100-year-old San Francisco woman hospitalized one day before eviction from apartment

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A 100-year-old woman facing eviction was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday, just one day before San Francisco sheriff’s deputies were set to evict her from her West Addition apartment, housing rights advocates said.

However, on Wednesday, she was granted a one-week stay of eviction, attorney Dennis Zaragoza said. He expects to seek a further stay next week pending the outcome of an appeal he has filed of a judge’s ruling ordering Canada to pay more than $150,000 in attorneys’ fees.

Canada’s dispute with property owners Peter Owens, Stephen Owens and Carolyne Radishe dates back to 2005, when all tenants in the six-unit building were served with Ellis Act evictions and five other units were sold as tenancies-in-common.

With the help of an attorney, Canada won a settlement granting her a lifetime estate allowing her to stay for the rest of her life for $700 a month.

Iris Canda has reportedly lived in the apartment for over 50 years. She was hospitalized after she saw the sheriff’s warning notice saying she would be locked out of her home, housing advocates said.

After she saw the notice on Tuesday, Canada reportedly got upset and left a voicemail for Owens, an owner of her building, begging him not to evict her, according to advocates from the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco.

Canada then fell ill and was taken to the emergency room, the advocates said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that learning she would have to leave her home triggered the attack,” Iris Merriouns, Canada’s niece, said in a statement. “You can’t uproot someone from a home they’ve had for decades and not expect that it will negatively impact their health. This eviction must be stopped.”

Canada turned 100 in July and has been in a lengthy legal battle with her landlords.

Last month, a San Francisco Superior Court judge granted the owners of the building at 670 Page St. the right to evict her after finding she had failed to pay court-ordered attorneys fees.

Canada was granted a lifetime estate to her apartment in 2005 while the rest of the units in the building underwent an Ellis Act eviction.

However, the landlords moved to terminate that lifetime estate in 2014, alleging that Canada had been living with family members since 2012 and allowed the unit to fall into disrepair.

In April, the court found in the landlord’s favor, ruling that Canada could stay in her apartment only if she accepted strict limits on her occupancy and paid the property owners’ attorney’s fees, which total more than $150,000.

An attorney for the property owners, Mark Chernev, said last month that the owners would drop the demand for legal fees and let Canada stay if she agrees to sign paperwork allowing the building to convert to condos, but she refused to sign the papers and asked the owners to sell her the unit at a discounted price.

Family members could not be reached today for an update on Canada’s condition. Tommi Avicolli Mecca, an organizer for the Housing Rights Committee, said he understood she remained hospitalized on Wednesday.

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