By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Outrage of the week – Owners of a San Francisco 6-unit building in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco are fighting to evict 100-year-old resident Iris Canada from the apartment she has called home for 50 years. The owners – Stephen Owens, Peter Owens and Carolyne Radishe – are in the process of a converting the building from rent-controlled apartments to a condominium association.
Housing advocates in San Francisco say the neighborhood is in the midst of gentrification, where long-time residents are being evicted and priced out of the neighborhood, to make way for upscale housing.
This is the second attempt to oust Canada in less than a year.
In April, a Judge granted Canada a lifetime estate, allowing her to remain in her rent-controlled apartment for $700 per month for the remainder of her life. However, at the time, the Judge also ordered Canada to pay more than $100,000 in legal fees to the property owners. Those legal fees have since increased to $164,000.
Property owners agreed to waive legal fees on the condition that Canada sign over papers to finalize the condo conversion, and are making a second attempt at eviction to force the tenant to sign the conversion papers. But the family says that Canada does not want the liability of paying assessments for maintenance and repairs.
Last year, housing rights advocates report that the owners at first attempted to evict the tenant when she was hospitalized and then hired a caregiver for in-home assistance. The owners had claimed Canada no longer lived at the apartment and that she had been leasing to other tenants.
You can read more details in the three articles linked below.
Why can’t the property owners simply allow a 100-year-old woman to live out the rest of her life in peace? What kind of society places higher value on property than on people?
Why is Canada expected to pay legal fees for the owner? What is the point of granting Canada the right to remain in her home under the condition that she pay $164,000? Isn’t that akin to extortion?
Published: April 27, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — A ruling issued on Wednesday in a legal fight over an attempt to evict a 99-year-old woman from her apartment in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood gives her the right to stay, but she could still lose her home if she cannot pay attorney’s fees totaling more than $100,000.
Attorneys for the property owners have offered to waive the legal fees, but there is a catch: they want Canada to sign papers that would allow the building to convert to condominiums.
Attorney Andrew Zacks said the desire to take the building condo underlies the entire dispute over Canada’s tenancy. Canada was granted a lifetime estate in 2005 following a failed attempt to evict her under the Ellis Act, meaning that she is allowed to remain in her unit for the rest of her life in return for rent of $700 a month.
The other five units in the building are now tenancies-in-common and are waiting to convert to condominiums. But Canada’s lifetime estate means that her signature is required before the conversion can proceed,
according to Zacks.
Read more: http://kron4.com/2016/04/27/condo-conversion-dispute-underlies-battle-over-attempted-eviction-of-99-year-old-san-francisco-woman/