Second Fire at Mission and 22nd Streets Structure Showcases Danger

POL_Mission Fire-BlogRoberto Hernandez
Our Mission, NO Eviction

J. Scott Weaver
San Francisco Tenants Union

Gabriel Medina
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

Mar. 14, 2016

Second Fire at Mission and 22nd Streets Structure Showcases Danger
Community demands immediate plan for reconstruction or sale of building

San Francisco, Calif. — After a second fire in 13 months, the Mission community is urging that the City coerce swift action from the owner of the structure at Mission and 22nd streets. This building was initially damaged in a fire on Jan. 28, 2015, with 36 community-serving businesses and 58 rent-controlled tenants instantly displaced. One resident perished in the blaze.

There are two major issues. The first issue is that the community — especially immediate neighbors — has been put in a perpetual state of danger because of the deteriorating condition of the building. The second issue is that the tenants are at greater risk of displacement as each day goes by without any action.

States Roberto Hernandez of Our Mission, NO Eviction, “The owner has failed to take any steps to rehab the building, even though it has been more than a year since the fire at Mission and 22nd streets. Last night, the building went up in flames, further threatening the lives of the people who live on that block. This building was completely boarded up, including all windows, making it very difficult for anyone to get inside. These fires continue to add to the crisis of the displacement of residents and small businesses in the Mission.”

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. Explaining that there is a ticking clock for displaced tenants, Weaver details the timeframe as follows: “These tenants have been scattered across San Francisco, most with reasonable rents under the City’s Good Samaritan Law. This law allows landlords to rent an apartment at below market rate for two years, without being locked into rent control regulations. As one year has already passed, every day that goes by the Good Samaritan Law is closer to ending for these tenants. Where will they go one year from now, considering San Francisco’s housing crisis?”

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) Policy Manager Gabriel Medina, a nonprofit that worked closely to provide services to displaced residents after last year’s fire, knows of the community’s concerns around the safety of this structure. He states, “Last night’s fire showcases that there is a danger in our community. A solution must be found right way, as there is urgency to this situation. A concerned community awaits action.”

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.

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.


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