After 30 Years, 98-Year Old Ocean Beach Woman Being Evicted from her Cottage

by on December 14, 2018 · 15 comments

in Ocean Beach

After living as a model tenant for nearly 30 years in her Ocean Beach cottage, a 98-year-old woman is being evicted by the landlord. Abc10News is reporting that Betty Morse received a 90-day-notice in July terminating her lease.

Why? It appears the owner is quitting the Section 8 housing assistance program, which Morse has been using to help cover her rent.

The landlord is evicting Morse, a model tenant, in order to make substantial renovations to the cottage and then place it on the market for a higher rental value. Short-term vacation rental anyone?

Here is part of 10News report:

According to the termination notice she showed to 10News, the owner is electing to opt out of the Section 8 program and not renew the lease. It states the owner will be conducting substantial renovations to the unit and following the renovations the owner desires to rent the unit at a higher rental value, being that of the market rate value. The notice states the owner will be opting out of Section 8 entirely.

The owner states on the 90-day notice that their just cause is they don’t want to comply with Section 8.

Betty moved into the cottage in the late Eighties, after her beloved husband had passed. The rent was about $100. Being in OB allowed her to walk to work, manage her life and walk to the beach for sunsets. She figured the cute unit would be her last stop. But now, she doesn’t know where she’s going, or who would rent to an elderly person, like herself, about to turn 99.

Here’s more of the 10News report:

Morse said this year she was asked to sign a new rental agreement. Her family had some disagreements with a couple of changes made by the landlord: one was a no-smoking addendum. Morse told 10News after decades of being a smoker at 98-years-old, she quit so she could stay in the home.

Despite her efforts, she said after the attorneys went back and forth a few times, she received a 90-day-notice in July terminating her tenancy. Morse doesn’t know what to do if she’s forced to leave. “I don’t know who will rent to me because in two months I’ll be 99 and they are not going to be happy to rent an apartment,” she said.

During her 30 years at the property, Morse said she never had a problem with the rental. A fixture in the neighborhood, she knows San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his mother. … Morse said her rent was always paid on time, a trait she picked up from the one man she ever loved.

Some people are working with Betty and she is willing to pay market rent. She doesn’t want to be a burden on her children by moving in with them.

But at this point, she is still living in the cottage despite the 90-day notice running out.

10News contacted the owner but they declined to comment on their eviction lawsuit against Morse.

For more go to 10News.


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

retired botanist December 14, 2018 at 3:30 pm

This is Disappointing with a big D:
I get that the owner, of course, has a right to opt out of the Section 8 program and make renovations to his/her property. But I also get that its very likely this dwelling will go the way of 100s of others to the STVR market- which is such a disservice to the community and neighborhood, not to mention Ms. Morse. I also get that the owner provided a much needed solution to a housing problem for many years, and I deeply appreciate that.
I also get that Ms. Morse’s family should have been thinking about ultimate transitions, not necessarily to move in with them, long before now, and that this can be an extremely daunting challenge. I had a family member who was ultimately nudged out of the Shelter Island community he’d lived in for 30 years, and faced w/ a horrendous (lack of) options of either living in a van, or a flea-bitten SRO downtown and east…believe me, I’ve seen it all. And I know, bless him, that he’s thankful life didn’t carry him too much further.
I just can’t understand the hard line. This person will be 99. I mean, most of us don’t live much past 80 to be blunt.
Its so easy to say that the homeless are mentally ill, or drug addicts, or want to live on the streets, but I assure you that Ms. Morse is just one of many thousands of old age citizens who have nowhere to go. Think about it. I do. And I hope she can find something safe and comfortable that she can adjust to for the last few years of her life.


Sam December 15, 2018 at 12:40 am

Of course this is heartbreaking for Ms. Morse, however, the landlord is well within his or her right to modernize the property and get market rate for it. After all, being a landlord is not a charity it is a business.


retired botanist December 15, 2018 at 4:02 am

Of course the landlord is well within his/her rights…I guess all I can counter with is that I believe “it takes a village” in all things, and when it comes to our elder population I don’t see any villages on the horizon…


Sam December 15, 2018 at 7:30 pm

There are cheaper villages to live in. Also, I don’t see any other “villagers” stepping up to offer a place to stay. Just sayin…


ACE December 16, 2018 at 11:35 am

A friend of mine has stepped up with a unused private room where he lives. It sounds like it could be a possible solution.


