Tenderloin complex landlord backs off evictions of Section 8 tenants 

click to enlarge Section 8 tenants at 741 Ellis St. in the Tenderloin were given 90-day eviction notices in February. Now, the landlord is telling remaining residents they have more time to find new homes. - JUAN PARDO/S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • Juan Pardo/S.f. Examiner file photo
  • Section 8 tenants at 741 Ellis St. in the Tenderloin were given 90-day eviction notices in February. Now, the landlord is telling remaining residents they have more time to find new homes.

The landlord of a nine-unit complex in the Tenderloin who in February gave Section 8 tenants notices of an intent to evict them has had a change of heart.

Ty Durekas, who purchased the 741 Ellis St. property in December, signed an agreement Wednesday afternoon allowing the remaining three tenants to stay until they can find new housing. Many of the complex residents are Section 8 tenants, those who receive vouchers for rent subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and have lived there as long as a dozen years.

"I'm not putting them under any pressure to move," Durekas told The San Francisco Examiner. "I always intended to have these people transition smoothly from their current housing to new housing."

In February, Durekas served 90-day notices to the residents as required in order to evict Section 8 tenants. The building was constructed after 1979, so it does not fall under rent control or just-cause eviction protections. Durekas said he began working with tenants on their transition even before a protest in late April by the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco demanding that he back off from evicting the tenants, who are mostly Vietnamese and Chinese families.

The landlord said he plans to hire Vietnamese- and Cantonese-speaking Realtors to approach other landlords to help the tenants find housing. In addition, Durekas said he plans to pay for the tenants' security deposits and first month of rent because many landlords are hesitant to take Section 8 applicants due to potential wait times associated with the housing authority.

"I probably didn't fully understand all of the stress that this would generate for everybody, so I'm actually happy that I figured out a reasonable solution," he said.

Sarah Sherburn-Zimmer, a housing organizer for the housing-rights committee who helped facilitate the agreement, was glad to see Durekas "do the right thing."

"I am so excited that he is going to let these families stay," she said. "We need more of this."

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Bio:
Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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