If you start at the Bayview District’s Third Street and follow the gentle slope up Newcomb Avenue, you’ll wind up on what residents colloquially call “The Hill.”
Up on The Hill are four subsidized, garden-style apartment complexes comprising some 600 units. In them live families, seniors, and kids who light fireworks and draw with chalk on the sidewalk. There are also dozens of long-term tenants who view their homes as battlegrounds where they fight off rats, gnats, and mold.
Mission Local spent the summer knocking on doors, interviewing dozens of residents, entering their homes, and reviewing documents and pictures of habitability issues. In many cases, the conditions of apartments on The Hill are making tenants sick. Most often, tenants become sick because the property manager and owner, Related Affordable and Related Management, fail to abate the issues when they first arise.
Tenants who alerted management and submitted work orders often wait weeks or even months before a problem is resolved, if it gets fixed at all. Many tenants allege that, once they reported an issue, management retaliated with eviction threats or verbal intimidation. Some tenants became so frustrated with the delays, rat infestations and leaks, that they gave up their subsidies and moved out.
When frustrated by management’s lack of response, tenants can complain to the city. In total, tenants on The Hill have filed 155 housing complaints since Related Management took over the properties in 2018. More than half were cited by an inspector in a report, and involved issues like leaking pipes, lack of heat, and persistent rodent infestations. As the wait for fixes extends, so do tenants’ exposures to these risks.
Though most city complaints are now reported “closed” on the Department of Building Inspection database, it’s not always an indication the issue was completely corrected; sometimes, for example, a case is closed when it is referred to another department for enforcement. Still, city data underscores how deferred maintenance at these properties can stretch on for months. One case escalated to an Order of Abatement, the highest penalty the city can impose before a case reaches the City Attorney’s office.
Related Management declined an interview, but acknowledged some issues and reiterated that most complaints filed to the city have been closed. Tenants believe this corroborates their assumption that Related suddenly jumps up to repair issues only when the city gets involved.
“We are aware that several Notices of Violations have been issued as a result of some residents contacting the City for routine maintenance issues. These notices are being addressed as they are received, and most of them have been closed,” read an emailed statement from Related’s senior vice president of affordable housing, Lori Horn.
Horn and other staff have become more involved in the last year, attempting to listen and address tenant issues, showing up at town halls online and in person. Tenants appreciate the new effort, but report mixed results on the impact.
These are snapshots of what it is like to live on The Hill.
For tenants who asked that their names not be used for fear of retaliation, we have referred to them by numbers, as in Tenant #1, Tenant #2. Throughout the piece, roll over words highlighted in pink to see potential health impacts.
5 Commer Court | 146 apartments
Ahkeema "Keema" Hill stood over her daughter, begging her to wake up.
All Hill remembers is her 16-year-old talking in the hallway one second, and falling backward on the floor the next. As her daughter lay unconscious for one minute on that August day this year, the thought flying through Hill’s head was, “Oh my God. My baby just passed out. What the hell is going on?”
They spent the next six hours in the emergency room.
Months before her daughter fainted, Hill noticed the carpet bulging with liquid. Hill entered the bathroom one step away, and discovered brown water covering the floor, emanating from a leaky sink. “That shit was like Coca-Cola.”
The brown water, Hill believes, bore mold and mildew, which sent waves of an overwhelming smell through the bathroom and the rest of the house. Gnats festered, and Hill fought them off as she mopped up bits of brown water with towels and old tee-shirts. Hill’s allergies flared up. The smell ruined any desire to eat, and Hill and her children lost weight.
Soon friends started asking Hill about her weight-loss “secret.” Her response: “Mold.”
Tenants: Hill lives with her two children, 16 and 18.
Type: Four-bedroom apartment.
Start of tenancy: 2017.
Date of first complaint: April 2022: Faucet, sink leaking brown water. Mold and mildew.
Partially abated: September 2022: Replaced faucet, but did not fix pipes under sink. Mold and mildew are outstanding.
Date of second complaint: October 2022: Gnat infestation. The issue is still outstanding.
Health issues: Loss of appetite and weight. Dizziness, fainting. Allergies. Feelings of depression and anxiety.
Hill called Related Management to fix it, but for days no one showed up. The company was pursuing an eviction against Hill for not being on the official lease. Hill has lived in the Bayview apartment since 2017 to care for her grandmother, who is on the lease, but had been transferred to Laguna Honda Hospital for long-term care.
