We first told you about the pending eviction of 98-year-old Mary Phillips (then 97) back in September. She remains in her home at 55 Dolores Street, where she's spent the last 50 years of her life, and protesters once again this week went after her new landlord, Urban Green Investments, who is trying to evict her and the rest of the tenants.
As KRON4 reports, protesters camped outside Urban Green on Wednesday to protest the Ellis Act evictions of a number of elderly and low-income tenants in the building. The building is slated for sale by Urban Green under the Ellis Act, possibly for demolition or for condo conversion. Urban Green has so far declined to comment on the evictions.
Phillips appears in the video above and tells KRON4 that she's not about to be pushed around just because of her age. "I'm too old," Phillips says. "I'm [darn] near 100. I'm too old to pack up and leave." She adds, "They're going to have to take me out of here feet first."
As you can see, at 98, Phillips is frail but feisty, and though she doesn't go out much anymore, she says she was able to enjoy the 4th of July from her balcony.
Update: It appears that Urban Green Investments strategy around this tricky case has been to tell Phillips and the press that they intend to allow her to remain in the building for the rest of her life, meanwhile proceeding with an eviction of a woman who lives in the building and who is Phillips's primary caregiver. As Tenderloin Housing Clinic attorney Steve Collier, who's representing Phillips, says:
Urban Green Investments (UGI) has filed a lawsuit to evict Mary Phillips, although they have not served it yet. Instead, they are proceeding with litigation against her close friend and caregiver Sarah Brant, who also lives in the building, understanding that if they evict Sarah, then Mary cannot remain as the sole occupant of a building that is being turned into a construction zone. The reality is that offering the 98-year-old Mary Phillips the opportunity to live alone in a construction zone without her close friend and caregiver being able to stay in the building is an illusory offer, and UGI knows that. If they were truly concerned about Mary's welfare, they never would have served eviction notices in March of 2013, or would at the very least have told her then that she would not have to move at any time. UGI always intended to evict Mary, but the media attention to Mary's plight has changed UGI's attitude, not any concern for her wellbeing.