A sad end to the long life of Iris Canada: The 100-year-old San Francisco woman has died the month after she was evicted from the apartment that was her home for more than 50 years. A final eviction notice was delivered to her residence and the locks were changed on Feb. 10 following a long and bitter legal battle with the landlords who bought her six-unit building in 2002 and sought to turn it into condos, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. They gave her a 'lifetime lease" at $700 a month allowing her to stay until her death—but as her lifetime turned into a very long one, they sought to evict her, arguing that she had violated the terms of the lease by spending much of her time living with a niece in Oakland as her health declined.
Iris Merriouns, Canada's niece, says her aunt's health never returned to normal after the eviction. She says her aunt insisted until the end that she wanted to go back to her home at 670 Page Street, which a Facebook post from the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco suggests still held her possessions. "In her last hours, she asked family members if they at least were able to recover some of her things," it reads. Merriouns recalls her aunt's "dignity and pride," telling the Guardian, "she was not yelling and screaming. She was just simply saying, 'I want to remain in my home.'" Her case became a focal point for housing rights campaigners in the city. "Something needs to be done to stop our seniors from being evicted," says Tommi Avicolli Mecca, director of counseling programs with the HRC. (This 88-year-old woman's eviction story has a different ending.)