mike koozmin/s.f. examiner file photoUniversity Mound

mike koozmin/s.f. examiner file photoUniversity Mound

Campos threatens lawsuit to spare seniors from eviction 'death sentence'

Declaring that San Francisco has “lost its soul,” a city supervisor pledged Thursday to use every means at The City's disposal to stop the closure of a Portola district senior assisted-living home and the eviction of 27 elderly people in their 80s and 90s.

Serving eviction notices on people at that stage of their lives is akin to a “death sentence,” Supervisor David Campos told board of trustees members and officials of the University Mound Ladies Home, which is in the process of closing after its two-story brick campus was sold to a private school for $5.7 million last week.

“This city is changing to the point that we are forgetting what we are about,” Campos said. “We need to do everything we possibly can to stop this closure.”

“If that means suing you,” Campos told the home's board, “we will do that. If that means rezoning this area, we will do that.”

The home has since the 1880s served men and women of “modest means,” offering low-income seniors living quarters for thousands of dollars less than competing assisted living homes. Those accommodations were funded largely by $100,000 endowment left by James Lick, a prominent citizen of early San Francisco.

That endowment dried up early in the 21st century and, since 2008, the home has since been borrowing money to stay open, going into debt just to make payroll, said John Sedlander, who serves on the board of trustees.

“It's just a model that doesn't work,” he said, adding that the board is “not prepared” to rescind the eviction notices it issued to residents in May.

The City had offered University Mound “about $250,000 to $300,000” to help keep the facility open, spokesman Adam Alberti said, but its debts are larger than that.

Under the terms of the sale to Alta Vista School, a private elementary school using nearby Archdiocese of San Francisco buildings as a temporary campus, seniors at the home now will receive up to $1,000 a month to cover payments at their next assisted-living facility.

A room at University Mound costs about $3,000 a month. Similar rooms elsewhere in the Bay Area can fetch twice that, said Sandra Parker, whose 89-year old mother, Alice, is among the seniors informed that they must move.

The sale is scheduled to close July 31. AgeSong, an assisted-living company with facilities in Hayes Valley and the East Bay, has been given until July 22 to match Alta Vista's offer and keep University Mound open as an elderly folks home.

But that may not be enough time. In response, Campos has asked the city attorney to see if University Mound's real estate can be rezoned to remain an assisted-living facility.

Barring that, The City may file a lawsuit to halt the closure, Campos said Thursday.

“I am going to fight to do everything I possibly can until hell freezes over to stop the closure of this facility,” he vowed.

Bay Area NewsEllis Actevictionevictionsneighborhoods

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Gavin Newsom gave an update on COVID-19 cases on Thursday Nov. 3, 2020. (Examiner screenshot)
Newsom announces statewide stay-at-home order tied to availability of hospital beds

Order will take effect in Bay Area when intensive care unit capacity falls below 15 percent

City Administrator Naomi Kelly said Wednesday that the allegations against her husband were “based on the word of a liar.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Administrator Naomi Kelly takes leave after feds charge husband

High-ranking official under scrutiny over 2016 China trip

High school seniors Shayla and Kayla Bryant receive guidance from 100% College Prep around college admissions. (Courtesy photo)
High school seniors juggling college applications and distance learning

In a final year of high school spent largely online, seniors are… Continue reading

Lyft, owner of the Bay Wheels bikeshare program, stands to receive more than $300,000 in a legal settlement with The City. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supervisors to weigh $330,000 settlement with Lyft over bikeshare dispute

If approved, deal would resolve an 18-month long legal battle over San Francisco’s e-bike market

The J Church train could begin running again later this month on at least part of its surface route. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
First Muni trains will return to service Dec. 19

Three additional bus routes coming back online in January

Most Read