SF State Considers Buying Stonestown Apartments
March 8, 2005 2:01 PM
San Francisco is notorious for having very little housing at a very high cost. For students and faculty on tight budgets, this can be a deterring factor in whether they decide to come to SF State.
In an effort to try and alleviate the burden of finding affordable housing in San Francisco, the California State Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a $145 million bond on March 16 that would allow SF State to purchase the Stonestown Apartments for use as student and faculty housing.
“Housing is clearly expensive in the Bay Area,” said SF State Director of Public Affairs Ellen Griffin. “We have lost faculty because of it.”
If approved, the money will come from a system-wide revenue bond that is similar to a home mortgage and would be repaid with rental payments from the leased units, according to Griffin.
The purchase of the 697-unit complex, which is located adjacent to the SF State campus, would give the school a large number of affordable apartments to offer their faculty and staff.
Residents of the apartments, though, have reservations about the school purchasing the complex and worry about possible evictions should the deal be approved.
“We have heard that we should not worry about being evicted,” said Stonestown resident Eddie Jen. “But if the school is buying the buildings for their students and professors, where does that leave those of us who aren’t affiliated with the school?”
Stonestown apartment resident Ron Abrigo said although he knows SF State legally can not evict anyone he still has concerns about the schools purchase.
"I just feel like the school is trying to take over this whole area," Abrigo said. "I understand that affordable housing is hard to find in San Francisco, but I don't want to see this whole area turned into a residence hall for San Francisco State."
Stonestown apartment management said that they would speak to residents with concerns on a case-by-case basis but declined to comment on the purchase any further.
SF State, however, said that they have no plans of evicting any of the current residents. Initially, according to Griffin, there will not be a lot of faculty and students occupying the apartments. As current residents vacate on their own, the apartments would then be made available to either students or faculty first.
“We have absolutely no intentions to evict anyone,” Griffin said. “We will fully respect rent control laws and the tenancy of the renter.”
Once purchased, an outside management company will oversee the property and be responsible for renting the apartments out. Students and faculty interested in living in one of the units would apply at the apartment leasing office and will have first priority.
In the past few years, the school has bought six buildings in another adjacent residential complex, including the Park Merced apartments.
Carolyn Cahn, head of the resident’s association for Park Merced, said that so far having so many students in Park Merced has not been a problem and that the major concern has been on finding parking in the area.
“Typically, there’s a higher number of students per unit,” Cahn said. “This causes a lack of parking in the area.”
Residents should not fear evictions, Cahn said.
“One of the advantages of rent control is that they legally can’t evict.” Cahn said.
For the students and faculty who spend a lot of time and energy trying to find an affordable place to live, the news of the possible purchase is good.
“I am happy that the school is trying to do something to help us find places to live that are affordable and close to campus,” said sociology major Adrian Lewis, 24. “I feel like I pay so much to live in the city and on a student’s budget, I don’t have a lot left over for anything else.”
The Stonestown apartments offer low-rise and high-rise buildings with units having up to three bedrooms. One-bedroom apartments rent for $1299, two-bedrooms for $1599, and three-bedroom units for $1850. When SF State purchases the property, the prices will most likely stay the same, Griffin said.
POST A COMMENT
|BACK TO TOP|| |
Copyright © 2008 [X]press | Journalism Department - San Francisco State University