Related said Hill’s absence from the lease meant it did not have to fix the problem. Hill attempted to sign onto the lease more than once, eviction notices show, but was denied since she was not the primary tenant.
Once Hill reported the conditions to the city on Sept. 14, however, a maintenance worker subsequently replaced the sink faucet. He didn’t repair the leak under the sink.
Less than a week after the worker fixed Hill’s faucet, Hill dialed the same city housing inspector who wrote up her leak — she swore there were now 100 gnats in her bathroom, thanks to the remaining mildew and mold. She watched as the inspector fended off the pests during his inspection, hoping remediation would come. She was disappointed; though she says the inspector admitted it was a nuisance, he said abatement “won’t happen overnight.” Ultimately, it’s the property manager’s responsibility to fix the issue.
The inspector on Oct. 4 posted a Notice of Violation on the wall of the building, which is the extent of a housing inspector’s role, highlighting to the public and the manager that the unit must be fixed.
That has yet to happen and, like other tenants, Hill and her family are growing desensitized to their conditions. Her son knows the fumes smell, but claims he doesn’t notice it anymore. The gnats still cluster all over the house.
In October, Hill visited her doctor, who wrote a note on her behalf requesting management to fix the issue.
Hill passed a recent October weekend at a friend’s place to avoid the pests and relax. Hill used to fancy herself the “happy” one, quick to crack a joke and grateful for simple joys like games on her phone or her dog, Missy. Now, Hill is the neighbor who cries daily, and the one who has picked up a new arch-enemy: The founder of Related Companies, Stephen Ross.
“Why do I have to live like this?” she asked.
In 2017, the tenant moved in, taking over her father’s apartment. He had recently died.
“The first night I stayed here, I got sick, literally,” she said. She blamed the carpet. Her nose ran and she had a sore throat. “The whole nine yards. I had to get a note from my doctor.” It took maintenance months to replace the carpet.
Now, the senior worries about her stairs, which she calls a tripping hazard. She requested a replacement multiple times since 2019, and spoke with management on virtual town halls and on the phone. Eventually, staff replaced just the first five steps.
The tenant waited for the workers to finish the rest. They never reappeared.
“Please know that your efforts and support are greatly appreciated,” she wrote to Related’s senior vice president of affordable housing, Lori Horn, in an email. “However, unless there is adequate follow-up, all our efforts are futile!”
Horn responded that the stairs were “evaluated” and only the bottom five required replacement. She promised to clean, patch, and recoat the rest “later [that] month.” The stairs remain half-finished, a clear reminder to the tenant of similar partial repairs maintenance has executed over the years.
Tenants: Tenant lives alone.
Type: One-bedroom apartment.
Start of tenancy: 2017.
Date of first complaint: 2017: mold and mildew in the carpeting.
Date abated: One month later.
Date of second complaint: 2020: Roaches.
Date abated: Unclear, but abated.
Date of third complaint: June 2022: Broken exterior stairs.
La Salle Apartments
30 Whitfield Court | 145 apartments
Carolyn, 80, shuffled out of her unit on Osceola Lane just after noon on a recent July day. She wore a rumpled nightgown, and sighed at the young men shooting off firecrackers outside her apartment. It was the day after July 4 and, after living 16 years in La Salle, she knew better than to expect a quiet July 5 — or 6, or 7, for that matter. Still, the senior couldn’t help muttering to herself: “Don’t y’all know it’s too late for that?”
But nothing could dampen her good mood: A toilet she had been requesting for three years was on its way. She attributed its imminent arrival to a letter her daughter helped write to the regional office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the San Francisco Housing Authority and the property management for her specific complex. “Someone up there at HUD must’ve seen it and been mad,” Carolyn smirked.
At her age and height, 5-foot-8 “and a half,” the former United Airlines manager needed a taller toilet. Since at least 2019, Carolyn started regularly falling when she bent down to use it. She took care to lower herself slowly, and sometimes soiled herself before her bottom reached the seat. “Lord knows I would not want to leave this earth on the toilet,” she said.
That July day, Carolyn interrupted one of the young men lighting fireworks to drop off her trash. “When you get a chance, can you take this down?” She cooed. “Yeah, I gotchu,” he said, throwing the bag easily over his blood orange jacket. The elder thanked him. “I like your shoes,” she said appreciatively.
Tenants: Carolyn lives alone.
Type: One-bedroom apartment.
