Nearly three weeks after the end of the moratorium on COVID-19-related evictions, estimated requests for rent assistance in San Francisco have surpassed authorized funds.
Thousands of San Franciscans who borrowed money to pay rent during the pandemic are stuck with that debt, making them worse off than those who let the bills lapse.
Federal relief funds cover only unpaid housing expenses. That leaves tenants vulnerable if they made good-faith efforts to pay those costs by taking on thousands of dollars of debt to credit card companies, payday lenders, relatives or friends — especially if they later seek different housing.
Thursday marked the end of the statewide moratorium on evictions for unpaid rents due to COVID-19-related hardships, and by Friday landlords could begin the process to remove tenants.
But the head of tenant legal defense in San Francisco wants renters to hear one message loud and clear: “You’re still protected.”
Low vaccination rates in several pockets of the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood could help explain persistently high cases of COVID-19 in San Francisco’s southeast, recently released data indicates.
San Francisco neighborhoods the federal government targeted with racist lending practices face the greatest health threats from pollution, a recent state study found. The California Environmental Protection Agency analyzed the latest pollution data in historically redlined neighborhoods, where people of color were denied mortgage loans under federal policies, in the report finalized in August.
Environmental activists are about to launch an air-monitoring project to track pollution linked to high rates of asthma and other health conditions in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. The results could play an important role in demonstrating the environmental harm residents suffer.
San Francisco residents can now learn how to avoid eviction by sending a text message to a special phone number.
That service is part of an outreach campaign launched Friday by the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition, a group of tenant-rights organizations. The goal: to teach people their rights and help them apply for rent assistance during the two months left before a statewide moratorium on evictions for unpaid rents expires.
The statewide eviction moratorium is set to expire Oct. 1, but San Francisco supervisors are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to extend it to avoid a wave of COVID-19 infections from the virus’ more contagious delta variant.
The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office evicted 25 households in the two weeks of June after the state reopened for business, more than double the monthly average over the previous six months.
Sheriff Paul Miyamoto resumed evictions that had been on pause as city officials declared that San Francisco was gaining the upper hand in its fight against the coronavirus.
Thousands of San Franciscans could face eviction this fall in the likely event that government rental assistance programs run out of money. Tenants who have applied for help with rent debt are entitled to eviction protections through the end of March 2022 while they wait for an answer from authorities. But if the money runs out before they get help, then they could face eviction as early as October.