John Stewart management evicts cancer surgery patient for having care provider


by Brenda Davis

I’m writing to express what I believe to be fraud by The John Stewart Co., which manages the Costello Realty where I lived for 26 years. I was evicted for having a care provider in my home.

My two sons’ names were illegally removed from the lease in order to force me to downsize to a one bedroom. I was very ill at the time and had to have a care provider, Leslie Dupree. I was then given an eviction notice because of my care provider, but only after the San Francisco Health Department had been to my apartment after the ceiling collapsed and discovered that it was uninhabitable due to the presence of 20.6 parts of live asbestos, nearly seven times the legal level.

If The John Stewart Co. had maintained King-Garvey properly, my ceiling would not have collapsed, exposing me and my neighbors to asbestos.

My care provider and I were then relocated to a hotel until the asbestos could be removed. About two weeks later, when I returned home, I received an eviction notice for fraud for having my care provider in my apartment without her name being added to the lease. I called the Human Rights Commission staff handling housing and public accommodation complaints and they informed me that I could have my caretaker in the home with me until my doctor released me from needing her assistance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the time, I was so ill I could not be released, having had the first of many breast cancer surgeries, which all started while I was still living at King-Garvey, at 1625 Eddy St., Apartment 411. During that time, I could not take care of myself or my children, so they were living with my sister until I was well enough to care for them at home.

Anna Lokshina, King-Garvey property site manager, told Lupe Arreola of the Human Rights Commission and David Russo, the building inspector who discovered the asbestos contamination, and myself that I could have Leslie in my home until I was able to take care of myself. But, once the news broke that my apartment was contaminated, the only way to get me out was to make an issue of my care provider residing in the apartment.

I filed complaints with HUD’s fraud department in Washington and here in San Francisco on Harrison Street. I never received any response from the Washington or San Francisco HUD offices, but when I went back to see Mrs. Angela M. Corcoran, operations director of HUD, I was told that once an eviction notice had been given, there was nothing they (HUD) could do.

However, I had filed a complaint with HUD long before the eviction process was initiated, and to no avail; no one responded. I was only the first of many King-Garvey residents to be evicted.

Since the property has been refurbished, the John Stewart Co. only wants tenants who can pay market rent in the three- and four-bedroom apartments. I recently attended a meeting regarding the fraud, at Third Baptist Church, and John Stewart himself along with a court stenographer and Dee Schnexnayder, manager of Public Housing Excellence Initiatives were present.

To demand a thorough investigation of the fraud at King-Garvey, call HUD Operations Director Angela M. Corcoran (415) 489-6400; her office is responsible, according to the Washington, D.C., office of the HUD Inspector General. 

When I asked a question, Barbara Johnson, property manager for The John Stewart Company, retorted that I had been evicted and therefore questioned my presence at the meeting, implying a lack of importance and breeching confidentiality in front of everyone present. I would like to have this matter investigated as soon as possible and think it’s important for people to know what’s going on.

Over the past 15 years, six of my neighbors at King-Garvey have died of cancer, most recently my friend, Sharon Jones, who fought to keep the complex a co-op controlled by the residents and to stop the mass evictions now occurring. If The John Stewart Co. had maintained King-Garvey properly, my ceiling would not have collapsed, exposing me and my neighbors to asbestos.

To demand a thorough investigation of the fraud at King-Garvey, a complex of 211 apartments where I lived from the age of 18 to 44 among a strong, cohesive and supportive community, I’m asking all who read this to call HUD Operations Director Angela M. Corcoran; her office is responsible, according to the Washington, D.C., office of the HUD Inspector General. Call (415) 489-6400 and ask for Mrs. Corcoran.

Brenda Davis can be reached at



  1. Well written article. This is a much needed issue that needs to be investigated on all levels. The City of San Francisco and HUD should be ashamed for allowing the John Stewart Company to continuiously bully and evict as well as place innocent residents health in jeopardy . Where is the justice for these rsidents?

    • Right on Leslie, the John Stewart company care not for your health and well being, but for your money. Someday possibly in the near future a 'class action lawsuit' will demand they stop their illegal management practices.

  2. I would love to talk to someone the same thing happened to my mother town house in Martinez. this is the most corrupt company I’ve ever seen.

  3. Blessings reputation seems to have become a big failure, loosing the prestige award in July and the constant changing of staff, 46 percent response time, firing of CNA nursing and what is it with the bugs in the building on 11 street? looks like roaches. So hearing this does not surprise me. But don't worry they will blame some poor pca or nurse, the real issue is in the management. At my work the big joke is "it's your last Blessing" or "count your Blessing". The real top priority is the bottom line for this non profit organization.

  4. The John Stewart Company is continuing to commit both major fraud & negiligence towards elders at their facility located on 678 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa.CA. They have on many occasions exposed their elder residents to verbal abuse, as well as health risks during the recent re-construction of the 18 story building.
    Thisk abusive management company thinks they are above the law when it comes to "elder-abuse", but many residents are now in the process of filing litigation against both the owner of the building, the John Stewart Company management staff, and also the Orange County Housing Authority for aiding and abetting these wrongful acts against elders at this facility.

    • They destroyed my mom’s townhouse and took it over in Martinez they continue to rip off people of their property shares of their townhomes in Martinez and they deserve to be prosecuted the problem is that getting too much money from the state that is there and we develop all the cities in California keep the poor people out and take over their properties

  5. The John Stewart Company is continuing to commit both major fraud & negiligence towards elders at their facility located on 678 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, CA (aka: "The Tower on 19th")

  6. The issue is that this company promotes within the company and guess what…the people who have section 8 usually get the chance to work for the company if the manager likes you and get free rent and become managers even though they have no education in property management. The other issue is that depending on the location, they are trying to evict the drug dealers and horrible residents that abuse the system, Trust me, if you think everyone living at these properties are 100% angels, then you are mistaken. So now you know. A lot of workers actually are residents from years before, so if anything, complain that the company should not hire the residents, rather, they should hire college educated professionals that know the laws and how to effectively manage and upkeep property.

    P.S. as a former employee, the worst part is knowing residents threaten and abuse the system and act like victims in front of their social workers and demand everything even though they are scum. Try evicting a pimp who sells drugs and is over 60 years old and there is no proof except residents who don't want to snitch.

  7. They are doing the same thing in los Angeles. Stealing and lying about coming in to your place with out a work order.
    Then trying to gas light us out, after harassing, female, men, and they have stolen everything from A-Z. Plus thing like my 2 birth certificate, 1death certificate, 3 diploma, light bills, food. Then they come in and destroying my property.
    There mad that I figured out there scam. So every time I report what there doing they retaliate by coming in my place. Mess up my property, then laughing about AND playing CATCH ME IF YOU CAN BULL GRAP. Season at Compton, needs someone help. At 15810 S. Frailey ave, in Compton ca 90221

  8. I’m going through the same thing at Avenida villas in Anaheim Ca apartment about 5 people have died over the course oh my 2-year stay and now I’m sick with sinuses infection and respiratory problems, I’ve been dealing with second hand smoke and bad air quality, my doctor wants to schedule me for a biopsy surgery he thinks I might develop some type of cancer. Since I am low income disable on Section 8 I am scared to say something do not want to get eviction and end up homeless again if there’s any attorney that can assist me with this matter please reach me at 714 561 6940 Richard

  9. I was done wrong by this company as well signed a papaer for vawa and was receive help from them instead they sublease me another apartment while stating that it was I should not worry about nothing because everything would be taken care of I had to get rid of everything on and I’m now looking for another place to live I have a 1 year old a six-year-old and a 7 year old we are now homeless

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