Start of tenancy: 2008.
Date of first complaint: 2019: Toilet was too high for her. Issue is not yet resolved.
Health issues: Falls. Anxieties about falls. Bending exacerbates joints.
Carolyn requested a new toilet at least 10 times, according to notices kept in an envelope labeled “TOILET SEAT.” Management wanted a doctor’s note. She got one. They rejected it because it was written on prescription paper. The doctor sent a second one. The office claimed it did not receive it. She hand-delivered a third one to the office.
Thirteen months passed and, finally fed up, Carolyn’s daughter helped her pen a letter to Related and HUD. Falling is an anxiety that weighs on her daily, especially at night, when her caretaker is not around. Still, every now and then she manages to find humor at the thought of “pissing herself” as she falls.
Her letter included fear of retaliation from management for complaining, and anxiety of falling when her caretaker isn’t around. “Please, somebody help me.”
So on July 5, as she waited for the toilet to arrive, not even the firecrackers could spoil her good mood. Except it didn’t come.
Over the next months, maintenance failed to bring the correct-sized toilet twice. To this day, the toilet has not arrived.
The smelly mold at the baseboard of the sink and the lack of security from constant shootings were the last straws for Tenant #2. By 2020, she decided to look for an affordable apartment; she couldn’t stand it anymore.
The baseboard especially worried the tenant, since her autistic and nonverbal toddler would find it and be exposed to mold, according to emails obtained by Mission Local.
“It was leaking and caused my sink to cave in and turn brown it smells really bad and a lot of nats are coming from under the sink. Please advise I have a 3 year old and don’t want him sick behind this,” she wrote in an October 2020 email to management.
By January, 2021, the mold worsened. The woman continued to email back and forth with management, and by July, 2021, the vanity was still not replaced, and the hot water went out.
“I need this problem fixed. I have an autistic child and taking a shower soothes him to calm down. As well as me grieving from the loss of my father I’ve been in need of a shower and good cry,” the tenant pleaded. In the same email, she gave permission for maintenance to enter “at all times.”
Tenants: Mother and a 5-year-old autistic child.
Type: Two-bedroom apartment.
Start of tenancy: 2017.
End of tenancy: December, 2021. Tenant moved out voluntarily after persistent issues.
Date of first complaint: 2018. Reported a leak in the ceiling. It was never completely abated.
Date of second complaint: August, 2020. Reported mold and mildew.
Date abated: July, 2021.
Health issues: Pneumonia. Exposure to mold and mildew. Anxiety.
Hours later, the property manager finally responded. Maintenance came by, but did not enter, claiming no permission to enter was notated. An appointment was set for the next day.
Then the manager brought up trash that they said had built up in the back of the building. The tenant, they said, must clean it before maintenance would come to repair the vanity.
“It was just like, what does that have to do with anything? We have no issues, we have mold,” she said.
The last straw was a hole in her ceiling that leaked every time the upstairs floor was wet, which occurred since 2018, per an email to maintenance. “They clearly kept patching it up, but never [completely] fixed it. I just felt like I was being neglected. I literally had to beg for everything.”
Following the ordeal, and worries of ongoing violence, the tenant made the difficult decision to move out in December. She got a second job and barely affords her new apartment, she said. Although she is constantly stressed about paying bills, she said it’s worth it.
“I had to get out of my apartment in Related,” she said. “I would rather struggle to pay something nicer, than I would beg for them to change the mold out of my apartment.”
Ravon and Travon Anderson
Years ago, Ravon Anderson, who works security at Kaiser Permanente, his identical twin Travon, who works at a cafe at First Republic, and their mother had reported mice to the Department of Building Inspection. (Their mother passed away in 2021.)
“Sometimes we’d be up in our room, and you’d see a mouse run by. And I’m like, uh … ” Ravon said, shifting his eyes to emphasize shock. “What is this?”
Months passed and nothing happened. At the end of February, 2018, with nothing done, an inspector filed a Final Letter of Warning, an indication that the management failed to remediate the infestation in an appropriate time. That would take months, heightening the stress of the brothers.
Finally, management handed out traps and the housing inspector deemed the case closed in April.
Yet management never plugged the mouse holes in the laundry room, which the Andersons discovered a year later and Mission Local observed. This July, in his serene and cozily adorned apartment, Ravon found mouse poop.
Signs indicate the pests are already back. During a July visit, Ravon attempted to demonstrate to Mission Local an issue with his stove. Once he wriggled the appliance away from the wall, we discovered a flattened rat carcass.
