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Tenants Protest Conversion of Tenderloin SRO to Illegal Youth Hostel

Randy Shawbyline‚ Dec. 07‚ 2012

Over eighty tenants affiliated with the Central City SRO Collaborative and Community Tenants Association held a noisy protest outside the Columbia Hotel (renamed the “Orange Village Hostel”) at 411 O’Farrell St. yesterday, demanding that the owner stop illegal tourist rentals. City inspectors have cited the hotel for repeated violations of the city’s Residential Hotel Ordinance (Section 41.20 of the Administrative Code), as well as for cramming four students into a single room. The hotel is also illegally limiting rentals to students, claiming on its website that “We only offer long term stay rooms for students ONLY.” The rally is the first step in a larger campaign to prevent an SRO long used by low-income residents from converting 85 residential units to tourist use.