Sam December 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm

That is great news.


Rufus December 15, 2018 at 7:14 am

I’m surprised that there are no lynch mobs at her door since she knows the Republican mayor. I mean….a Republican sympathysizer in OB? It should be against the law.


Chris December 16, 2018 at 12:42 am

At this point in her life her party preference is a non issue.


Bob Edwards December 15, 2018 at 9:12 am

Hey Rufus, Sorry poor Republicans in the Beach Area are being so mistreated. As to literal “lynching”, that’s something that conservatives have historically done. Progressives have been a force against lynching and for the rule of law. Maybe the phrase “lynch mob” should be retired as a metaphor, especially when it refers to the “suffering” that privileged Republicans experience and not to the real experience of torture and murder directed at people of color and religious minorities by reactionaries who were the conservatives and “Make America Great” people of their era.


retired botanist December 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

To Bob, indeed, in this day and age of abbreviated language, I have noticed (sort of counter intuitively) that word choices have become more important. When so many speak in 125 characters, each word choice becomes multi-laminated, with its neo definition, its historical usage, and its free (or linked) association. To the mindful, that requires thought before speech…
To Rufus, in my view when you’re 99 I don’t care who you know or are affiliated with, you should be cherished.


OB-OG December 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

Bob – She’s a 98 yr old woman and if my reading comprehension is up to par, the story mentions nothing about her political affiliation. She knows the Mayor of San Diego as do many Democrats in San Diego County and beyond. Your comment, speaks volumes as to your lack of sympathy & education. If my memory serves me correctly, Democrats fired on Republicans at Ft. Sumter to keep people of color enslaved. I’ll put my Magna Cum Laude, Ivy League education (with a minor in US history) against your Common Core + Prison GED education any time


Bob Edwards December 17, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Hey OB-OG, Sorry, I guess my comments were not clear enough for someone as brilliant as you. Magna Cum Laude? Very impressive. Anyway, here’s the deal: Rufus said the elderly victim of this avaricious landlord is a “Republican sympathizer” (his words) and that he was surprised that a lynch mob (presumably non-Republicans) aren’t at her door. I pointed out that historically it’s been conservatives and their reactionary brethren that have been the people doing the lynching. Progressives have been a force against lynching. In the 1860s, the Dems were a conservative party and the Repubs were largely progressives. This all changed in the 20th Century (did they discuss Woodrow Wilson and FDR at your Ivy League school?). Between 1948 and the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s, conservative Dixiecrats transitioned to becoming Republicans and that party moved right while the Democrats became even more progressive. Most of the people nowadays who favor extrajudicial actions (street justice, vigilante attacks against the homeless, etc.) identify with the party of our Buffoon-In-Chief and his Unite The Right buddies, not with the Democrats and other progressives.
As an aside, I have several friends and colleagues who are great people and who share your educational background. None of them are so full of themselves that they would brag about it or put other people down, though.


Leonard Armstrong December 16, 2018 at 1:14 am

“I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
? Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol


retired botanist December 17, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Yep- I think something got confused here between Bob and OB-OG :/
I interpreted Bob’s comment as “tongue in cheek” re the “poor Republicans”. And Bob’s point to Rufus, who was also “tongue in cheek” about Democratic “lynch mobs” b/c she knew Republican Faulkner (the inference being that wouldn’t be tolerated in liberal OB), was meant to suggest that phrases like ‘lynch mob ‘ mean different things to different folks. But OB-OG thought Bob was taking the ‘other’ side and snapped back…
Haha, see how important language is? :-) I’d like/hope to think that we’re all on the same side; that is, that Ms. Morse can get gently relocated to a place that will work for her.
And kudos to Ace and his friend for being “villagers”- way to be :-)


Frank Gormlie December 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Betty Morse’s court hearing was postponed. SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A 98-year-old woman facing eviction from her Ocean Beach home is in court Monday to fight for her right to stay.


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