Low-income tenants face possible eviction at Parkmerced

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At least nine eviction proceedings have started at the Parkmerced housing complex, the site of a controversial new housing development, in response to an effort by the property management company to collect back payments on rent and utility bills, the Guardian has learned.

In recent months, nearly 200 residents received official notices warning that they would face eviction if they did not take steps to bring their accounts current within three days, according to Sara Shortt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. About 80 three-day notices were issued to tenants who are on Section 8, a federal low-income housing assistance program that subsidizes rental payments using public funds provided by the local housing authority.

"They're extremely low-income renters, and they're suddenly being asked to pay large balances," Shortt explained. "It's blood from a turnip." Most of the amounts owed ranged between $600 and $800, she added.

Shortt said that while some tenants were being allowed to set up payment plans, this measure wasn't guaranteed for every tenant attempting to address the problem within the three-day timeframe. And she was skeptical that the payment-plan arrangements being presented by management were realistic in every case.

"I don't know if Parkmerced is doing anything illegal," Shortt said, acknowledging that she was receiving conflicting accounts of the situation. "But they're executing something about legitimate recovery of money in an unfair manner. To allow people to slide for years and suddenly come at them for back bills is a one-way ticket for eviction."

The Guardian was unable to reach Stellar Management, the real-estate management company at Parkmerced, but Shortt said she had spoken with Stellar representatives on behalf of tenants who were contacting the Housing Rights Committee in a panic.

Stellar representative Bryce Boddie explained the situation to her by saying a previous property management company had left billing records in disarray, and the company was finally getting around to straightening out its books by demanding payments that had long since been owed. "Their contention was that they basically decided it was time to clean house and recoup payments," she said. Shortt said she'd also been told that Stellar had come under pressure from Fortress Investment Group, a firm that took ownership of the property last year, to get payments in order.

But P.J. Johnston, a public relations representative for Parkmerced, rejected that account, saying, "We absolutely follow up with residents who are not paying their bills." Johnston said the number of three-day notices served this year were in keeping with last year, indicating that there had been no drastic changes in policy since the approval of the new housing project. He did not know how many Section 8 tenants received the warning notices in 2010. "Whether someone is a Section 8 certificate holder or just a regular resident, everybody's got to pay their rent," he said.

Johnston bristled at the criticism that renters were being asked to fork over unrealistically high sums on the spot for payments that had lapsed for long periods, saying, "If we had moved swiftly to evict residents sooner, we'd be hearing that we didn't give them a chance."

The issue comes on the heels of Board of Supervisors approval for a controversial housing development project at Parkmerced that tenant groups opposed because they felt it didn't go far enough to protect renters. A development agreement negotiated between Parkmerced Investors and the city guarantees that rent-controlled tenants will be able to move into brand-new units at the same rent-controlled rate once the old units are demolished. Some residents are suspicious that management's decision to issue three-day notices and take steps to evict tenants who cannot pay is a strategy for skirting these requirements.

Shortt said she couldn't be sure that this was the case, but worried nevertheless that low-income tenants could wind up being tossed out of Parkmerced, which is just the scenario that tenant advocates had feared. "The end result really is in clear conflict with the spirit of negotiations and tenant protections," she said.

Comments

we'll see who is correct about this.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 5:06 am

Naw..its a stupid question.

You just don't give a crap about anyone but yourself, thats all.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

Another avenue?

The City brought in a specialist at clearing government housing several years ago from Pennsylvania. Her name is Mirian Saez and she teaches agencies the ropes on how to get their poor tenants on the ropes and force them out. She's at Treasure Island now but was at SF Housing Authority before and I had friends there where they tried the same trick. Don't take rent and let it build up and then present them with a huge bill. There are lots of other appendages to this beast.

Here's starter link to Saez ...

http://www.sftreasureisland.org/index.aspx?page=50

Go Niners!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 07, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

the tenants know that they have a "deal for life" as long as they just pay these low rents on time.

So there really is no excuse for defaulting, and the landlord here is only doing the same thing that any landlord anywhere would do. Without the ability to quickly evict for non-payment, no tenant would ever pay their rent. Even the rent control laws acknowledge that by fully allowing and supporting rapid evictions for non-payment.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 8:36 am

Rebecca,

You've scrambled the developers fleet of killer drones it seems. Their leader is David Chiu who has enabled the developers to convert 1,500 units of rent controlled housing into market rate.

