24 residents forced to leave uninhabitable building in SF

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Tenants living in a duplex in the Mission District are refusing to leave even though the city has deemed the building uninhabitable.

San Francisco inspectors issued a violation order declaring the building a safety hazard because of overcrowding and raw sewage leaking through ceilings that are collapsing. They gave the 24 residents of the two flats until 5 p.m. Monday to vacate.

"The raw sewage exposed, it may affect the health of the occupants," said Tom Hui, director of San Francisco Building Inspection.

Officials say the owner of the duplex has refused so far to make repairs.

"The current landlords are a real estate speculation company that purchase a property and they're in the business of buying distressed properties, getting rid of the occupants, and selling the place at a profit," said Lisa Giampaoli, a tenants' rights attorney. "So you can imagine in the Mission, a two flat is going to be worth a lot of money once they fix it up."

The city is referring the case to the city attorney as they look for alternate housing. One man lives in one unit with 10 relatives. He works the nightshift as a busboy and turned down space that was offered in a Bayview shelter because he would have to leave by 7 a.m. each day.

"It's an indoor gymnasium, there's no beds. They said it's just a floor," Giampaoli said. "There's between 80 to 120 people they would be there with." She said they want to stay in flat because it's their home.

For now it's a standoff. The city is worried about health, the landlords are not responding and the tenants say they're staying put.

The attorney for the tenants is asking for $1,300 for each person to relocate, but that is still being negotiated and there's no agreement yet on how much the landlord will pay them.

The city of San Francisco declared a building on Hampshire Street uninhabitable April 6, 2015, which could leave 24 people homeless. (KGO-TV)

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