Issue 3

Eviction Notice Trends

Breaking news! San Francisco is suffering a housing crisis. It arguably has been since the gold rush in 1849, but things are particularly bad right now. There are a lot of forces conspiring to make this the case, but one way to begin to make sense of this ongoing crisis is to look at evictions.

Conveniently, the city publishes a list of all eviction notices since 1997. I ran a quick analysis on the data and broke notices out by type and year to see trends over time. My assumption was that Ellis Act Evictions would dominate the numbers and be increasing. The data paints a different picture.

It’s important to note that these are simply notices of eviction filed with the San Francisco Rent Board, not necessarily executed evictions. This dataset also doesn’t distinguish between at-fault and no-fault eviction notices.

Ellis Act eviction notices are definitely a meaningful contributor to total evictions, but they’re not increasing. Breach and nuisance notices are growing most steadily. Owner move-in is experiencing an uptick after dominating eviction notices over fifteen years ago. Capital improvement notices have shot up at a remarkable rate this year relative to historical values.

The raw dataset (large download warning) provides eviction notice-level data that can (and should!) be analyzed across many dimensions. There is a neighborhood column in the data that makes it trivial to examine eviction trends by neighborhood over time. Here’s a simple filter on The Mission. Definitions of notice types are available via the SF Rent Board.

This data expresses the changing dynamics of San Franciscans issuing eviction notices over time and also gives a sense of the magnitude of different types of eviction-related issues. You could go in a lot of different directions with this data.

The graphics in this post will update automatically as new data is released, so feel free to share or link to this article or just the graphic. This is a first-order analysis that requires more depth before drawing too many conclusions. If that’s something you’re interested in and I can be of help, definitely let me know.

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46.87 is a joint project with Numeracy.

46.87 is a regular exploration of San Francisco Bay Area data by Joshua Jenkins in partnership with Numeracy.