I've watched this for years and the pattern is always the same. Allow structures to deteriorate (be it a building or a golf course) then support a greedy developer and give them all kinds of entitlements worth billions of dollars. Easements, height waivers, redevelopment funds instead of their own for streets and sewers and libraries and parks ... developers own City Hall from the Mayor to the President of the Board of supes. The latter is a new development.

Bottom line is that the units scheduled for destruction are the best units. The townhouse units with plenty of green and limited density. They're also the stoutest in the event of an earthquake.

If any units should be replaced at Parkmerced it's the towers cause they're more vulnerable in a quake.

But, oh no! They're gonna destroy the townhouses and all of the green and put in more towers.

The answer?

Vote Ed Lee out of office.

Adachi for Mayor!

Avalos for Mayor!

Baum for Mayor!

Hall for Mayor!

Miyamoto for Sheriff!

Gascon for DA!

Go NIners!

h.

Posted by h. brown on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 9:36 am

IDIOT!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 09, 2011 @ 12:33 am

And that's the same issue whether you're talking about Park Merced or some mom'n'pop 2-unit.

The question of whether to redevelop PM is much more complex, since it requires an analysis of seismic and structural strength, economic viability and opportunity, and the need to update and upgrade the housing stock to meet SF's changing demographic.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:09 am

Correct h. This is a common tactic employed by landlords in order to harass tenants and try to create grounds for eviction. At the height of the dot-com boom when rents were sky-rocketing and folks were getting evicted in droves, my landlord did not cash my rent checks for 11 months. I realised what was happening after a couple of months so I just opened a second account strictly for rent and the money sat there drawing a little interest. Finally all the checks were presented on the same day and honored.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:22 am

the LL is not receiving the checks.

Big difference. the latter is non-payment; the former is not.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 10:31 am

@Anon. Not sure what 'PM LL' means, but I take your point. Not claiming the situations are directly comparable. In my case it was a form of 'harassment'. However if I had not taken action to cover my arse by having sufficient funds in the bank to cover the checks when they were eventually prevented for payment that could have been a strike against me in any subsequent attempt to evict.
I'm sure there are many reasons why these folks are in arrears, from deliberate avoidance to having to deciding whether to pay for food, medications, heat, etc. My choice was to prioritise protecting my home.
It does give rise to suspicion however that the decision to 'enforce' collection and demand payment within three days or face eviction, coincides with the increasing controversy over the probably non-enforcable 'renter protections'. For those already struggling with survival, to suddenly come up with $800 of disposable income or become homeless seems rather draconian.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 11:01 am

Why would you have needed to make sure there was enough money in your account to pay the rent, if the checks hadn't been cashed anyway? Surely it was there by virtue of the checks not being cashed.

You would of course have had to not spend that money on other thigns, but that's just a matter of balancing your checkbook, and not a gesture of political defiance or legal prudence.

Anyway, point is that every LL evicts for non-payment of rent. They have to. But in a large rental complex, it's possible there are more delays in doing so, and the tenants get a free ride for a while.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 11:14 am

Bounced checks. Over and out.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 11:32 am

taken the time to balance your checkbook

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

Evicted from Park Merced this year and making an appearance on attack literature against David Chiu mailed to tenants in D3 next year.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

If you could read, 'follow' and comprehend above a high school level then...oh WTF.

Posted by Patrick Monk RN on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

such as allowing a balance to develop and then swooping in and evicting once it gets high enough. This is how America works, always has, always will. Any adult in SF renting an apartment should know this. Therefore when they owe back rent they know the risks. They have to follow the rules and pay bills like the rest of us. I would never expect a landlord to ever do me a favor. This is a pseudo-capitalist society and it is every dog for itself, if you are stupid or poorly educated, lazy or stoned all the time to pay attention to the rules then you will be crushed. Perhaps the taxpayer supported advocacy groups should educate low income renters about the reality.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

What about people who are so poor that they can't afford to pay even if they want to?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

Some people are more fiscally suited to live elsewhere.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 08, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

And this city will certainly be a thriving community and cultural center once it is reduced to only the wealthiest citizens and a few remaining servants lucky enough to be permitted quarters.