Tenants: The Anderson twins and their mother.
Start of tenancy: 2005.
Type: Three-bedroom apartment.
Date of first complaint: December, 2017: Rodent infestation.
Date abated: April, 2018: The housing inspector closed the complaint; tenants deny it was completely abated. Rodents are still found on property.
Health issues: Exposure to rats.
As one lawsuit puts it, the rodent infestation suffered by the plaintiff “was so widespread that Plaintiff’s downstairs neighbors complained they heard mice in the ceilings at night.” During September, 2020, the year when most folks stayed at home, the plaintiff worried about the “health and safety” of her children.
She asked Related Management’s handyman to fix it, and he told her “rodents were not a priority,” the lawsuit said. They pointed her to a pest control company, Pestec, that made regular visits. Usually during these visits, Pestec just drops off black traps, residents said.
“What was even more frustrating about it was, these maintenance workers employed by Related kept coming to the unit to ‘inspect’ and recorded that there were ‘no mice’ when my client was seeing mice poop everywhere,” said Allyson Murphy, the plaintiff’s attorney. Those complaints were echoed by other neighbors, Murphy said.
The tenant hired her own pest control, and their employees found several mouse holes in her unit. However, the tenant couldn’t afford to make the repairs. The city finally issued a Notice of Violation for the infestation on Oct. 5, 2020, but Related Management “never authorized” the work, according to a lawsuit the tenant had filed in April, 2021.
Tenants: The tenant lives with two children, 4 and 15.
Type: Three-bedroom apartment.
Start of tenancy: 2008.
End of tenancy: February, 2021. Voluntarily moved out.
Date of first complaint: 2008. Aged carpeting. Worsened over years. Never resolved.
Date of second complaint: 2017. Broken pipes/repeated leaks. Never resolved.
Date of third complaint: 2018. No heat. Never resolved.
Date of fourth complaint: 2020. Rodent infestation. Never resolved.
Health issues: Exacerbation of obsessive compulsive disorder, allergies, and exacerbation of asthma.
The plaintiff represented by Murphy fretted over other issues in the apartment: For one, the lack of ventilation exacerbated her children’s asthma, she believed. Her toddler played on the dirty carpet and ended up with swollen, reddened eyes. The carpet was replaced immediately after the tenant moved out, the lawsuit states. For her part, the infestation deeply affected the tenant’s obsessive compulsive disorder, incited intense anxiety, and commonly robbed her of sleep.
The bathroom pipes broke at least eight times during her 2017 to 2021. The plaintiff alleged this was never properly abated, leading to floods. Issues weren’t exclusive to the bathroom; the pipes under the kitchen sink leaked once every two months, soaking the floor and the carpets.
Despite having no other home to reside in, the tenant made the difficult financial decision to forgo her rent subsidy and move out officially in February, 2021. When moving, she discovered her toddler’s mattress was “covered with mice urine and excrement from the continuing infestation,” court documents read.
The tenant left and couch-surfed throughout her court case. The case concluded recently and, now that the lawsuit is resolved, the plaintiff hopes to find affordable housing and leave the past behind. But with the federal subsidy gone, this is still an uphill battle. The tenant is just trying to put it all behind her.
On a July day this summer, the tenant, dressed in camouflage and slides, hurriedly loaded items into her van. “I’m ready to drop off my keys right now,” she said.
She had lived there with her two children for less than a year.
“When I first moved in, it was decent, but it was clean. I told them to get a new mirror, [because] it had marks. The blinds had marks on them. They never brought new ones. The buzzer didn't work. Never came for that. Front door didn’t close properly. They never came to fix it, even when I moved out.
“It started getting worse. Two months after I settled in, I seen ‘em — rats outside in the backyard. For a while I told [maintenance], and the property manager said, ‘There’s construction, that’s why [the rats] are here. Then I said, ‘no. There’s a hole. Right at the pipe, out by my gate. I seen the rats go in and out of it.
Tenants: Tenant lives with two children.
Type: Two-bedroom apartment.
Start of tenancy: August, 2021.
End of tenancy: July 2022. Tenant moved out voluntarily after persistent issues.
Date of first complaint: October, 2021. Rodent infestation. Never resolved.
Health issues: Exposure to mice.
