Continued from Slumlord To Evict 20 San Ysidro Children By October
After interviewing occupants of the Gateway Inn at San Ysidro who received 60-day eviction notices that may leave them homeless, I made calls to several city officials this week. Public records show the owner of the dilapidated single room occupancy (SRO) building submitted a request to demolish the hotel — located near the U.S.-Mexico border — although the permit has not yet been approved.
Two messages were left for the Housing Commission regarding this; however, they did not return my calls. One of their documents cite a Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) Hotel Regulations Ordinance (San Diego Municipal Code 143.0510-143.0590) that says (page 3): “Applicants proposing the demolition or conversion of an SRO are required to pay relocation expenses to long-term tenants (residencies of 90 days or more).”
This is further supported by a Voice of San Diego article, which states: “In 2004, a change to a state law called the Ellis Act gave cities the ability to pass regulations to protect SROs from being demolished or turned into market-rate housing. San Diego’s ordinance says property owners can’t convert or tear down an SRO without agreeing to replace the lost units and pay each long-term tenant two months’ rent to cover relocation costs.”
One might then ask if the Ellis Act places the burden of decent affordable housing on the owner of this SRO? Unfortunately, no one has been able to answer my question. [Read more…]