Many people in America can't afford to live in America, period. This is the direct result of a skewed economic system that has been intentionally redesigned to serve the interests of the wealthiest at the expense of all others.

But whatever, throw the poors out!

Posted by bendo on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 5:06 am

lifestyle that suits their fiscal power. Not everyone can afford to drive a Jaguar, not everyone can afford to take vacations in Hawaii and not everyone can afford to live in San Francisco. That's what places like Oakland are for, where rents and home prices are about hallf of what they are in SF.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 10:04 am

from your belongings to increase their fiscal power and thus avail themselves of greater choice in where and in what manner they might live.

Posted by Meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 10:32 am

That's an interesting way of trying to debate a political point.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:46 am

That's an interesting way of trying to debate a political point.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:46 am

aren't always the same thing. for instance, it might be reasonable to do something, but there might be a law aginst it. that's okay though, laws are meant to be changed, in spite of what fundamentalist true believers like yourself shout.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:55 am

in the first place. Anyone can announce that he is "right" or "reasonable". We need a far more objective measure to determine what behaviors are permissable, and that is the laws made by democratically elected bodies.

I don't agree with the jaywalking law, and think I should be able to cross the street whenever I think it's safe and reasonable to do so. But that doesn't mean I won't get cited, and rightly so.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

so why do you get your panties in a knot because some people might, in your own words, " choose a lifestyle that suits their fiscal power." and take some of your stuff in order to broaden the choices available to them in terms of where they are fiscally suited to live?

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

generally discussing what laws we need to enforce that.

If you believe that laws can and should be broken, then why debate what the laws should be in the first place?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

They're full of fatty goodness.

Posted by Chromefields on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 10:26 am

shakes head like an old mop. Also eat the rich, both sides are extremist and the same but incapable of viewing themselves honesely with out my help and the other truth seekers.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 10:48 am

Proof positive that the poor CHOSE to be that way.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

why should people be forced out of their homes?

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

Why are you such a third-rate imitator of Meatlock? He's about 10,000 times wittier than you and also uses proper grammar.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 9:35 pm
Har

stupid progressobot just doesn't get it!

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 10:41 pm
Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 5:49 am

spoken like a true right wing ideologue
your every bit as destructive as the ones on the opposite side. how can you possibly not learned this yet?it's my number one cause. thanks for posting first thing in the morning though. your one of the few same voices here

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 6:52 am

real issue here is simple and mundane - in any place on the planet, if you don't pay your rent, you lose your home. The rest ir irrelevant.

But for the threat of eviction, NOBODY would ever pay their rent.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 6:59 am

remarks are well put out. if some george lazenby type refuses to pay rent, I'm saying they should be summarily executed and i know you will agree with me on that point! i really do think you've gotten to the heart of this right wing true believer thing that you and i share accusations with. like isaid, youre one of the few same ones on this comment board in a way the same as I as in we are the defenders of truth.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 8:52 am

The REAL Meatlock is about 100,000x wittier. And since he no longer posts under that moniker, something you appear to be too dumb to have figured out by now, we can all sit and chuckle at your absolute cluelessness.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 9:23 am

gives me the true believer/ defenders of the faith shivers, like when we used to climb the rope in gym class. thanks again for being one of the samest people on hear when it comes to showing that far right repubicbits are exactly the same in uselessness as progressobots! the problem is a lack of elevation on the condescension here and i think your making all the right points since you stopped posting as PaulT. Guess you had no choice though, with your prediction that occupy wall street would'nt last.

