Protest at First Republic Bank HQ Over Bank’s Role in Financing Evictions, Including Seniors
SENIORS FACING EVICTION WILL SPEAK AT PROTEST, TRY TO MEET WITH BANK CEO AND URGE BANK TO KEEP THEM IN THEIR HOMES AND STOP MAKING DISPLACEMENT MORTGAGES
San Francisco, CA, Aug 18th— Later today, seniors facing eviction and community leaders will protest in front of the headquarters of First Republic Bank, citing the bank’s role in enabling and abetting the evictions of low-income tenants across San Francisco. During the past few years, financing to investors provided by First Republic Bank, one of the largest banks in the state and nation, played a key role in helping investors take rent controlled buildings off of the market, affecting over 50 low-income tenants at 13 different properties.
Maritza Osorio, a tenant who is facing eviction at a property that was financed by First Republic,explains:“I have lived in this building and this community for 50 years. Banks who lend to speculators are not investing in our community or city, instead, they are helping remove people from it.”
According to data analyzed by Tenants Together and the Anti Eviction Mapping Project, over 3,600 units have been removed from the rental market in San Francisco under the Ellis Act, and over 10,000 tenants have been displaced from 1997 through 2013. Advocates explain that many of these evictions could not have happened without investors using financing from banks like First Republic. The bank is also complicit in giving its approval to the investors to evict the current tenants once they purchase the building.
In a number of cases (see Fact Sheet) First Republic provided a mortgage to an investor to purchase a building with rent-controlled units. Once the purchase was complete, the new owners evicted the long-term tenants and sold the now-vacant units as Tenants In Common (TICs). First Republic plays a key role by providing the original loan to the investor.
A new interactive website by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project identifies the speculators who relied on First Republic Bank financing and the number of units affected by subsequent Ellis Act evictions.
Advocates met with First Republic Bank earlier this summer to urge the bank to stop funding so-called “displacement mortgages,” but thus far the bank has refused to change its policies.
Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, explains: “First Republic is directly responsible for providing financing to speculators who are using that financing to buy buildings, evict seniors and other low income tenants, and then re-sell the units to wealthy home buyers. The bank’s behavior directly contradicts its responsibilities under the federal Community Reinvestment Act, which requires the bank to support the credit needs of all San Franciscans- not just wealthy investors.”
Organizations attending the protest include:
California Reinvestment Coalition
Tenderloin Housing Clinic
San Francisco Community Land Trust
San Francisco Tenants Union
The Housing Rights Committee
Causa Justa :: Just Cause
© 2018 California Reinvestment Coalition