Earlier this year, the San Francisco Public Press featured Gregory Nelson in “Driving Home: Surviving the Housing Crisis,” a photojournalism project by Yesica Prado documenting the experiences of people living in vehicles in the Bay Area. Prado followed up with Nelson to find out how his life has changed during the pandemic.
San Francisco has not prioritized neighborhoods with little recently built affordable housing when deciding which projects to fund, a public audit released this week found.
About 90% of affordable housing added in the last decade has gone to just four eastern and central neighborhoods.
A proposed three-month extension to the statewide eviction moratorium, set to expire in less than a week, could override recently approved tenant protections in San Francisco, leaving tenants vulnerable to eviction starting in October, tenant advocates said.
SF Has Not Made a Single Payment From Federal Rent-Relief Program as Eviction Moratorium Poised to End
With time running out, not a single San Francisco resident has received a check from the city’s federally funded rent-relief program. Barely a week remains before landlords can resume evictions for unpaid rents due during the pandemic.
“I have never been evicted or homeless,” said Buddy Bates, a renter in Parkmerced and father of two. “I live in that fear constantly now.”
“Civic” spoke with Tomiquia Moss, founder and CEO of AllHome, a regional organization working to disrupt cycles of poverty and homelessness and to create more economic mobility for extremely low-income people. Moss describes the need for more investment across different interventions to reduce the pressure to prioritize those who have the most complex and chronic needs over those who could exit homelessness with shorter-term help, or over prevention strategies.
With less than two weeks remaining before San Francisco landlords will be allowed to evict tenants for unpaid rents that were due during the pandemic, the state had sent checks to a small fraction of the 3,400 households that have requested rent assistance. Many checks will not arrive soon enough to prevent displacement.
The statewide moratorium on evictions for unpaid rents that were due during the pandemic ends June 30 — and recent legislation by San Francisco lawmakers will not change that. State officials are working to extend the moratorium but have yet to reach an agreement. Attorneys in the city’s free legal defense system for tenants are preparing for a cascade that could overwhelm them if state talks fall through, potentially pushing throngs of people from their homes.
New protections will give renters a two-month reprieve after the state’s eviction moratorium expires June 30. But rent debts incurred before that date will still be due next month, and landlords could evict over them.
Just four San Francisco households had received state money to pay off their rent debts as of Monday, with another 23 approved but awaiting payment, according to state figures.
California’s rent-assistance program opened two months ago, and its eviction moratorium is set to lift in barely five weeks on June 30, allowing landlords to eject people for outstanding rent debts.
The company that owns and manages the Plaza East public housing complex in San Francisco’s Western Addition neighborhood says it does not currently have a plan to tear down the property. The shift in the firm’s message comes after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development did not approve a $320 million request from the company and the San Francisco Housing Authority, which owns the land, to demolish and rebuild the existing public housing complex and potentially add hundreds of units.
A local group that worked with San Francisco on a public program to allocate rental relief funds is keeping a list of thousands of applicants from city staff, an official confirmed Friday. That has made it impossible to follow up with the applicants and give them additional help.
Q Foundation created the web application tool for rent assistance through San Francisco’s Give2SF COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.