Judge orders 100-year-old woman's eviction from San Francisco apartment

A judge granted an order during a Wednesday court hearing to evict a 100-year-old woman from her San Francisco Western Addition home.  As a result, Iris Canada may be forced out of her unit as early as next week.

About a dozen protesters rallied for the woman on the brink of eviction.

“For me, it’s always unjust to evict a 100-year-old. I mean, can you imagine? That’s like evicting your grandmother,” said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, director of counseling programs for the Housing Rights Committee.

Canada has lived in a unit in her building on Page Street for more than 40 years.

“Her family grew up there, husband lived with her and now she’s just trying to stay there, really in peace,” said her attorney Dennis Zaragoza.

But the judge granted an order to have her removed.

“For the past two months, my clients, the owners, have been trying everything in their power to try to avoid Iris Canada from being evicted from the house where she lives,” said Mark Chernev, the plaintiff’s attorney.

Chernev represents Carolyn Radisch and Stephen Owens who bought the six-unit building in 2002. They renovated five units and sold them as tenancies in common (TICs).

Canada was 86 at the time. She wasn’t evicted, but was given a life estate, which meant she owned the unit, paying $700 a month, until her death, then the property would go back to the owners.

“The only thing that we’re asking in consideration is that she sign the condo conversion paperwork,” Chernev said.

But Canada’s attorney says if she were to sign those papers that would give away her right of first refusal.

Zaragoza added that the 100 year old’s family was interested in helping her buy the unit.

“They’ve been helping her along as is and that family has lived on the block since I think since around the end of World War II,” Zaragoza said.

But the property owner’s attorney says that’s not the way a life estate works. He also claims Canada violated the terms of the agreement by moving out of the unit four years ago to live with her niece and by allowing the unit to fall into disrepair.

The attorney shared photos of rat droppings, rooms piled high with clothes and furniture and a bare refrigerator and bathtub that hadn’t been used in months.

Canada’s attorney says his client definitely lived in the unit and had not moved out. Now she will most likely live with family members because of the eviction order.

The Owens’ attorney believes Canada’s family members tried to take advantage of her and said it’s unfortunate things ended the way they did.