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.
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.
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.
As cases of COVID-19 surge in San Francisco, advocates question whether the city can prevent another outbreak in the homeless community. Between June 30 and July 31, confirmed cases among homeless people quadrupled from 18 to 78. But as the delta variant of the coronavirus sweeps across the city, there is a growing shortage of safe places for homeless people to go.
Emily Cohen, interim director for strategy and external affairs at the department, talked with “Civic” about where these investments are being focused — more than half of the funds are earmarked for housing — and why. A count of people visibly unsheltered on the street that takes place on one night every two years tallied about 8,000 people in 2019. Cohen said city programs have helped some 25,000 people exit homelessness since 2005.
The International Hotel on the corner of Jackson and Kearny in San Francisco is the second of its name. The original was a residential hotel, with small rooms affordable to low-income workers. On Aug. 4, 1977, more than 100 residents were evicted all at once, despite thousands of protesters outside.
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.
A group of civil rights organizations filed suit against the city of Mountain View over an ordinance that restricts oversize vehicle parking on most city streets, describing it as unconstitutional and inhumane.
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.