More than one month after statewide eviction protections expired on June 30, less than 4% of rent relief funds requested by San Francisco households remain unprocessed, with 55% of funds paid out.
California could see widespread evictions next month because of government delays in getting federal funds to renters, tenant groups warn.
Tenants throughout the state will still be waiting for rent assistance by April, when their pending applications will cease to protect them from eviction for those debts, the groups said in a report Tuesday.
Dr. Kim Rhoads, who has been working on community-led responses to the pandemic, says what should drive decision making and risk mitigation is simply how much virus is in the community.
Renters throughout San Francisco could gain power to lessen COVID-19 financial hardships and improve conditions in their buildings with political-organizing tools that have a history of success in subsidized housing.
Starting in November, many San Francisco tenants may have to defend themselves in small claims court if their landlords sue to obtain unpaid rent due since March 2020.
In Bayview Hunters Point, most residents have already gotten their shots. One community organizer says part of the reason for that high vaccination rate is because of on-the-ground outreach work that local groups have been doing. That work continues and will for the foreseeable future.
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.”
Rent collections by San Francisco’s public housing agency fell precipitously in late 2019 and have continued to decline to less than half of what is owed, according to a San Francisco Public Press analysis — but the agency can’t explain why.
Landlords may proceed with evictions against tenants for unpaid rent beginning Oct. 1 as a statewide moratorium on such evictions expires. Tenant, legal and public health advocates are urging tenants to apply for rent relief money, and want municipalities to approve additional protections, citing loss of housing as a public health concern.
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.