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Playlist: KALW 01252021

Compiled By: David Boyer

Caption: PRX default Playlist image
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Landshark Office Park

From Evan Jacoby | 12:25

The Ellis Act lets California landlords evict rent-controlled tenants. Supporters call it an important tool for repurposing land, but opponents fear "repurposing" is code for cheating rent control.

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California has the highest poverty rate in the country, and ranks 49th for housing units per resident. Officials say that’s one of the reasons why a quarter of the nation’s homeless live in California, even though only 12% of the national population lives there. 

Against this backdrop, a controversial housing law called the Ellis Act allows California landlords to remove any building from the rental market, even if it's rent-controlled. Reporter Evan Jacoby shares the story of one of these buildings, observing it through the lenses of both tenant and landlord, as the building turns into an office park.