Midtown Park tenants ask Rent Board to explore rent control coverage 

click to enlarge Midtown Park Apartments
  • Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Mary Watkins, left, and her son Rufus are worried about the proposed market-rate housing and possible rent increases at their Western Addition housing complex.
Amid city plans to increase rents at the 139-unit Midtown Park Apartments complex in the Western Addition, tenants fought back Monday by asking the San Francisco Rent Board to determine if they are covered by the local rent control ordinance.

It was the latest twist after the Mayor’s Office of Housing terminated the lease effective Jan. 31 with the nonprofit board of tenants that has long managed the complex.

City officials say the lease termination was necessary to move forward with plans to perform necessary repairs of the deteriorating units and a major redevelopment of the site with a new housing manager, Mercy Housing. But tenants and advocates are now arguing that with the lease terminated, they would now be covered by the rent control law. Some tenants are raising the alarm about possible displacement and expressing fear about losing the tenant representation.

A fact sheet as to why the units are not covered by the rent control ordinance said that “units with rents that are controlled or regulated by any government agency are exempt from the ordinance.”

The Rent Board, dealing with a backlog of cases, may have to wait up to two months to hear the case, but it could be expedited given the level of attention.

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Saturday, Oct 22, 2016


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