satisfied with the outcome that is shared between himself, the city, and the residents.
“As long time owners of residential properties in the Mission district and the South of Market, the Iantorno family is very pleased to share the City’s vision of preserving and increasing its affordable housing stock,” he said.
Dulalas hopes this victory can send a message to other property owners who she said are displacing more San Franciscans every day.
“I’d like to think there’s actually change, a good change,” said Dulalas. “I don’t think they’re bad people. This is such a good start and I’m actually look forward to this really good change.”
Filipino community organizers say that while the mayor did help with this victory he can still do more.
Angelica Cabande of the South of Market Community Action Network said, “He could do legislations and policies and make sure tenants are really able to stay in their homes and not worry about evictions.”
Dulalas says that while she celebrates today, she will continue to organize for other San Francisco families facing evictions.