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100-Year-Old San Francisco Woman Hospitalized Before Eviction

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A 100-year-old woman was hospitalized Tuesday, a day before San Francisco sheriff's deputies were slated to evict her from her Western Addition apartment, according to housing rights advocates.

Iris Canada, who reportedly has lived in her apartment for more than 50 years, was taken to the hospital after she saw the sheriff's notice warning her that she would be locked out of her home.

Upon seeing the notice on Tuesday, Canada grew upset and left a voicemail for Peter Owens, one of the owners of her building, begging him not to evict her, according to advocates from the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco.

Canada then fell ill and was taken to the emergency room, the advocates said.

"There is no doubt in my mind that learning she would have to leave her home triggered the attack," Iris Merriouns, Canada's niece, said in a statement. "You can't uproot someone from a home they've had for decades and not expect that it will negatively impact their health. This eviction must be stopped."

Canada turned 100 in July and has been in a lengthy legal battle with her landlords.

Last month, a San Francisco Superior Court judge granted the owners of the building at 670 Page St. the right to evict her after finding she had failed to pay court-ordered attorneys fees.

Canada was granted a lifetime estate to her apartment in 2005 while the rest of the units in the building underwent an Ellis Act eviction.  However, the landlords moved to terminate that lifetime estate in 2014, alleging that Canada had been living with family members since 2012 and allowed the unit to fall into disrepair.

In April, the court found in the landlord's favor, ruling that Canada could stay in her apartment only if she accepted strict limits on her occupancy and paid the property owners' attorney's fees, which total more than $150,000.

An attorney for the property owners, Mark Chernev, said last month that the owners would drop the demand for legal fees and let Canada stay if she agrees to sign paperwork allowing the building to convert to condos, but she refused to sign the papers and asked the owners to sell her the unit at a discounted price.

© Copyright 2016 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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