$1,500 Scholarship Award and Hearst Medallion
Senior Disability Action employee Tony Robles speaks to the crowd during the Save Midtown rally outside of the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development in San Francisco on June 1, 2016. Midtown Park Apartment residents filed the largest rent control petition in San Francisco history in 2014 of 70 units and continue to fight against displacement today. "The affordability gap has been that much more pronounced and developers will do anything to get ahold of land here," says Robles.
ADD HISTORY ABOUT MIDTOWN AREA
Housing crisis activist and writer Marti Sousanis tears up while telling her eviction story in her home on June 1, 2016. Sousanis was a victim of the Ellis Act Evictions in 2006 when she was evicted from her home at age 62. The Ellis Act is a California state law that says landlords have the unconditional right to evict tenants to Ògo out of business". Before being evicted, Sousanis collaborated with policy makers to enact a city law that put a moratorium on converting rental housing into condominiums. However, because her home was a single-family occupancy, she was still a victim of eviction. "I never ever dreamed that I would lose my home. I was at the height of my career." Sousanis was given a year to find a new residence and was diagnosed with breast cancer a month before she moved out of her home of 21 years.
Marti Sousanis reads through a letter she wrote to her previous landlord to fight against rent increases and eviction on June 1, 2016. She still struggles to make rent today at her home in Parkmerced, where in the last three years rent has increased $1,350 a month to a reach a total of $3,500 per month. "I cannot afford to move out and I cannot afford to live here," says Sousanis. "I'm in a serious catch 22". Sousanis had to borrow $1,000 from her brother to be able to make her rent payment on June 1.
The historically Latino community of the Mission District faces gentrification, rapid development, and increased rent prices. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors reported that the predicted decline of the Latino population of the Mission District from it's current 48% to 31% by 2025 is correlated with an increase in housing income in the neighborhood.
Raul Vasquez measures out ingredients for bread at La Victoria Panaderia in the Mission District where he has worked as a baker for 30 years on May 31, 2016. Vasquez will be evicted in two months as a result of the Ellis Act from his home on Folsom Street in the Mission District where he has lived alone his entire time in the neighborhood. He is the 11th victim of the Ellis Act on the 2800 block of Folsom Street.
Chris Swimmer poses for a portrait in his room in the intentional living community Chaortica, a home of 12 artists and entrepreneurs in Haight-Ashbury on May 31, 2016. Swimmer and his partner Adalyn Naka left their previous home of 38 people to manage their own intentional living community. "Originally, Adalyn and I wanted to start a co-op in Oakland, but we decided to stay here and fight the good fight and keep the San Francisco dream alive," says Swimmer.
From left to right, Jen Johnson, Tommy Alexander, Anna Salerno, and Jon Schoonhoven relax in the common room of their intentional living community of 12 people in Haight Ashbury on May 31, 2016. The residents of Chaotic collaborate with Haight Street Commons, an organization that encourages community living. "There's a conscious community of people I see here really working on themselves internally and externally," says Salerno, a catering entrepreneur.
The 12 residents of Chaortica measure their height on their kitchen door frame. Each resident of Chaortica pays under $1,000 per month in rent with the whole unit totaling just under $10,000 per month. Their landlord supported their desire to have a large number of residents in the home because it was a struggle to rent out the unfinished space. "They were having trouble renting [the unit], but it was perfect for us because we were "gung-ho" about finishing the space ourselves and creating it the way we wanted to," says Chris Swimmer. "We didnÕt care if every fixture was absolutely perfect and thatÕs what everybody else in this neighborhood would be expecting."
Partners Jon Schoonhoven and Jen Johnson relax in their living room in their intentional living community of 12 people in Haight Ashbury. Community and human connection are ideals the residents of Chaortica hold close. "I used to live in a two-bedroom home in the Mission District, but I always wanted to live in a community," says Johnson.
Douglas Benner walks the streets of the Mission District, the neighborhood where he spends most of his time after becoming homeless against four months ago, on May 31, 2016. Benner previously lived at The Broadway Hotel, a single-room occupancy (SRO), and has been living in SROs off and on in his 25 years living in San Francisco. "For a lot of people in this city, SROs are their reality. That's the only housing they can get," says Benner.
Mission Police Station Captain Dan Perea meets with community members of the Mission District to discuss issues of increased homelessness, security, and gun violence during their monthly community meeting on May 31, 2016.
Chris Carlsson poses for a portrait outside of his home at the Pigeon Palace, co-op housing in the Mission District that was funded by the Mayor's Office of Housing and the San Francisco Community Land Trust, on May 31, 2016. In 2015, the city offered a $2 million loan to be purchased by the land trust and prevented it from being bought out on the market. While the going rate for Carlsson's apartment is $5,500 per month, each unit pays $1,200 per month because of the land trust model through which it operates. "My point of view is that everybody should have a home. That should be the goal," says Carlsson.
Single -- Bauman employee Carl Pete starts up his machinery to begin construction on May 31, 2016 at the site of an old PG&E parking lot where a park will be built in the Mission District. Bauman finished up improvements to Mission's Dolores Park six months previously. ÒFor the community I think itÕs doing real good," says Pete. "WeÕve done a lot for Dolores Park. People was giving us problems at first but now they see the outcome and the finish of it. They love it."