As Tech Transforms San Francisco, Elderly Filipino Man fights Eviction

v_zavidea_santiago_500x279Much as been written about how the recent tech boom is transforming San Francisco and the resulting backlash.  We hear about protests of Google buses and artists leaving for Oakland (and perhaps pushing out other artists), but this New American Media story talks about less publicized people who are pushed out – the ethnic elderly.   Benito Santiago is being evicted out of the San Francisco apartment where he has lived for 37 years, but he’s fighting back.

Filipinos being displaced in San Francisco is not new.  The original Manilatown around Jackson and Kearney was destroyed in the 1960s by “urban renewal” and the last remnant, the International Hotel, lost its residents in 1977.  Many Filipinos settled in the South of Market Area, but that area has been gentrifying for some time now.  There are still Filipinos in the area (some area churches have masses in Tagalog ), and but Santiago’s landlord wants one less.

Santiago has joined a number of other evicted seniors who have filed criminal complaints that say that evicting them inflicts physical and emotional harm.  This is said to be a violation of California Penal Code 368, which is supposed to protect elders and dependent adults.  It’s not just Filipinos being affected, as this elderly Chinese couple and their mentally challenged daughter were evicted last year.  Landlords are using the California’s Ellis Act to evict tenants.

This story is a part of New America Media’s series, “Old and Poor in Tech City.

(photo credit:  New America Media)

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About Jeff

Jeff lives in Silicon Valley, and attempts to juggle marriage, fatherhood, computer systems research, running, and writing.
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