Why is this important

Evictions can happen for numerous reasons. However, steeply increasing levels of eviction often correspond with rising housing prices, as landlords try to free up their property for sale or secure new tenants who can pay higher rents. There are numerous health impacts associated with evictions. Eviction is a leading cause of homelessness, especially for families with children.[i] Households that are displaced often experience unhealthy situations due to the loss of social relationships within a community, the difficulties and stress associated with finding new housing that is affordable, as well as, the added time, energy and money needed to relocate.[ii] Frequent household moves have been linked with negative childhood events such as abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Frequent family relocation also leads to children repeating grades, school suspensions, and emotional and behavioral problems. Creating opportunities for affordable and safe housing forms a stable and healthy household environment which has long-term positive health implications, particularly for children.

How are we doing?

This dataset is comprised of notices of eviction that were reported to the SF Rent Board. The Rent Board only requires that evictions in buildings subject to the city’s rent control ordinance be reported; however in practice, some non-rent controlled buildings do report their notices of eviction. The rate of all eviction notices served increased sharply between 2011 and 2015 – by 60% citywide and by 98% in the CMTL area. Likewise, no-fault eviction notices are generally rare in the CMTL area (with the exception of the 2013, most of which were from the 1049 Market St.), but increased by 124% in the city as a whole between 2011 and 2015. These trends are indicative of how eviction patterns vary by neighborhood.  Over the past few years there has been a steep increase in notices of eviction for breach of lease, and this is particularly true in the Tenderloin. Market forces are likely behind this increase, as landlords of rent controlled building have more incentive to try to move out long term tenants that may not be abiding by all of the stipulations of their lease agreement. The SF Board of Supervisors attempted to address this issue by passing Eviction Protection 2.0 in November 2015, which most significantly increases protections to allow for the addition of occupants even when the rental agreement limits the number of occupants or prohibits subletting, and increases opportunity to cure a breach of the agreement based on subletting or other charges. 

Data from 2017 demonstrate a marked decrease in the rate of eviction notices in the CMTL area and citywide - by 44% and 29% respectively. This drop is likely attributable to both market changes and legislative/administrative changes that occurred during the time period.

Dataset Source

Eviction data came from the SF Rent Board and is available in obfuscated form here: https://data.sfgov.org/Housing-and-Buildings/Eviction-Notices/5cei-gny5/data.

The number of rent controlled housing units was estimated using American Community Survey five-year data from 2011-2015, at the census tract level.


[i] Desmond, Matthew. “Unaffordable America: Poverty, Housing, and Eviction.” Fast Focus, Institute for Research on Poverty 22 (2015).

[ii] San Francisco Department of Public Health. “No-Fault Evictions.” The San Francisco Indicator Project, 2014. http://www.sfindicatorproject.org/indicators/view/194.