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Tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 11, in Room 400 of City Hall, the SF Planning Commission will be voting on whether to approve an application for the condo conversion of the Fillmore District apartment building from which Iris Canada, a 100-year-old African American woman, was evicted last February. Ms. Canada died in the hospital in March, shortly after that eviction. The item is No. 16 on the agenda. The commission meeting begins at 1 p.m.
John Brown, a 68-year-old Vietnam vet and former firefighter, is happy in his one-bedroom unit in Bayview; it’s small but comfortable, clean and tidy. He’s at risk of losing his home. It’s an odd situation: Brown has no problem paying the rent, he’s not violating his lease, he gets along fine with his landlord, there’s no Ellis Act or Owner Move-in taking place. The building hasn’t been sold. He’s facing eviction because his apartment was built illegally – and now the city is cracking down. The tenants are appealing the demolitions to the Planning Commission, which will hear the case Thursday, July 27.
On Thursday, July 27, the Planning Commission will be deciding whether or not the formerly homeless, low-income vets in 15 units in the Bayview will get to stay or be forced out to face an uncertain future. Housing Rights Committee, a local tenants’ rights organization that has been working with the tenants, is calling on the commission to reject the permits to demolish these units, which are rent controlled.
Peter Owens, one of three landlords of Iris Canada, the 100-year-old African American woman evicted from her apartment in the Fillmore area by Sheriff Vicki Hennessy on Feb. 10, has removed Ms. Canada’s possessions from the home she’s lived in since 1965 without notice and while she was in the hospital. Ms. Canada’s niece, Iris Merriouns, her main caretaker, says that Owens’ attorneys have denied her access to the elder woman’s possessions.
The owners are pressing forward with their eviction of Iris Canada, the 99-year-old African American woman in the Fillmore who just turned 100, by asking Superior Court at 400 McAllister on Wednesday, Aug. 10, to grant them an order to throw her out of her home of over 50 years. Come to the courthouse at 400 McAllister at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 10, to applaud Iris as she arrives and wish her luck
In three days, Iris Canada turns 100. Did you expect to live this long? Did you imagine bearing witness to the Black community’s dwindling to 3 percent of the population of San Francisco? In your dreams, did you think that your building would be sold and that you would have to endure an Ellis Act eviction whose sole aim was to extricate you from your home? Iris, with a voice so soft – tell me.
On Sunday, Oct. 10, from 4 to 7 p.m., in coordination with World Homeless Day, a spontaneously organized group, Creative Housing Liberation, came together to help kick off a rally with speakers and music at San Francisco’s Civic Center in the shadow of City Hall, the Mayor’s Office and the Board of Supervisors’ chambers.