In 2006, San Francisco realtor Elba Borgen of Frank Howard Realtors, infamously led a group of speculators, including Mike Gallin and Laura Rogers, in Ellis Act evicting 1530 McAllister Street. Residents included a family of four with an infant and four-year-old, a woman pregnant with a child due on the date that she was to vacate, an 89-year-old woman on social security with no housing alternatives, and a Black senior who spent 25 years there.
This has been far from Borgen's only Ellis Act eviction. See our interactive map of her evictions here. She is currently Ellis Acting 8 units from 1635 10th Avenue through her 1635 - 10th Avenue Venture Associates, LLC, which lists Delaware as its LLC business jurisdiction. Residents at 1635 10th Ave. may become homeless when forced out. Fifty-five-year-old Dawn Griffen explained, "All of us have been here for a long time. I've been here 30 years; I really don't want to relocate. This is my home, my neighborhood. . . I can't afford anything in San Francisco and I work here. I'm a native San Franciscan. My family's here; My whole life is here and I'd have to relocate to another city, and I have a very unreliable vehicle … It would be an extreme hardship."
Also residing there is Vivian Montesdeoca, 57, originally from Cuba. She has been living there for 23 years. She explained, "I live with my mother, who is quite old; she is 90 years old and she suffers from Alzheimer's and dementia. This is really bad for her because she will become completely disoriented. . . .She knows everybody here. Everybody knows her and it would be very, very hard for us to move and also find in San Francisco a place to live."
"Rose Eger and her neighbors are all on fixed incomes and pay an average rent of $800 a month.'Where could we stay?' asked Eger.
The Richmond building is the latest where Borgen has used the Ellis Act to evict dozens of tenants.
Raquel Fox at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic represents the tenants of 10th Avenue.
'She looks for buildings that have protected status tenants. Low income and senior and disabled tenants,' said Fox.
The Ellis Act is the state law which allows landlords to get out of the business. But Fox says Elba Borgen was never in the landlord business.
'She buys it, then serves the Ellis, evicts…personally I think it’s immoral,' said Fox.
KPIX 5 tried tracking down Borgen. At her San Francisco office, a fellow realtor said she hadn’t been in the office for months.
Then sources gave KPIX 5 information that led to the San Francisco Yacht Club in Tiburon. But Elba was nowhere to be found. According her to blog, she’s often out sailing.
Attorney Lyssa Paul said evicting people is referred to as the dirty work but someone has to do it as the buildings often provide entry level homeownership.
'if there’s a six unit building and it’s Ellis-acted, then I have six new first time homebuyers who now have a place to live,' she said.
Paul represents people who want to buy vacated rental units like Elba’s. They are sold as tenancies-in-common, cheaper than condos but riskier because generally everyone in the building has to share one mortgage.
KPIX 5 caught up with Borgen at a recent court hearing, but she did not want to talk when asked to give her side of the story.
'Because given where we live, nothing would be reported on my side,' said Borgen.
Meanwhile, the tenants on 10th Avenue have only a week left to stay in their homes. May 2nd is the deadline for them to get out or they face eviction.
One tenant said, 'She’s got no compassion.'
Borgen Ellis Acted the following:
Laura Rodgers, who teamed up with Borgen to Ellis Act 1530 McAllister Street, is now Ellis Acting 3422 19th Street through 3422-3426 19th Street Investors, LLC with registered agent Paracorp Incorporated C1082536. There were 6 units Ellis Acted on March 12, 2013. Paracorp is registered at 388 Market St. Ste 1300 in San Francisco.
Mercedes Borgen, her relative, Ellis Acted 2 units from 2409 - 2411 39th Avenue on July 17, 2002.
Borgen, 49, is listed at the following addresses:
458A JERSEY STREET
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94114
1855 CHURCH ST APT C
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94133
5214F DIAMOND HEIGHTS BLVD #836
SAN FRANCISCO CA 94131