99-year-old could be evicted from San Francisco apartment she co-owns

Byby Melanie Woodrow KGO logo
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
99-year-old could be evicted from SF apartment she co-owns
A 99-year-old San Francisco woman is facing eviction over legal fees. The person who co-owns the building with her says he's willing to waive those fees. However, there's a catch.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Community members will hold another vigil Tuesday night to raise awareness for a 99-year-old San Francisco woman, they say could be evicted from an apartment she co-owns. Iris Canada's supporters gathered outside her home on Page Street on Monday night as well. Here's a look at both sides of a very complicated story.

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Iris won a court battle. She gets to stay in her home but now she's facing another eviction, this time over legal fees. The unit's co-owner tells me he's willing to waive those fees. However, there's a catch.

Iris has lived 99 years. But her supporters say her eviction would equal death.

She has earned the respect of her supporters, but not of all her neighbors.

"It's all a stage, it's being staged," said one person.

Peter Owens co-owns with 670 Page with Iris. He and other residents there want her to sign paperwork that would convert the joint ownership apartments to condos.

"She is holding the entire building economic hostage because nobody can buy and sell their unit," he said.

Iris, who hasn't signed so far, won her fight to stay in her apartment, but the court granted Owens $164,000 in legal fees. It's an amount he says he's willing to waive if Iris signs the condo paperwork.

"Iris Canada asked for more time to understand the condo conversion documents," said her great-niece, Iris Merriouns.

To that, Owens says, "I am completely supportive of giving her as much time as she needs."

Without Iris' signature, her family believes she will still be evicted if she doesn't pay the legal fees.

"He says that he wants to see my aunt to stay in her unit," Merriouns said. "Well, we're asking Peter -- if those are the things that you believe, then withdraw. If you're a man of your word, then withdraw."

As both sides hold firm to their convictions - Iris' health is ailing

"I thank everybody who is out here," she said. "I'm cold, I want to go inside."

Inside to an apartment she's made her home filled with 99 years of memories.

Iris turns 100 July 13. Her family says their celebration is on hold until they resolve the issue at hand.

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