Elderly San Francisco tenants nervous about possible relocation

Byby Katie Utehs via KGO logo
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Elderly San Francisco tenants nervous about possible relocation
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There is funding to rehabilitate the Eddy Buildings in the city's Western Addition District, which are senior housing, but there's lots of uncertainty for the elderly tenants.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Some elderly tenants in San Francisco are nervous about possibly being relocated.

There is funding to rehabilitate the Eddy Buildings in the city's Western Addition District, which are senior housing, but there's lots of uncertainty for the elderly tenants.

Some may have to move out of the units during construction and some may have to move because they're not in the proper units per federal housing rules.

Arcina Rodriguez, 88, is a terrified tenant at 951 Eddy Street. She and nine other residents reached out to tenants' rights attorney Joseph Tobener after being notified about an upcoming management change and renovation work that may displace people temporarily.

"When you play with seniors like that, it creates a lot of emotional distress and it can impact their health and wellness and we have medical letters, a stack of medical letters," Tobener said.

The San Francisco Housing Authority will lease the building to the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation starting November 1.

The property qualifies for federal funding for renovations but Rodriguez says her unit was updated in 2008.

"I said, why are you doing this? She said because we've got money," Rodriguez said.

Some of the tenants may be temporarily moved within the building during construction.

"The notices aren't clear about who's going to pay for it, how the tenants are going to be moved and how their health and safety is going to be taken into account," Tobener said.

Housing Authority and TNDC say each tenant will be interviewed and their personal situation taken into account.

The TNDC says rents will still be based on the tenants' income, not the value of the unit.

For Rodriguez, a cancer survivor with extreme health issues, the thought of moving temporarily is too much.

The problem is, how do you prepare for future elderly tenants while respecting what could be someone's final days?