The Lee family has lived in their San Francisco Russian Hill apartment for the last 34 years, but faced eviction on Wednesday because the building is being converted into private residences.
Authorities said the sheriff’s department would evict the Lees at 6 a.m. Protesters lined up outside the home early Wednesday, preparing for the deputies. But as of 8:12 a.m. they still hadn’t showed up
The Lees say they currently pay $778 a month and cannot find a new home in the neighborhood because rents in the area are more than double that amount.
"It's breaking all of our hearts and we feel like we have to draw the line somewhere," said protester Gen Fukioka. "We as a city, we need to come together and do something when these kinds of families are out on the street it's just not right."
Last year, Matt Miller bought building and offered tenants buyouts to leave so he could renovate it and turn it into residences in common.
The Lees case is just one in a rising number of evictions using the Ellis Act, a state law adopted in 1985 that allows a landlord to evict tenants in order to their buildings of the residential housing market.
Housing advocates says Ellis Act evictions have tripled since the beginning of the year with the highest numbers being in Chinatown and North Beach.
In June, the Board of Supervisors voted for a 10-year moratorium on the city’s condo conversion program.
While too late for the Lees, housing advocates say they hope it helps other long-time residents.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.