“They were black, the big ones were a bit smaller than a squirrel. I couldn’t even open out the back patio; I saw rats climbing out on the bikes when my daughter was playing out there. I had to throw away her bikes. It was four, five, rats at a time, I told [Related] there’s a hole. I stopped opening the yard. The rats were on the gate. If I had company, I would close my blinds so they wouldn’t see rats.
“I went to the store, got my mom and dad, and bought Brillo pads. I noticed a hole in my son’s room, and two mice. I saw one, called the property manager. They said they’d call. Never came.
“Shit, I was just there. When I just moved out, and I went and looked in my son's room.”
She removed all the furniture and vacuumed. Once there, she found a previously obscured hole near her son’s windows, leading toward the outside.
Among some of the biggest advocates for better maintenance are the seniors who grew up on The Hill. Many of them are women, some of whom led the property’s first tenant associations following the habitability issues in the late ’90s.
Smith, 61, is one such advocate. The 20- and 30-somethings, who know she can still “drop it low,” reverently call her “Auntie” and befriend her visiting children and grandchildren. Often, on Friday nights, the youth occupy the steps up to her or her son’s apartment next door.
At a town hall she helped organize in July at the Bayview Opera House on Third Street, organizers agendized her to open the meeting in song.
In a purple From the Heart tee, she stepped up stoically to the microphone, the dusk of late summer enveloping the Bayview.
“I have been asked to sing our anthem — the Black national anthem,” Smith said. “If you can, please rise.”
The audience obeyed. Smith fidgeted for a second, then steeled herself to belt: “Lift every voice and sing…”
No one moved, not even when Smith hit a note at such a high pitch that a car a block away sounded its alarm. She teared up and cried as she sang. “Let us march on till victory is won.”
Tenants: Smith and her brother, who employs Smith as his caretaker.
Type: One-bedroom apartment.
Date of first complaint: September, 2022. Lack of heat. Abated later that month.
Health issues: Lack of heat, anxiety, stress, depression.
The emotion in her voice recalled the litany of habitability issues Smith and her son, Robert, who she affectionately calls “Robo,” have endured over the years. Her son complained about a moldy sink baseboard this summer, and for years had faulty electric outlets. On the first walk-through inspection, maintenance and management arrived, took a look for a few minutes, and said they didn’t smell anything. Months passed before it was replaced.
On a Sunday in September, Smith’s heat went out. She called emergency maintenance about the issue, and the staff replied that lack of heat was not an “emergency.” It could wait, they said. Five days later, no fixes came.
So on a Friday night, Smith reported it again to Related Management senior vice president Lori Horn, who agreed it was an emergency issue that warranted abatement within 24 hours. With no heat by Monday morning, Smith called the housing inspector, who agreed to check it out.
Just before the inspector arrived, Related maintenance came. Smith refused them entry, saying she wanted to ensure the unit was cited so the incident could be recorded. The maintenance worker fixed it the next day.
The mice started appearing again in September. By Miller’s count, there’s four. When she saw the first one upstairs, it threw her back into depression and anxiety, which, she alleges, have been exacerbated over the years because of her treatment by Related Management.
As she told Mission Local previously, Miller dealt with rodent infestation from 2017 to 2019, and a gas leak in 2019, instances that have traumatized her. (Everyone in the household was afraid of the mice, except for one of Miller’s dogs, who appeared to befriend them.)
That year, Miller wrote in her diary of feeling headaches and fatigue. She and her family randomly vomited at times; her doctor asked why she was constantly falling. Weeks later, Pacific Gas & Electric located a gas leak coming from Miller’s stove. Symptoms ceased once it was repaired, Miller said.
In July, 2020, Miller lived at least three months with a completely destroyed kitchen after a car crashed into her building and, instead of repairs from property management, received an eviction notice. Related Management fixed her kitchen last winter and dropped her eviction notice, following Mission Local’s coverage; fixes that she applauds as "beautiful" and "clean."
Tenants: Miller lives with her daughter.
Type: Four-bedroom apartment.
Start of tenancy: 1995.
Date of first complaints: 2017. Rodent infestation. Abated 2019.
Date of second complaint: 2019. Gas leak. Abated later in 2019.
Date of third complaint: July, 2020. Destroyed kitchen. Abated November, 2020.
Health issues: Anxiety, depression, vomiting and fatigue.
When she asked management at the time to fix her aging carpet as well, they agreed, she said. Still, the carpet remains, supposedly over the fact that Miller must move the boxes stacked in the living room first. Miller said she’d happily move her stuff, as she did when the kitchen was renovated, if they give her a date.
