The residents of an unpermitted warehouse on the 900 block of Peralta in the southeast corner of Bernal near the Alemany Farmer’s Market are taking their effort to avoid eviction to the San Francisco Rent Board.
As you may recall, the wake of the Oakland “Ghost Ship” fire, San Francisco has issued an abatement order for current tenants to vacate the property because it is not permitted for residential use. Meanwhile, the property owner seeks to build 49 new apartments on the site.
The artists were served with an eviction notice from the warehouse on Peralta Avenue after a fire killed three dozen people in December at an artist collective in Oakland called the Ghost Ship. They have since refused to leave their space and filed a petition with the Rent Board in January, asking for greater protections from eviction under the rent control ordinance of 1979.
The decision could bolster the tenants’ argument in San Francisco Superior Court, where they are fighting an unlawful detainer case for staying at the warehouse.
“San Francisco is an important city of culture,” said Nathan Cottam, a warehouse tenant. “The arts must be subsidized in some way or they will disappear. There are many different types of subsidies. This is just one of them.”
The Rent Board heard their argument for more than six hours Thursday, according to Executive Director Robert Miller. He said the board has to decide whether the landlord rented the space for commercial or residential use.
The Examiner adds that the Rent Board is expected to issue a decision on the matter within six to eight months.