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Bayview landlord to pay $2M to settle city lawsuit over ‘unsafe’ veteran housing

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Bayview landlord Judy Wu has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a city lawsuit alleging she illegally converted eight single-family homes into multi-unit buildings. (Courtesy SF Planning Department)

A landlord has agreed to pay San Francisco $2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that she illegally crammed dozens of veterans and formerly homeless individuals into homes in the Bayview.

Landlord Judy Wu reached a settlement with the City Attorney’s Office last Monday a day before the case was scheduled to head to trial in San Francisco Superior Court. Under the settlement, Wu and her husband Trent Zhu also agreed to bring their properties into compliance with city rules.

“There is a reason we have building codes,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “They exist to prevent dangerous situations, like an improperly installed stove exploding and starting a fire that tears through a neighborhood.”

The settlement means that Wu and Zhu will have to remove housing units that were added to their properties without permits, but the City Attorney’s Office said all 10 displaced tenants will be relocated to new homes. A portion of the settlement will go toward a nonprofit called Brilliant Corners, which has already located new housing for five of the tenants.

The other five tenants will remain in their current units until housing is available.

“Ms. Wu and Mr. Zhu trafficked in substandard housing that endangered their tenants and neighbors alike,” Herrera said. “They repeatedly claimed they would fix the problems but never did. That ends with this settlement. Their evasion and foot-dragging stops now.”

The Mayor’s Office of Housing worked with Brilliant Corners to locate housing.

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