Management hasn’t yet, she said. That bothers her when her grandchildren come over, a young boy and two girls, who like to sleep over at grandma’s.
35 Lillian Street | 156 apartments
Even during her final days this spring, Marie Franklin couldn’t shake thoughts of her substandard apartment. As she lay sat in a hospital bed, dying from unrelated cancer and partially sedated, she phoned a woman who helped her with her similar apartment issues years ago.
Franklin, who died this July at age 81, was a resident and once the president of the Shoreview Tenants’ Association at the Shoreview Apartments on The Hill. She called to explain that the same property, though under a new property manager, was again unfit to live in.
The aged furnace gave her headaches when turned on, so she left it off most times, and relied on electric blankets for warmth. A leak — which she said in an April city building inspection report “contaminated everything and smelled bad” — was a health hazard and, in her view, a direct result of shoddy management. Another leak occurred just months before, causing her carpet to grow mold. The exposure exacerbated her respiratory issues, she told her family.
The issue was a drainage pipe, Franklin believed, which Franklin had later reported to the city.
“She complained there was a smell, and it wasn’t safe for her to live there. They offered her to live in a hotel and get the situation taken care of, but she decided against doing that,” her brother, Billy Jeffrey said.
Tenant: Franklin lived alone.
Type: Two-bedroom apartment.
Date of first complaint: May 14, 2021. No heat. Unclear when this was abated.
Date of second complaint: Sept. 7, 2021. Leak, mold. Leak abated September 13, 2021. Mold abated October 18, 2021.
Date of third complaint: October, 2021. Lack of heat. Abated June 22, 2022.
Date of fourth complaint: March 28, 2022.Sewage leak. Abated June 22, 2022.
Health issues: Lack of heat, respiratory issues.
Jeffrey explained the lack of repairs on a “clash of personalities,” where Franklin, suspicious of the decades-worth of alleged intimidation and incompetence by Related and the maintenance team of the previous owner. Franklin’s last post on Facebook showed maintenance workers applying blue tape on the wall, which the 81-year-old captioned, “Related re [sic] taliation LIE. claim these men were denied entr ance [sic] in. Apt.here they are!”
“I even wrote a letter myself, trying to get all the things resolved,” Jeffrey said. Once Franklin was at the hospital, maintenance arrived and fixed everything.
Her son, DeVall, recalled his mother as a tenacious advocate who often called out injustices, and grew frustrated over time. She passed out dehumidifiers in the early 2000s, when black mold spread. He grew up in the apartments as a child, and visiting her at her place, he said the issues continued.
“For, like, six months, my mother had no heat. I took pictures of that,” Franklin said.
As Devall readied the death certificate and looked through his mom’s documents, he found pictures of his mom’s apartment grievances on her phone. It was to that unit where Franklin was taken home, surrounded by family, and died.
All Hallows Apartments
65 Navy Road | 157 apartments
All Hallows tenants
Tenants Mission Local spoke with from All Hallows did not want their stories included in the article, citing fear of retaliation from management. However, two complaints from the Department of Building Inspection offer a sense of some recent occurrences on the property.
A tenant with a toddler reported a mouse infestation and no hot water on Jan. 10, 2022. The issues were not completely corrected until a month later, on Feb. 15, 2022, a housing inspector wrote in the notice.
Similar issues embattled another tenant, who moved into a two-bedroom and reported a mice infestation on Oct. 5. The housing inspector relayed it to the Department of Public Health, who primarily handles rodents, and then closed the case on the log. The complainant stated the mice were gnawing the walls and pooping in her daughter’s bed. According to the report, the case has yet to be abated.
The story is part of a series reported with support from USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2022 California Fellowship program, with engagement support from the center’s interim engagement editor, Monica Vaughan. Design by Will Jarrett.
It seems Related Management is doing this all over the country to low- and fixed-income residents. I live in one of their Connecticut subsidized properties currently dealing with vicious mold, leaks, poor water pressure, no heat, rodents and failing structures. There are safety hazards throughout the complex, both inside and outside. Related seems to think we don’t deserve safe living spaces. They seem to think we won’t speak out for fear of retaliation. I’m speaking out. We are speaking out and fighting for our families and all the families that will follow!
My daughter and I live in a Related property in Connecticut. I just don’t understand how Related is even allowed to have a real estate license. Why is HUD even willing to even still do business with them?
