Residents are moving out of 33 Tehama in San Francisco after the latest flood and reports of burglaries in the evacuated units. Now city leaders are stepping in, looking for answers.
Residents say they are frustrated. Many say they feel like they've been left in the dark. Now a city supervisor is putting the building's management on notice that the city is watching their every step.
At one point, no less than four moving trucks lined the streets in front of 33 Tehama; residents moving their items out, and in some cases, moving out permanently.
The building has flooded twice; once in June and again this month.
Residents like Oscar Guerrero have been evacuated. "I mean I could definitely hear the water flowing, they just asked us to evacuate through the stairs," said Guerrero. "So, I really wish I had grabbed more things, seeing as how much of a hassle it's been now."
The problems for residents at 33 Tehama don't stop there. Following the second flood, video surfaced on social media purported to be contractors making their way inside units and in some cases burglarizing them.
Now the supervisor for the district, Matt Dorsey has written a letter to Hines, the property management company that owns and runs 33 Tehama acknowledging that the company has fired at least one contractor, but asking for more detailed information about how it's helping residents with the series of incidents.
"So what I'm asking for from Hines is nothing different than what the residents are asking, who've been displaced," said Supervisor Dorsey. "That is I'd like some answers on what happened, and if you don't know, what is the status of the investigation?"
The supervisor also sent the letter to the San Francisco's City Attorney. Dorsey asked him to investigate whether the city has a legal interest in what's been happening at the property.
"It makes one wonder if there's a construction defect or if there's some kind of wrongdoing or malfeasance," said Supervisor Dorsey. "I don't know the answer to this, but that's one of the reasons I've asked the City Attorney to take a look at this."
While some residents are moving out, others say they plan to stay, but they're saying they've been told they won't be allowed to move back in until sometime next year.
They're hoping for and end to the series of crises that have plagued this building.
"Right now we haven't canceled our lease. We're still trying to figure it out. Hope to come back, but we're not sure what that means," said Guerrero. "So, yeah, it's all in sort of a weird limbo right now."
A spokesperson from Hines sent a statement to KTVU saying the company has worked to make sure the more than 500 people who lived here had temporary housing, offering hotel stays or per diems, but due to the extended repairs, the company had to cut that program off on Wednesday, stopping the collection of rent and allowing waiving fees for early lease termination.
The company said it has 24 hour security on site, and that contractors will be escorted and recorded by security officers.
Hines is encouraging anyone who believes they were the victim of a burglary to report that to the company and to police.
The company estimates residents can move back in sometime in early 2023.