Community Opposes Order in Place to Raze Mission and 22nd Streets Structure

Community Opposes Order in Place to Raze Mission and 22nd Streets Structure

2070-02222016_MKT-Mission Fire Update Social Media_blog_640x295px

Roberto Hernandez
Our Mission, NO Eviction
latinzoneprod@aol.com

J. Scott Weaver
San Francisco Tenants Union
jscottweaver@aol.com

Gabriel Medina
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
gmedina@medasf.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 22, 2016

Order in Place to Raze Mission and 22nd Streets Structure
Community demands protection of 58 tenants’ right of return

San Francisco, Calif. — The Mission community has united to denounce an order to raze a structure at Mission and 22nd streets. This building was heavily damaged in a fire one year ago, with 36 community-serving businesses and 58 rent-controlled tenants instantly displaced. One resident perished in the blaze.

If this order is enacted, the tenants’ legal first right of return may be severely compromised, rendering these residents permanently displaced from the Mission. Most tenants are in temporary housing either outside of San Francisco or in far-flung sections of the city, such as Treasure Island and Park Merced.

States Roberto Hernandez of Our Mission, NO Eviction, “All tenants should be able to come back to their homes after the building is refurbished, with prior rent-controlled rates intact. Demolishing this structure means these residents lose the right to come back home. The businesses that were located in this building should have the opportunity to come back, too. The City should not demolish this building. That would be unjust.”

J. Scott Weaver, of the San Francisco Tenants Union, has fought for decades for the rights of vulnerable renters to be able to legally stay in their homes. He knows that it would be particularly egregious – given the Mission housing crisis – for these displaced tenants to not be able to return to their homes. Explaining a tenant’s right to return after a natural catastrophe, Weaver cites San Francisco Rent Board Rules and Regulations § 12.19, which states, “If an apartment is under rent control, the tenant has a right to return following a fire, flood or disaster. For rent-controlled tenants in San Francisco, a tenant forced to vacate due to fire or other disaster must be offered the renovated unit back by the landlord within thirty days of completion of repairs.”

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) Policy Manager Gabriel Medina, an agency that worked closely to provide services to displaced residents after last year’s fire, has kept in touch with families. He knows that these victims long to once again be part of the Mission community. Medina explains, “This building stands as a stark symbol of the displacement crisis facing working-class families in the Mission. These residents are on a limited timeline of their Good Samaritan tenancies, and the owner has had a year to make repairs, yet has failed to do so. A solution must be found.”

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About Our Mission, NO Eviction
Our Mission, NO Eviction is a coalition of neighbors, community organizations and local merchants opposed to the rapid pace of displacement/evictions in the Mission, destroying the cultural and social fabric of the neighborhood – a cross-section of the community united to create policies and long-term solutions to stop these evictions. Facebook page

About San Francisco Tenants Union
The purpose of the San Francisco Tenants Union is to promote the preservation and expansion of the rights of tenants and the supply of affordable housing. sftu.org

About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development. medasf.org

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