Posted by meatlocker on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 9:48 am

@Eric, agreed. Starting with the three constitutional rights; Life; Liberty; Pursuit of Happiness. I think it is worth noting the phrasing, 'pursuit' of happiness. The achievement of 'happiness' is not a 'guaranteed' right, but I contend that without the first two, then the third is an impossible dream. Catch 22 - deja vu. Maslow's first two basic needs; Physiological and Safety; say pretty much the same. Food, Shelter, Clothing, Health, etc.
Until we reorder our priorities to ensure that AT LEAST these basic needs are satisfied globally, we will continue in this state of perpetual conflict between the have- nots, the hads- but are loosing it, and the 1% who now have it all. But good luck getting any of the myopic trolls on this site to even consider this reality. I don't pretend or claim to have easy 'answers or solutions'. I am sure that those who are still espousing the delusion of the 'Amerikan Dream' are a significant part of the 'problem'. Sooner or later they will be confronted with the ugly truth that the Masters make the Rules for the Wise Men, the Fools, and the Wannabes; they are also victims and Pawns in the Game. (See "The Great Game").
The only 'easy/simple' answer that holds out any hope for me is that there can be a revolutionary revelation whereby those of all faiths/beliefs/ideologies; including atheists, agnostics and non-believers; realise that that despite their varianmt 'scriptures'; compassion; humanity; love and caring for your sisters and brothers: blah, blah; are the bedrock of all our beliefs, or lack thereof.
PS. On the other hand.
WTF HAPPENED TO PAUL-T. How many hoods can he hide under ??.
Come home PT, all is not forgiven, but we do miss our favorite discredited, dissembling punching bag. All we are left with, apart from 'anonymous guests', is Meathead, and that dummy has been crash tested so many times that there are not enough zip-ties or duct tape to keep him standing.
Just my 2c.
BAUM
AVALOS
ADACHI
No on E & F. (Check out Eileen Hansen on this)

Posted by Guest on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

PaulT's identity is like toilet paper, eventually so much shit was stuck to it that it was no longer useful.
This is true of all PaulT's identities, including his preferred one of late, "Guest", which are easily recognizable by his trademark inability to support a long boring repetitious argument with even a single verified fact, coupled with the aforementioned shit smears.

Posted by meatlock on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

And that Meatlocker was really Sister?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 5:08 am

The government already was paying most of the rent for these tenants from Section 8. So the landlord was receiving compensation. But it is reasonable to expect the Section 8 tenants to pay 30% of their government assistance checks for the remainder of the rent, as these tenants agreed to do. And if they refuse to pay this small amount, what other recourse is there but eviction?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

else where's the incentive to ever pay rent?

This entire article is a red herring.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

else where's the incentive to ever pay rent"

This entire article is a putative conspiracy.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

Unless of course, it was part of a non-putative criminal conspiracy to defraud a landlord.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

Eric,

Here's the problem. If housing is not decided by the amount a renter is able to pay every month, then how would it be determined who gets to live where? And who gets to decide this? When one home is on top of Twin Peaks, with fantastic views overlooking the whole city, and another home is a basement apartment in the Mission, those two properties cannot not be valued as equal. If both are to be leased at the same amount, everyone will want the nicer property. So who decides? The only option in your utopia will be the government.

This opens the door, not only for widespread corruption and venality, but also to punishing those who are vocal in their criticism against the government. Very quickly, it would result in a system where only the Party faithful, and the Party elite, would be allowed to live in the nicest homes. Anyone foolish enough to criticize the Progressive Hegemony would very quickly find themselves living in a dank cellar surrounded by warring Sureños and Norteños.

No thanks.

The answer is, we need to help supplement families struggling with their rent. We could do this if we would ever stop our bizarre crusade to make every bus driver in the Bay Area a multi-millionaire. San Francisco Families First! All public employees who commute to work in SF from outside the City limits can fuck off.

Posted by RamRod on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

The obvious solution to the scenario you raise is to simply equalize the amount of space that everyone has access to in public housing and create a waiting list for choice of moving to a specific block, or building, or even apartment. First come first serve. Anyone who is not thrilled with their place can put their name at the end of the list and wait to come up in the queue.

The transition to full public housing will be gradual enough that 'bad' apartments can all be improved so that they become fairly equal in quality over time.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

when it was tried in the soviet block, led to soulless concrete housing blocks that now everyone agrees are an eyesore and a mistake.

There is quite simply no support for the socialization of housing. Why don't you seek to achieve something that is actually achieveable?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

The Soviet Union was a centralized one party tyranny, not a democracy.

San Francisco is a completely different case.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 6:52 pm