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On a cold Tuesday evening, Sept. 15, Midtown residents along with their allies from labor unions, UC Berkeley, Boalt School of Law, The Plaza 16 Coalition, Calle 24 and tenants’ rights advocates gathered outside of the San Francisco Rent Board eagerly awaiting the appeal hearing. The decision was to be made on the rent control status of 65 long-term Fillmore District families who face immediate rent increases ranging from 30 percent to 300 percent.
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.