Two Policy Wins for SF Housing Rights, Immigration Groups

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On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a new tenant protections legislation, dubbed as “Eviction Protections 2.0,” considered “one of the most significant and comprehensive set of tenant protections of the last few years,” according to a press release by Causa Justa.

 

The legislation aims to drastically reduce evictions by “fixing loopholes and gaps in the law” that have driven no-fault and low-fault evictions, according to Causa Justa. The organization has pointed out that eviction notices issued to tenants in San Francisco have increased by 67 percent in five years.

 

Supervisor Jane Kim, who introduced the measure, said at a Land Use hearing earlier this month that the legislation would help keep tenants in their homes without doing any harm to decent landlords.

 

“I have been stunned by the number of people leaving our city. Far greater even than I observed a couple of months ago,” said Kim. “We won a victory today for all San Franciscans who care about affordability.”

 

According to Causa Justa, the legislation will strengthen the right of tenants to live with family members and roommates; provide tenants with more time to address landlord complaints before an eviction lawsuit; prevent owners from evicting tenants for minor lease violations; reduce the economic incentive to evict tenants by controlling rents after a no-fault eviction; and require that eviction notices include translated information for tenants to get help.

 

As an attempt to prevent property flipping, landlords are also prohibited from raising rent for five years after a no-fault eviction of a tenant.

 

Meanwhile, community groups are praising the introduction of a package of public safety proposals by Supervisor David Campos calling for “solutions, not scapegoating” to prevent gun theft, clean up outdated warrants and foster trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

 

The proposals come after the shooting of a woman at San Francisco’s Pier 14 earlier this year fueled a national debate on immigration in the United States.

 

Campos said the first legislation will “prevent the type of gun theft that led to the pier 14 tragedy” by ensuring that off-duty officers’ guns are kept in lockboxes or secured in locked trunks when left in parked cars.

 

The second proposed legislation would require the district attorney’s office to communicate with local law enforcement agencies before transferring inmates to city custody from outside jurisdiction to determine that such transfers “are in the interests of public safety,” said Campos.

 

The last proposal from the “solutions, not scapegoating” package urges San Francisco not to participate in the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) deportation dragnet, which community groups claim would turn jails into deportation centers.

 

“It’s imperative that we not turn the jail into a pipeline for deportations through PEP. When our local law enforcement is ensnared with a deportation system that lacks any sort of due process, community trust in our local institutions suffers greatly and immigrants become terrified of reporting crimes,” said Essex Lordes, Programs Co-Director at Community United Against Violence.

 

“Immigrants are part of our neighborhoods, our city and our country, and we need policies that uphold our values of equality and due process for all,” said Lordes.

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