Housing Rights

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We advocate on behalf of low-income residents in the areas of housing and community development. We focus primarily on gateway communities for new immigrants, such as San Francisco Chinatown, where large numbers of tenants and seniors are in danger of displacement due to gentrification and other economic pressures.

Cases and Campaigns

Post-Foreclosure Eviction Stopped
An elderly Chinese couple was being evicted by a bank after their son lost the home in foreclosure. The couple had been paying their son rent up until the auction, but the bank refused to acknowledge the lease and San Francisco’s tenant protection laws.We convinced the court that the couple were genuine tenants, and the case was dismissed, allowing the couple to remain in place.

Protecting Tenants’ Subsidized Housing Benefits
An elderly widower faced eviction for failure to pay the full rent. His partner had a Section 8 housing voucher that helped cover most of the rent for their apartment in a private, multi-unit complex. She died, and the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) discontinued the voucher.

The landlord then filed an eviction court case, because the widower could not afford the full rent. Usually, a couple living together would have transfer rights to the voucher if one of them died. The rule applies even if the couple is not married. This was the case with our clients, who were married, then divorced, and then reunited when the ex-wife was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Because of a language barrier, SFHA mistakenly treated the ex-husband as a live-in aide. Live-in aides do not have transfer rights to the voucher.
We intervened and were able to persuade the housing agency to reverse its decision, certify the widower for the voucher, and have the landlord stop the eviction.

Ensuring Habitable Living Spaces
Several tenants in a Nob Hill-Chinatown property had undergone an Ellis Act eviction (state law allowing a landlord to exit the residential rental market). They ultimately moved out and received relocation compensation, but there was one household – a working class Chinese family – who remained.

Because they were renting a cottage unit behind the main property, the eviction could not cover them. However, the landlord pursued a new eviction action for the tenants’ refusal to pay an increase in rent. The increase was based on improvements made to the property, but the tenants argued that serious problems remained, like a mold infestation in the bathroom and bedroom.

We represented that family and were able to have the case dismissed, allowing the family to remain in place. The landlord was also required to fix the substandard housing conditions.

Preventing Illegal Rent Increases
A family – new immigrants – was renting an in-law unit for $800 a month. After the foreclosure, the new owner, hoping to flip the property, served notice of a 5x increase in rent to $4,000 a month, stating that the SF Rent Ordinance did not apply.

We prevented a realty investment company from raising rent to market rate to oust tenants from a foreclosed home. We represented the tenants in a petition before the SF Rent Board through the hearing on the merits, and the administrative law judge ruled in our favor, finding that the state law exemptions to local rent control did not apply to the facts in this case.

Housing Needs Research Project
In 2011, the Caucus conducted a research project on housing stock in San Francisco’s District 11, which includes Mission Terrace, Outer Mission, Excelsior, Ingleside, Oceanview, Merced Heights, Cayuga, and Crocker Amazon. According to the 2010 Census, Asian Americans make up the majority in District 11 at 51% of the population. Residents include blue-collar families, limited English-proficient immigrants, and seniors. Our preliminary research indicates that the area has a high rate of in-law units, evictions, and foreclosures. Once published, the report will serve as an advocacy tool to policy makers and community members who wish to preserve affordable housing.

In Law Unit Legalization

For more information on in law unit legalization please visit the following website where you can find the appropriate forms to fill out. This legislation was passed by the Board of Supervisors and Mayor in March 2014.

 

San Francisco Senior Citizen Rights Bulletin 2020
Advancing Justice – ALC publishes the San Francisco Senior Rights Bulletin. The multilingual bulletin covers important local, state, and federal issues such as tenants’ rights, avoiding scams, Census, and the public change rule.

Read the English, Spanish, and Chinese versions here.

 

Tenant Rights for Home Caregivers

New tenants’ rights video in Cantonese for home caregivers renting in California here.

 

When making rent payments to your landlord, particularly if you owe back rent or other fines, it is important to tell your landlord specifically what your rent payment is for. Be sure to write on the check or money order what the payment is for (e.g. March 2021 Rent), and use one of the rent designation letters linked here (available in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, and Vietnamese) to make sure you and your landlord are on the same page. Give this letter to your landlord at the same time you give them your rent.

 

RESOURCES FOR SAN FRANCISCO TENANTS

三藩市租户资源

Need Legal Assistance? 您需要法律协助吗?

