SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — For now, 99-year-old Iris Canada can keep climbing the stairs to the apartment where she has lived for more than 60 years, sitting on her red sofa and surfing the TV channels.
A judge this week granted a reprieve to the San Francisco resident threatened with eviction, and she can stay in the apartment until a final decision is made.
The owners promised Canada 11 years ago that she could live there for the rest of her life and pay $700 a month in rent, the San Francisco Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1Nob7Jw ).
But now they want to sell.
San Francisco is among the priciest U.S. cities to live in, fueled by a tech-based jobs boom and a long history of tight housing stock. The median price for a one-bedroom rental is $3,590, according to rental site Zumper, an amount out of reach for many people, particularly seniors on a fixed income.
"I love living in San Francisco," Canada told the newspaper. "San Francisco is my home, and my home is my home. I don't want to go anyplace."
Lawyers for the unit's owners — Peter Owens, Stephen Owens and Carolyn Radisch — contend the retired nurse has not lived continuously in the apartment and has failed to keep up the place.
Canada had been in the hospital following a stroke and caring for a sick relative, said her attorney, Michael Spalding.
A judge delayed the eviction Tuesday and ordered lawyers for both sides to return next week so he could decide whether to quash the move permanently.
Canada got support from tenants' advocates, protesters who stood outside court and San Francisco Supervisor London Breed, who called on the owners to "show some compassion."
"This is something that shouldn't be happening," Breed said. "Something is wrong. We have too many seniors living on our streets. We are asking the owner to let her stay, let her be."
Canada's case is not unique in the San Francisco Bay Area. In February, a group of nuns facing a 50 percent increase in rent for their soup kitchen got a year to find a new home. And a 97-year-old woman whose fight to stay in her home of 66 years drew international attention died last month.
Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com