SAN FRANCISCO - 12/19/2018 (PRDistribution.com)
For years, the black community has been vocal about its involuntary abolition and the City’s prejudiced treatment of black tenants and business owners. The decline of the black community’s prominence in San Francisco has been steady and noticeable, and the biggest culprit of cultural demolition has been the City itself. In 1970, blacks made up 13% of the San Francisco population; today, it’s closer to 3% – and shrinking quickly:
“My prediction is 10 years from now, we won’t have 20,000 blacks in this city.” - Rev. Amos C. Brown, pastor of Third Baptist Church, a historically black church founded in 1852.
In 2016, over 130 Midtown residents – most of them African-Americans – faced rent increases of over 400%. The average San Franciscan typically sees a mere 2% citywide increase.
How is this happening? According to local intel, it’s the City’s own doing:
“Midtown is owned by the Mayor’s Office of Housing, which faces charges of constructive eviction based on rent increases by residents allege are intended to banish long-time African American tenants from San Francisco. Mercy faces allegations of gross mismanagement and tenant harassment, including illegal unit entry, car towing, issuing eviction threats… For decades 130 Midtown families have been pursing equity ownership of their property and satisfied mortgage in 2007. However, in 2013 the city awarded a master lease in a no-bid contract to Mercy Housing and immediately hiked rents and put an end to the ownership model.” (SaveMidtown.org)
There has been no follow-up on these residents, and that’s likely because the outcome – or lack thereof – is much different from the new settlement for tenants being displaced on Market Street, wherein the City is purchasing fifteen units on the second floor through the Tenderloin Housing Clinic to prevent displacement.
Why is the solution completely opposite? Could it be because most Mercy project residents were black, and most of the Castro tenants were not?
The Mercy residents were in line to own their units, putting them on the path to a lifelong dream for many: homeownership. Then the City put an abrupt end to the ownership model, instead astronomically increasing the rent for these 130 residents. Meanwhile, at the Market Street property, the City has become incredibly concerned with helping 16 non-blacks, to the extent that the Board of Supervisors has gotten involved because the building is meant for commercial use?
The City’s disregard for its black tenants, residences, and businesses is abhorrent and, seemingly, intentional. The government goes above and beyond to aid its other residents, but it bends over backwards only to cripple its black community.
For example, in San Francisco’s vicious case against black landlord Anne Kihagi, the City was willing to do anything – including allowing tenant-witnesses to present false testimony – to take her down. The City and her tenants have harassed, threatened, and, in court proceedings, overwhelmed her with documents and displays of brute force.
The City’s deplorable conduct shows the significant yet unchecked double standard that continues to destroy the black community. No one cared when the City displaced thousands of black residents, but when Ms. Kihagi moved herself and her family into her own buildings, or evicted tenants who were illegally profiting as much as $40,000 per year, uproar ensued.
In the end, the City of San Francisco demanded over $2.5 million from the landlord, plus a comparable amount in attorney fees. What other San Franciscan has seen this kind of abuse? The black community certainly has – and because Ms. Kihagi is black, the City can make this the largest attempt to deprive a single person of millions in penalties, restrain her from testifying in her case, all with no repercussions.
Will the City stop at nothing to drive the black community out of San Francisco?
For more information on Anna Kihagi & West 18th Properties, @annekihagi1http://annekihagisf.com/