SROs Being Converted into Luxury Dorms

Video on Raising Awareness with Senior & Disability Action & SRO Leaders
Dyan Ruiz, Joseph Smooke | 08/01/2018

Senior and Disability Action (SDA) hired [people. power. media] to help raise awareness on the conversion of Single Room Occupancy buildings (SROs) into luxury dorms in the San Francisco neighborhood of the South of Market. SRO Resident Leaders and SDA Organizer Tony Robles worked together to share with other residents the signs to look out for for conversions in their buildings.

SROs are small residential rooms (300 - 350 square feet), where a kitchen and bathrooms are usually shared among the residents of a floor. These units are some of the least expensive units to rent in the City and are often occupied by people with a fixed or low-income such as seniors, people with disabilities, and low-wage workers, and even families. There are both privately-owned and nonprofit-owned SRO buildings in San Francisco. Residents often face habitability issues like lack of repairs and cleanliness, broken elevators and pests.

Recently, with rents in San Francisco and the Bay Area sky-rocketing, SRO buildings are being targeted for conversion from low-income housing to luxury dorms, often targeted at tech workers with much higher incomes who can pay much higher rents. This video helps SRO residents organize against these conversions and notify the City when they see signs that these illegal conversions may be happening where they live.

The video features SRO Resident Leaders:

  • Doug Hosterman (resident of Hillsdale Hotel)
  • Mike Majors
  • Kristy Lusthaus (resident of The Baldwin Hotel)
  • Fred Green
  • Marlene Hudson, and

SDA Organizer, Tony Robles.

Funding for the project made possible by Rebuilding Together and SDA would like to thank the Dept. of Building Inspection.

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