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Three years into our campaign for self-management and ownership and we have achieved our first goal: Demolition of Midtown is off the table! We have had both verbal and written agreement from both Mercy Housing and the Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) that they are no longer planning to demolish any of Midtown’s six buildings. This is because last year, head of the MOH Kate Hartley was forced to agree that there would be no demolition without majority tenant support.
Midtown Park Apartments is a 139-unit development for low and moderate income households in the Western Addition community. It has been the subject of a lot of political fighting and accusations recently. It is also our home. In the last few years we have watched individuals and organizations who don’t live at Midtown and have never been active in the community spread misinformation and work against the interests of residents.
San Francisco United Against Trump acknowledges that the issues faced by minority groups, particularly immigrants and people of color, under our current administration, are not only an integral part of our city’s history, but of nearly EVERY major American city’s history. Our organization aims to combat President Trump’s regressive and destructive policies, as well as fight injustice at local levels of government.
On March 18, residents of Midtown Park Apartments, Cultural Action Network, ACCE Action and allies attempted to close down two Chase and US Bank locations they believe are connected to current tenant displacement in the Mission, Fillmore-Western Addition and Bayview through evictions and predatory-lending foreclosures. They also delivered petitions for those banks to pledge to divest from investments and practices that result in displacement of long-time San Franciscans.
Mr. Jose LaCrosby, a nationally-recognized African-American hairdresser in San Francisco, passed away on Jan. 29, 2016, in hospice care at the San Francisco VA Hospital. He was 89 years old. He is survived by his son and daughter, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mr. LaCrosby lived in the Fillmore-Western Addition for 58 years. Black Homes Matter Memorial Rally to honor Mr. Jose La Crosby’s legacy Wednesday, Feb. 10, 4-5 p.m., at Mercy Housing
On Dec. 14, 30 residents of the Midtown Park Apartments in the Fillmore-Western Addition, along with dozens of community supporters, picketed the San Francisco offices of Mercy Housing to demand Mercy’s removal as its property manager. Midtown tenants also formally announced the filing of a legal writ challenging a recent ruling by the San Francisco Rent Board that Midtown does not qualify for rent control.
On Monday, June 29, over a hundred working class families of Midtown Park Apartments were joined by community activists, concerned citizens and legal advisors for a rally in support of over 55 households whose rent increased 300 percent. The only such property that is owned by the City, Midtown’s original intent by then Supervisors Diane Feinstein and Ella Hill Hutch was to transform this complex into an equity cooperative – a promise that never materialized.
The cover story of this week’s San Francisco Weekly is the saga of Midtown Park Apartments that faces a struggle for its very existence in light of dubious actions and activities by San Francisco Housing Director Olson Lee and his staff. The City, which owns the Midtown property, has neglected to make millions of dollars worth of repairs over the past several decades despite hiring property managers to maintain the property, collect rents and enforce terms of tenancy.
On Monday, Feb. 3, residents of Midtown Park Apartments, joined by civil rights nonprofit Brightline Defense, legal services provider AIDS Legal Referral Panel and over 50 supporters, filed the biggest rent control petition in the history of the City and County of San Francisco. The petition requests protection against unlawful rent increases and evictions for 139 low- and moderate-income Western Addition households.
Nearly 100 residents of Midtown, representing virtually every household at a vibrant and diverse low and moderate income community in the Fillmore District, submitted a petition to Mayor’s Office of Housing Director Olson Lee asking him to withdraw his termination of Midtown’s 45-year-old lease with the City and County of San Francisco. Later that same day, Director Lee, a former Redevelopment Agency official, gave Midtown residents his answer: No.