Chris Block speaks at a podium in front of a projector screen

SF Creates New Office Tasked With Relocating Homeless Hotel Residents

A new city agency, founded in the wake of rising concerns about the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing’s ability to house the city’s homeless population, aims to bring 2,000 people into permanent shelter by the end of the year.

The new Office of Housing Opportunities will be a division of the COVID Command Center, shifting responsibilities away from the Department of Homelessness. Chris Block, formerly the director of the chronic homelessness division at Tipping Point, a nonprofit focused on battling poverty and homelessness, is directing the effort.

People living on the streets of San Francisco, like the residents of these tents, will have a higher likelihood of accessing housing due to a new ordinance.

Hundreds More Homeless People Could Get Housing Under Emergency Policy

More than 600 people living on San Francisco’s streets could soon get placed in permanent supportive housing.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an emergency ordinance that lifts restrictions on
who can access this type of shelter, which includes services like mental health and substance use treatment and employment assistance.

Abigail Stewart-Kahn, interim director of San Francisco's Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing.

Advocates Press SF to Fill Supportive Housing Vacancies With People Living on Streets

San Francisco should move people living on the streets to the top of the list for permanent supportive housing, advocates and service providers said Tuesday.

The current system of setting aside all available housing units specifically for homeless people living in shelter-in-place hotels is not proving effective, advocates and city officials said at a hearing of the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance committee.

A crochet white teddy bear peaks through the window of a family home in the Ingleside neighborhood. The teddy bear wears blue scrubs, a stethoscope and a mask. As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into its second year, evictions have resumed, and the city’s most vulnerable are bearing the brunt.

Despite Pandemic, New Wave of Court-Ordered Evictions Displacing Poor Tenants

After an eight-month pause, court-ordered evictions in San Francisco have resumed, and they’re coming down hardest on some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. The Sheriff’s Department has conducted evictions at 33 addresses across the city since November 2020, according to documents obtained through a California Public Records Act request. More than half — 18 — involved tenants in permanent supportive housing.

Keeshemah Johnson peers out the window of the home she once shared with her partner, Maurice Austin. Her T-shirt pays tribute to Austin.

Hundreds of SF Renters Threatened With Eviction During Pandemic

Landlords have tried to force hundreds of San Francisco renters from their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. From March 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, landlords filed close to half the number of eviction notices as in the same period a year earlier, even as state and federal moratoriums on pandemic-related evictions remain in effect.

The Seneca Hotel, which offers permanent supportive housing for homeless people, has 27 vacant rooms.

1 in 10 SF Housing Units for Homeless Sit Vacant

Nearly one in every 10 of San Francisco’s permanent supportive housing units — earmarked for people experiencing homelessness — is now sitting empty. The number of vacant units has climbed 58% since September and now represents 9.9% of the permanent supportive housing stock.

A woman chats on her phone, wearing a mask,while walking down Ocean Avenue in early January.She strolls pass a mural highlighting, “Ingleside Pride,” painted on a closed medical business. Residents in the neighborhoods of Ingleside, Excelsior, Mission and the Tenderloin are struggling to continue paying rent.Despite the region’s high rents, the percentage of San Francisco area residents who are behind on their rent is lower than the national average.

One-Quarter of Bay Area Tenants Say They Can’t Pay the Rent

As the pandemic stretches into its second year, an estimated 278,000 households, or roughly one-quarter of the Bay Area’s 1.1 million renters, have little or no confidence they will be able to make next month’s rent, according to a San Francisco Public Press analysis of Census Bureau data. An estimated 60,000 renters living in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and San Francisco counties who were behind on their rent in mid-December said they feared eviction in the next 60 days.