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SRO tenants organize to deal with poorly-run buildings

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Jan. 15 -- Richard Marquez, the Lookout Society's Downtown Residential Manager, was part of the first ever SRO (single room occupancy) Tenant Convention, held in the fall.

The convention featured several workshops and discussions aimed at educating SRO hotel tenants with knowledge about their rights and legal options to deal with matters such as evictions, bed bugs and inappropriate service charges.

One of the planned outcomes from the convention is to create a SRO Collaborative, which would be supported by representatives from the various SRO hotels. The reps would be trained and tasked with representing their fellow tenants

A conference highlight was the “Crummy Cockroach Haven Contest” award ceremony. The Balmoral was voted the SRO with the worst living conditions in the city by residents after earning 93 of 328 votes.

Many of the ideas for the convention came from Richard Marquez, based on his experiences working with poverty and homeless issues in San Francisco. 

Watch this video to learn more about the convention.