The council is considering action in response to a spike in the number of such evictions in Oakland. The act, passed in the 1980s, allows evictions when landlords decide to take properties off the rental market. Ellis Act evictions have become notorious in San Francisco, where hundreds of tenants have been forced to relocate in recent years, largely due to conversion of rental properties to condominiums.
In Oakland, the pace of Ellis Act evictions has been slower, with a total of 47 Ellis filings covering 98 units between fiscal 2003-04 and 2014-15. But there are signs that's changing, with a dozen Ellis filings covering 15 units since July 1.
"This is the time to bring this to you," Connie Taylor, manager of Oakland's Rent Adjustment Program manager, told the council's Community and Economic Development Committee.
Taylor offered a two-part proposal to respond to the rise in Ellis Act evictions: an expansion of relocation payments, currently available only to low-income renters, to all displace tenants; and an increase in payments, currently set at two months of a tenant's rent, to $8,000 plus $2,500 per unit for "vulnerable residents," including low income, disabled and senior tenants and those with minor children.