By Laura Wenus, Andrea Valencia and Lydia Chávez
While tamale lovers await the opening of the Tamale Lady’s brick-and-mortar restaurant, few know that the Mission’s beloved Virginia Ramos is grappling with the responsibility of managing a fourplex she has owned at 3175 24th St. since 2008.
To her tenants, Ramos is simply “la señora Virginia,” their industrious but struggling and somewhat distant landlady who has had a difficult time maintaining her building. Mission Local spoke with tenants in each of the units and most complained about a lack of maintenance, but said they simply fix things themselves. One called it fair since the rents for the two-bedroom apartments are well below market value. Others are unhappy and would like to see the building repaired.
So would Ramos, but for now she is focusing on her finances. “When I get the loan, all of this is going to be solved,” Ramos said in reference to the business loan she is seeking to open her tamale restaurant on 16th Street.
The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), which is helping Ramos with her business plan, issued a press release Thursday calling Ramos a “victim of predatory lending” and saying that Ramos “tried to fix her loan issue on her own starting in 2010 when a balloon payment came due. No luck.”