This is so truly frustrating. This agency is so evil.
I love the layout of this report!
See link for an article our family and others were just featured in. I wish this could be investigated by something like the CBS evening news.
Outstanding reporting. Thank you, Mission Local. A couple of notes:
Mission statement from Related Companies’ website: “We are dedicated to creating memorable experiences, supporting our neighbors and giving back for a better tomorrow.” Oh, the irony. And equally nauseating is this nugget from Related Chairman and Founder Stephen Ross’ bio: “Mr. Ross has always sought opportunities to give back in meaningful ways. His philanthropic efforts have broadly focused on the areas of education, the arts, racial equality, healthcare and the creation of more sustainable cities throughout the world.” Oh, and he’s also the owner of the Miami Dolphins NFL team.
Perhaps Mr. Ross should consider dipping into his slushy funds to ensure that tenants in his properties on The Hill have safe, reliably habitable housing.
Shamann Walton, do you copy? San Francisco pushes and pushes for more subsidized housing, then contracts it out to “nonprofits” or other entities that allow these conditions to persist. Help these people!
Your criticism of non-profits is WRONG. This is not a non profit company they are counting on to repair the homes of our poorest folks.
Related is a for profit company at the end of the day, but a cursory search indicates buildings must be owned or operated by a public or nonprofit entity in order to get those RAD dollars (rule #4, see link).
It’d be interesting to figure out Related’s revenue and profit structure through the RAD program. A whole ‘nother thing to figure out, but I bet it’s not as complicated as it might seem.
Only 28 transactions and partnerships to figure out, Ms. Hom. Did you take any investment banking courses?
Thank you for all the work you’ve done. In am a landlord,and it makes me sick to read about these sorts of irresponsible owners, who abuse their tenants and give the rest of us a bad name.
Thank you for reporting on this. The Bayview has been neglected. I used to live up there off La Salle. Not in Related’s development, but next to it. The place I lived in was not well built, but it was not much different from new tracts we looked at in other cities. Low quality seemed to be the home builder’s formula for low end housing. It was up to us to fix trim, boards and nails that kept popping out. Several of us had front doors that faced the near-constant wind. That side of the house wore out faster than the back. Worse than the condition of houses was seeing young people hanging around looking bored. The new city college being built nearby could invigorate the neighborhood–a big plus.
Well done article, Annika. I appreciate the amount of work that must’ve gone into this reporting.
Some of the large real estate speculators operating in San Francisco are methodically and systematically managing their properties very similarly. This is another area where The City’s leaders know about it but mainly choose to look the other way, presumably because the real estate industry funds so many political campaigns. But it’s very unsafe and stressful for tenants to live like this for years. And a lot of these practices are illegal under existing laws. Serious enforcement is lacking, and most readers here are well aware of the corruption at DBI and throughout the larger city family.
individually seeing each inspector is an option. I called dbi and demand the information not visual on the dbi website. they are withholding information!!! because they are too lazy to write the reports. the only way to get it done is pay yourself or sue for each instance. I investigated my landlord thru cluster maps found all his addresses and then looked up in dbi. multiple violations. The city of sf even had a review board fallow the dbi THE REAL PROBLEM IS THE DBI WEBSITE and CITY attorney who is not prosecuting these landlords are all the same multi abusers. senior housing inspector was responsible for Claudia Stevens death via no freezer or a/c 90 degree weather with health condition this is human rights and you need to file with the https://sf.gov/file-discrimination-complaint NEVER GIVE UP they are just figuring out who is responsible lets fight …the 3rd street separation of the city planning brought in federal dollars and they are fraudulently funding the school in cow palace ect with that money…so much fraud thur the banks Wells Fargo is number one so call up and get the class action lawsuit filed! their lawyers evicted me at 650 north mission bay blvd after they stole from my apt and took the dbi inspector to lunch all on video TNDC CRIMINALS hire criminals they put in prison gal stole Claudias credit card after death…blamed me for dishwasher not working its harassment because they are uneducated to do their job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the contractors are hiring unexperience workers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! therefore they cannot fix anything folks this is the reason you cannot get it fixed!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have to give you props for using the proper term for taxpayer supported housing, “subsidized” …rather than the more common and misleading “affordable” label. Thanks for your refreshing and rare integrity.
It should be called RAPE YOU BLIND OF YOUR RIGHTS AND FEDERAL FUNDS HOUSING