Dozens of occupants from a downtown San Diego single-room occupancy hotel are being vacated due to “deplorable living conditions conditions”, announced the San Diego City Attorney.
City prosecutors say that the C Street Inn, located at 630-636 C st, is being vacated due to “dangerous code violations, fire hazards, and deplorable living conditions”. The six-story hotel with a basement was built in 1913, and “in addition to health and safety violations, inspectors determined the hotel constitutes a public nuisance”.
Its 72 occupants will receive nearly $5,00 each in relocation costs. In addition to paying for the resident’s relocation benefits, the property owner, Jack S. Rafiq has been ordered to establish a round-the-clock fire watch until the building has been vacated and secured to ensure the safety of the occupants.
“Dozens of people were living in dangerous conditions in this squalid century-old building,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “All the occupants will be relocated to safe and clean housing, and we will ensure the property owner is held accountable.”
The City Attorney's Office says two inspections conducted earlier this year revealed mold and rodent infestations; a lack of fire/smoke alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers; unpermitted plumbing modifications; and electrical hazards. Rafiq must also remedy the electrical hazards, treat the mold and pest infestation, obtain the required building permits, and repair the entire building.
Since May of 2019, the San Diego Police Department has responded more than 190 times to problems at the hotel, spending more than 465 hours to address nuisance and criminal activity, including burglaries, public intoxication, exhibiting a deadly weapon, and disturbing the peace incidents.
Under the California Health & Safety Code, the City is advancing the funds to the occupants. According to the city’s prosecutor, a hearing will be held at a later date to recover the funds from the property owner.