Phone Appointment Only. If you need legal assistance on a housing issue, please call 415-295-2024. If we miss your call, please leave a voice/text message (Your name, phone number, and briefly describe the issue), and we will respond to you as soon as possible. 仅限预约。 如果您在住房问题上需要法律援助,请致电415-295-2024。 如果我们错过您的来电,请留下语音/短信(包括您的姓名,电话号码,并简要说明问题),我们将尽快回复您。

Our Housing Rights Program only provides legal assistance to San Francisco tenants. We prioritize cases involving eviction, reasonable accommodation, significant rent increase, landlord harassment, habitability issues, and change in terms of tenancy. We do not provide any services to landlords. 住房权益项目仅为三藩市租客提供法律援助服务。我们优先承办的案件类型包括:迫迁辩护、残障人士需协助申请合理便利安排、大幅度涨租、房东骚扰、住房环境品质问题、租赁条款更变。我们不为房东提供任何服务。

Languages: English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi. Other languages may be available upon request. 

语言:英语,广东话,普通话,印地语。 可根据需求提供其他语言。

Are you facing landlord harassment due to backed rent during COVID? You may be protected and should ask your landlord to cease the harassment. See our Pro Se Letter- Harassment 1A & 1B- Landlord Harassment for Non-Payment.

您是否因在COVID期间拖欠租金而面临房东骚扰?您可能受到法律保护并应该向房东提出停止骚扰的要求。请参阅我们为您提供的信函范本- 因欠租而引起的房东骚扰

State eviction protections have been extended through the end of June. If you cannot pay your full rent right now, read this short summary of what you must do to protect yourself: English | Chinese | Spanish | Filipino 

加州租客驱逐保护法令的时效已被延长至六月底。如果您现在付不起全部房租,请阅读以下有关如何保护自己的摘要

英语 | 中文 | 西班牙语 | 菲律宾语

Are you being evicted?

If you have received a Summons & Complaint or have been served a notice containing allegations of nuisance, call the Eviction Defense Collaborative‘s legal assistance line as soon as possible at (415) 659-9184 or email LEGAL@evictiondefense.org

你被驱逐了吗?

如果您收到逼迁传票及诉状书,或收到包含妨害指控的通知,请尽快致电抗逼迁联盟的法律援助专线 (415) 659-9184 或发送邮件至 LEGAL@evictiondefense.org

If you need financial assistance for the payment of rent, please call RADCo at (415) 470-5211 or email EDCRADCO@evictiondefense.org

如果您需要经济援助来支付租金,请致电经济协助服务 (415) 470-5211 或发送邮件至EDCRADCO@evictiondefense.org

 

Are you a San Francisco tenant who can’t pay rent because of COVID-19? Please see our SB 91 Fact Sheet to learn about how you can be protected. English | Chinese | Spanish | Russian | Vietnamese

您是因为新型冠状病毒疫情而付不起房租的三藩市租客吗?请参阅我们有关州法律SB 91的简介,了解如何保护自己。

英语 | 中文 | 西班牙语 | 越南语

Watch Legal Services of Northern Californias video with more information about California’s COVID-19 eviction protections.

观看北加州法律服务视频,了解更多有关加州新型冠状病毒疫情驱逐保护法令的信息。

 

When making rent payments to your landlord, particularly if you owe back rent or other fines, it is important to tell your landlord specifically what your rent payment is for. Be sure to write on the check or money order what the payment is for (e.g. March 2021 Rent), and use one of the rent designation letters linked here (available in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, and Vietnamese) to make sure you and your landlord are on the same page. Give this letter to your landlord at the same time you give them your rent.

当您向房东支付租金时,尤其是如果您已拖欠租金或其他罚款,一定要明确地告诉房东您的租金是用在何处。请务必在支票或汇票上注明付款用途(例如,2021年3月租金),并使用此处链接的其中一种租金指定信件(英语、繁体、简体、塔加洛语和越南语)确保您和房东达成共识。在支付租金的同时,一并把这封信交给您的房东。

Additional COVID-19 Information for Tenants: 

San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition

MOHCD COVID-19 Emergency Tenant Protections

Know Your Rights on COVID Tenant Protections (English)

更多有关新型冠状病毒疫情的租户信息:

三藩市反逼迁联盟

市长住房和社区发展办公室新型冠状病毒疫情驱逐以及租金调涨暂缓令

了解您的权益- 新型冠状病毒疫情租户保护(英语)

 

Please visit our COVID-19 Resource page for more SF Tenant Resources.

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