The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

California:
Evicting the Elderly for Profit

Sep 2, 2019

Three elderly tenants living in Alameda, near San Francisco, are facing immediate eviction because their landlords want to charge more rent for their apartments.

One of the tenants, 87-year-old Holocaust survivor Musiy Rishin, said he began to get eviction notices from the landlords about a year ago, when his 57-year-old, terminally ill son Yaroslav lived with him. Not only were the landlords unfazed by this family’s tragedy, they even named Yaroslav in the lawsuit they filed after his death!

The rent for Mishin’s apartment, where he has lived for 17 years, is a whopping $3,200. As in other cities in the Bay Area and Southern California, rents in Alameda have soared beyond control in recent years – along with rampant homelessness, which has increased by 43 percent in Alameda in two years, according to the Alameda Renters Coalition.

One of the landlords, Margaret Tam, openly said the purpose of the eviction was “to get rid of Section 8,” the federal housing subsidy Rishin qualifies for, so that she can increase the rent even more.

I am not a monster,” said Tam, “... but I do want to make money when I am legally able to.”

Yes, it is in fact legal for a landlord to throw the sick and elderly out of their apartments, just to be able to increase an already exorbitant rent. It is the legality – and the morality – of the capitalist system, where profit trumps everything else, including human life.