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Hotels Demand SF Pay Up for Damage During Shelter-in-Place
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Hotels Demand SF Pay Up for Damage During Shelter-in-Place

Owners of San Francisco hotels leased as temporary shelter-in-place sites for unhoused individuals are asking the city to pay up for damage incurred in the process, according to legislation filed with the Board of Supervisors. 

The Good Hotel, Hotel Vertigo, Hotel Union Square and Tilden Hotel are among those who have filed, or are planning to file, claims against the city for “significant damage to real and personal property,” according to the filing. The Board of Supervisors plans to convene in a closed session on June 7, meaning it’s not open to the public, to discuss anticipated litigation over the damage claims. 

Jen Kwart, a spokesperson for the city attorney, confirmed that the owner of the Hotel Union Square had already submitted a claim. Others listed in the filing have informed the city of damages.

A copy of the claim submitted by Hotel Union Square totals $5,600,000 in damage to property, plus $560,000 for loss of use of the hotel for one month. According to an attached contract signed in April 2020, the city agreed to pay a flat rate of $12,969 per day for an amount not to exceed $7,768,349 for use of the entire hotel. The city vacated the hotel at the end of September 2021.

The claim alleged extensive water and smoke damage that rendered the units un-rentable for the subsequent month of October.

During the Covid pandemic, the city entered into booking contracts with 29 hotels for use as temporary lodging for unhoused individuals and others who needed to more easily isolate themselves from the virus. Of those, 14 sites are still leased and occupied, according to the filing. 

With the help of emergency federal funding, the city spent millions leasing hotels and motels at the onset of the pandemic. The Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing has shuttered some of those sites over the past several months and aims to wind down the program by September 2022.

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The shelter-in-place hotels are expected to be funded in part by the Federal Emergency Management agency, with the White House pledging last November to reimburse 100% of eligible expenses through April 1, 2022. 

The total costs of shelter-in-place hotels have run into the hundreds of millions: As of last November, the city had requested $259.4 million in federal reimbursement for the program.

A city dashboard indicates that 906 people still occupy the shelter-in-place sites; the city aims to rehouse those residents in permanent supportive housing by the end of the program. Mayor London Breed recently credited the shelter-in-place program for helping to decrease the number of unsheltered residents in the city’s recent homeless “point in time” assessment.

Annie Gaus can be reached at [email protected].
  • Didn’t some of the residents try to turn a room into a meth lab? That’s a tenant improvement! The hotels should be paying the City for the character and charm the residents have added to these hotel. “come experience the real San Francisco, where for $500 a night you can stay in an actual meth lab!”

    Someone needs to get to one of these hotels and take some pictures. I am sure these hotels are in terrible condition.

  • I spoke with a Haight neighbor who is a contractor and he said that the hotels downtown where the homeless are placed are totally destroyed by the people placed in these rooms. He said that they go so far as to tear fixtures off of the walls in the rooms.

  • Coverage of this issue begs for a comment from the homeless coalition. Why is that missing? Activists demanded this housing and are demanding more of it. They are partially responsible for this completely predictable outcome.

  • Why do we keep electing these people to The Board of Supervisors? I mean really, why can’t the business community step up and put some adults on the ballot?

    It would be so much cheaper to house people literally anywhere else in the country, or to just cut them a check. This whole “housing drug addicts for free in hotels” is criminal mismanagement at the municipal and county level. That’s assuming you think we have any obligation to help these out of state drug dealers and addicts in any way.

    The right thing to do is to arrest every single vagrant and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. For most people, an arrest is the step in the right direction and the serious intervention needed to turn their life around before they kill themselves with fentanyl. At this point, I’m wondering if there’s a foreign conspiracy to destroy San Francisco and thus US tech innovation. It’s like the opium wars in reverse, this time with the fentanyl coming from China, not opium going to China (via the British from India). Look it up, see where the Fentanyl ingredients are coming from.

  • There are no “homeless” problem in SF. Just drug addicts and their dealers. SF is using tax payers money to fund them. These hotels have been turned in meth labs, fentanyl joint and prostitution dens. Legitimately homeless people can easily find help given the billions SF routes to this effort. With the upcoming recession, I am wondering how SF is going to pay for this. Tech companies are bolting or going under. The hate for “tech bros” isn’t helping SF either.

  • The homeless encampments/outdoor drug dens simply turn into indoor drug dens.
    The attics are not getting the health that they need and almost none of them are going into treatment.
    Addicts need to go into treatment not into warehouses/hotels.

  • Lol, what kind of insurance company do you think would take on this kind of risk? I’m sure whatever coverage they had in place (if any) was immediately voided upon their participation in the program.

  • I worked at one of these hotels and honestly it wasn’t that bad. If the staff didn’t care then yes things got out of control but we weren’t like that and even at that when things were damaged the city reimbursed the hotel. I heard some hotels were trying to say everything was damaged with no back up and that’s when things got tricky.

  • It’s a farce of epic proportions. Does anyone with a brain actually think Aaron peskin or the rest of the self serving supervisors give a rolling doughnut about these people? Trust me the non profits are profiting from this disaster. The whole city knows it and should demand public access to these secret meetings. Only when these people are held accountable will things change.

  • All I’ve seen since Aaron peskin and the ecs snake charmers took over the granada(1000 sutter street) is a testament to what should not be done. Not only have they facilitated drug trafficking and rampant consumption they have contributed to countless overdose deaths in a 9month period. The attempted rape of a 94yr old woman by an ecs client only goes to show just how bad the city has handled the shelter in place. The sip hotels run by the city can enforce rules but when it comes to permanent supportive housing No Rules ,No Consquences. Cook meth, o.d. Terrorize the elderly and blind? Someone needs to terrorize the supervisors!

  • When I entered the system via the Navigation center May 23 2022 , a quasi contract regarding conduct had to be signed and agreed upon. The Good Motor hotel does have security guards who screen the entrants for weapons and such. Room checks for occupancy occur in order to monitor the presence and condition of the occupants.
    As the neighborhood is “Tenderloin south” , it does have a rotating number of street dwellers who move around but loiter on Mission street when they are not moving around for free meals and services in the Tenderloin or the U.N. Plaza.
    With the understanding that it will end come August thru September 2023 at which time (hopefully not) I will be living on the streets, I am grateful for the time in shelter.

    Just my experiences so far for what it is worth.

  • This is the direct result of do-gooders trying to “do good” for all those worthless bums. If the city taxpayers think it’s a good way to waste resources … okay with me. Just don’t ask Sacramento for any of MY money.

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