This is a pretty shitty. I feel for the people who can't find affordable housing in SF, but let's look at the situation:
1) This guy has been paying $735/mo for 34 years in SF. That's longer than a 30 year mortgage. He has also been subletting/renting half his room. (Edit: his true rent was $365/mo not $735)
2) The former landlord, apparently not making enough renting the unit, lost the property in 2008 housing crisis and the bank sold it.
3) A new family buys the house with the intent to move in, and have their extended family all live together in the property.
4) They give this guy and the former property owner (who was allowed to continue to rent) 2 years to figure something out.
5) Now the family has a new baby and they want to move in and have some privacy.
6) They're being doxed and harassed with protests, prank calls, signs at their office.
7) The owners offered this guy $80,000(!) cash to move out, which he refused.
8) They finally resort to using Ellis Act to evict him.
As I see it, this guy got a subsidized $735/mo rent for 34 years, sublet his room to other people (probably in violation of tenant laws), was offered an additional $80,000. He benefitted massively from the rent control laws, to the extent that the former owner essentially lost his house, and now SF activists are hounding a family who bought the house and want to actually live there.
Since when did a rental agreement give anyone the right to live in a house permanently? Why do activists think renters are entitled to rights that not even home owners have (generally, when you sell your house, you have to a vacate for the new owners) And the family who bought the house aren't some evil speculators who are trying to profit from high SF rents, they're trying to raise a family.
If anytime in the last 34 years, this guy had the foresight to invest in property in SF, he would have been set today. In 1982, the average home price in SF was $70,000. Even a 30-year mortgage at 7% APR would yield $466/mo payment with no downpayment. I can only conclude that access to cheap rent controlled apartments distorted this guy's incentive to invest his money over the last 34 years, as a result, he's now in trouble.
That's regrettable, by why should the new family who bought the house have to suffer for his mistakes?http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/nevius/article/S-F-rent-wars-When-the-tenant-is-the-bully-6582895.php