root - Posted on 01 December 2000


by Challa Tabeson,Tiny and Gio Barela

*Jane Gorman, 52, nurse, and resident of the Temple Hotel for 18 years................................ EVICTED!

*David Kennedy, 70, retired warehouseman, resident of the Temple Hotel for 25 years........EVICTED!

*Jack Ross, 71, security guard, resident of the Temple Hotel for 25 years................................. EVICTED!

The long time residents of the Temple Hotel at 469 Pine Street, in San Francisco, have received formal eviction notices from their landlord, Walter Shorenstein. The 88-unit residential hotel has been slated for demolition, leaving all the low income and elderly tenants with no housing.

Walter Shorenstein, San Francisco's largest landlord, has given his tenants no affordable housing options. The tenants have been given two choices; accept $3000 checks to move elsewhere within 30 days or be forcibly evicted from the building. The tenants, represented by Stephen Collier of The Tenderloin Housing Clinic, are asking that the landlord comply with the S.F. Residential Hotel Conversion and Demolition Ordinance, which requires that property owners ensure housing for tenants before closing down a residence.

The Tenderloin Housing Clinic., who held a press hearing in front of Temple Hotel, November 4th, 1999, and conducted a brief tour of the Hotel interior, insisted Walter Shorenstein has taken advantage of the law by suddenly applying the Ellis Act, which allows the billionaire free play over city laws and regulations,without undergoing the due processes of time and reasonable agreements between all parties affected by residential displacements.

The Act stipulates minimizing any adverse impact on the housing supply and on displaced low income, elderly, and disabled persons resulting from the loss of residential hotel units through conversion and demolition. And in which the implementation be accomplished by establishing the stature of residential hotel units, by regulating the demolition and conversion of residential hotel units to other uses--and by even more appropriate administrative and judicial remedies.

"It is daring to undermine city and county laws by pre-empting the Ellis Act..." noted Steve Collier, the defense lawyer for three displaced low-income elderly tenants at the Temple Hotel residence; all of whom are now putting up their last efforts in order to see a temporary injunction against the eviction notices. " We are also calling upon the electoral candidates to see how their policies do adversely affect the working poor..."

"Shorenstein owns the politicians," responded Jane Gorman, who stood helplessly among a small press corp on the sidewalk in front of the Hotel lobby, "he's got connections; he's got power," she said, referring to questions about how her eviction might fair in the courts, "this has been my home for the last 18 years, I have no where else to go."

David Kennedy, a 70 year old retired warehouseman and a Temple Hotel resident for the last 25 years, appearing worn out from the ordeal, "We are up against a bad system." David was determined he'll not relocate, unless forcibly removed from his home.

Retired as a security guard, Jack Ross has been living at the Temple Hotel for the past 18 years, and wonders where else he will find permanent lodgings as safe as the one he's being ordered out of. "They just want us to go so they can put in a high-rise." Jack warned that he'd rather be forcibly evicted than voluntarily move out of the Temple Hotel with $3000.00 because, "there is no housing left for hard working folks in San Francisco."


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