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Related Categories: San Francisco | Health, Housing & Public Services
Black Homes Matter 2
by Michael Steinberg (blackrainpress [at] hotmail.com)
Saturday Aug 19th, 2017 7:11 PM
Residents and supporters of Midtown Apartments in San Francisco's Fillmore/Western Addition gathered this afternoon to celebrate 2 years of a successful rent strike by 139 families, the longest in SF history. They continue to carry out their slogan: "We Are Staying In Our Homes!"
San Francisco, August 19 - Residents and supporters of Midtown Apartments gathered in their courtyard on a pleasant Saturday afternoon to celebrate 2 years of a successful rent strike that started in August 2015 to protest an attempted effort by city government to force them out of their homes.

Colorful banners and signs festooned the green space: Black Homes Matter, Restore Rent Control, Justice and Fairness For Midtown's Working Families, Midtown # last 3 percent (referring to the reduction of SF's Black population to that figure).

According to the tenant's website, save midtown.org, Midtown Apartments were "erected in 1964 as a sanctuary for victims of Civic Redevelopment, a pledge by the city to right the wrong suffered by the African-American community in the Fillmore, promise of economic empowerment and homeownership.

"But the city unilaterally broke off a lease with a tenant-led non-profit and awarded it to a developer."

The SF Mayor's Office of Housing was the villain in this outrage, and Mercy Housing, a supposedly non-profit developer, the henchman. Mercy tried to impose astronomical rent increases on the tenants that would have amounted to mass evictions. The ultimate tragedy of this scenario would have been emptying of peoples homes and razing them to the ground, exactly what happened to the Fillmore over 50 years ago.

But instead the people fought back, and they are still are on their feet, (OK we sat down to share BBQ and listen to music today) stronger than ever.

And so they remain united and determined to resist: "No displacement of Black seniors, immigrants, working class San Franciscans and long-term Western Addition residents."

Amen!