Vice President of Midtown Board of Directors Donald Griegs stressed that all rent increases in the past were done according to Rent Stabilization Board and were acknowledged by the City.
Long time resident Phyllis Bowie, a former US Air Force officer, and a community leader revealed her harassment and covert investigation by Mercy Housing and Mayor’s Office of Housing that lead to her rent increasing to over $3500. One of the many residents who were not given due process during income certification, she was further humiliated by an Office of Housing staffer email that reads “and we will raise her rent to market value. Maybe she’ll get the drift that her days at Midtown are over.” Ms. Bowie appealed to Mayor Lee who was at the forefront of 1978 Chinatown rent strike to look into the Midtown situation.
Former Mayor of Atlanta and a United Nations Ambassador, Andrew Young passed on words of advice and encouragement to Midtown residents “Freedom is a constant struggle. Keep faith, stay strong!” Very concerned about the current situation, Ambassador Young worked on a similar situation that Midtown residents face with Dr. Martin Luther King in Chicago in the '60s.
Jaime Rush of AIDS Legal Referral Panel has been instrumental in guiding residents bewildered by MOH and Mercy Housing Actions. Having represented San Francisco tenants for over ten years, Ms. Rush described the situation facing Midtown residents as “ the most compelling struggle”, condemning “egregious use of power against community that brings nothing but value for San Francisco.” Midtown is currently in no man’s land where the City will not acknowledge that residents are protected by private rental laws but also won’t institute broad coverage that public rental tenants have in the city.
Midtown resident Phyllis Bowie reveals a rent increase of over 300%
MIDTOWN PUBLIC RALLY COVERAGE
SAVE MIDTOWN MIDTOWN PARK APARTMENTS IN SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC RALLY MIDTOWN IN SAN FRANCISCO SAVE MIDTOWN PUBLIC RALLY MIDTOWN
On Monday, June 29th over a hundred working class families of Midtown Park Apartments were joined by community activists, concerned citizens and legal advisors for a rally in support of over fifty-five households who face rent increase The only property that is owned by the City, Midtown’s original intent by then Supervisors Diane Feinstein and Ella Hill Hutch was to transform this complex into an equity cooperative – a promise that never materialized.
Joshua Arce, head of the civil rights non-profit Brightline whose team spearheaded the Midtown fight opened the rally along with Dr. Espinola Jackson; Dr. Jackson served on San Francisco Redevelopment Joint Housing Committee, and continues to fight for affordable housing.
"We will not sign" is the unequivocal message to Mercy Housing in regards to a new draconian lease
We issue a please to everyone who publicly mentioned affordable housing crisis in San Francisco to step forward and be counted!
RESIDENTS ASK MAYOR LEE FOR A 30 MINUTE MEETING
San Francisco City and County Sheriff Mirkarimi recalled Board of Supervisors resolution 070858, which calls for no displacement, long-term affordability, tenant involvement and exploration of alternative ownership options at Midtown. Residents have paid off the mortgage in 2007 and $55 000 was set aside by resolution to ensure the promise of Midtown becoming an equity co-op.
John Caldera, a US Navy veteran and Charter Vice President of SF Veterans Lions Club is a long time Midtown resident who is proud to call this community his home. This Olympic torch-bearer had one message to Mayor Ed Lee “Let us stay!”
Rent increases commencing on August 1st will lead to displacement and destruction of a beautiful community. Midtown residents ask your support in rent control protection for working class San Franciscans who make up the fabric of our society. If you’re an attorney or a law student who is interested in this case, our legal advisers could use your help.