Do something about Gentrification // Strengthen Tenant Protections
Please sign this change.org petition to the Oakland City Council today. Tell them to take immediate action to strengthen protections for tenants.
There are policies facing them right now — and more that we plan on introducing in the coming months — that can put the brakes on gentrification. Click here to...
The Oakland Rent Board put forth ‘Debt Service’ and ‘Capital Improvement’ Rent Adjustment Program regulation amendments for approval by the City of Oakland. The Tenant Justice Campaign (TJC) evaluated the proposals and has come up with developed positions to better protect tenants. Click here to read them.
Last week, Feb. 25, we showed up in force at the Oakland City...
Oakland Tenants and Friends who Support Fairness and Justice:
The Tenant Justice Campaign (TJC) is a broad alliance of individuals and pro-tenant organizations. In response to the ‘Debt Service’ and ‘Capital Improvement’ Rent Adjustment Program regulation amendments that the Oakland Rent Board has put forth for Oakland City Council approval, Causa Justa Just Cause, Oakland Tenants Union, East Bay Community Law...
Renters Day of Action -
/ ¡Dia de protesta de Inquilinos!
Renters' Day of Action: March & Rally
Día de protesta de Inquilinos: Movilización y Manifestación
February 18, 2014 at 9:30 am - 18 de Febrero del 2014 a las 9:30 a.m.
WHEN: February 18th, at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Meet at 11th and L Streets in Sacramento
WHAT: March and rally to reform the Ellis...
Tenant Protection Victories
Thanks to the courageous and powerful actions taken by tenants in SF in 2013, the Board of Supervisors felt the pressure to pass a number of tenants rights policies that will protect working class tenants right to stay in SF and are clear attacks on speculation and displacement. Jan 6th legislation was approved by the...
First Public Action of La Plaza 16 Coalición/ The Plaza 16 Coalition to oppose the proposed development project at Plaza.
16th Street Plaza Anti-Displacement Rally
When: Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014
Where: 16th & Mission streets at BART Plaza
Where: 16th St. BART Plaza Station, SF
Join us Saturday, Feb. 1, to show wide and public opposition for the...
Tackling Foreclosure and Improving Health through Local Partnerships, Community Organizing, and Policy Change
By Katherine Schaff, Alameda County Public Health Department; Robbie Clark, Causa Justa::Just Cause; Alexandra Desautels, Alameda County Public Health Department; Tammy Lee, Alameda County Public Health Department; Tram Nguyen, Alameda County Public Health Department; and Muntu Davis, Alameda County Public Health Department
The Alameda County (CA) Public Health Department (ACPHD) strives to ensure the optimal health and well-being of all people.
Gladys O., who is disabled, lives in an SRO in San Francisco with her son, who is also disabled. She was harassed by her manager beginning in June 2013, who told her she could pay her June rent with her deposit. She didn’t know her rights and didn’t think anything was wrong. But the manager gave her bad information and...
Please go to our Tenant Services menu for information about our holiday schedule. Our offices will be closed from December 23, 2013 until January 1, 2014.But we have info for you if you need immediate emergency help so check out that link.
Causa Justa wishes you Happy Holidays and thank everyone for ALL the support and love we've received over...
Hassle Free Housing Ordinance Passes First Vote 11-0 at SF Board of Supervisors
Growing Strength of Housing Rights Movement Creating More Protections for Tenants
After more than a year of pushing for Hassle Free Housing, the proposed legislation passed its first vote at the SF Board of Supervisors 11-0 on December 17, 2013
As San Franciscans face a housing crisis,
Paula Beal, left, and Gerthina Harris, right, at a housing action and rally.
Background: Wallace Hill and Paula Beal have been living at 2021 Linden St under lees than habitable living conditions. In 2012 they began doing their own repairs in and around the house. This occurred after the death of the former homeowner.
Last December, they received an unlawful detainer for unpaid rent for $600.00 per month from the months of August through December.
Both Paula and Wallace responded to the court that they refused to pay the rent because they were spending so much money on house repairs. In response, the lawyer for Fannie Mae began to schedule appointments for the repairs.
Since then, the repairs have been completed. Recently they were served with another unlawful detainer -- their fourth on this year in a frivolous Fanny Mae tactic to evict them.
Paula and Wallace have attempted to pay the rent on several different occasions and the lawyer refuses to accept it. Now they are headed to court to fight for their right to remain in the home.
This is a fight that many of our members face on a daily basis. In Right to the City Homes for All campaign, we are demanding that tenants and homeowners be treated fairly. Fannie Mae owns over half of the homes in the US and has not responded to the current housing crisis. RTTC, of which we are part, are working to help families stay in their homes.
The Empire Strikes Back - How Wall Street Has Turned Housing Into a Dangerous Get-Rich-Quick Scheme -- Again
This time it’s securities bundled from rentals, rather than mortgages.
By Laura Gottesdiener
You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation’s impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing.
Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed an unprecedented rental empire, snapping up Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, brick-faced bungalows in Chicago, Spanish revivals in Phoenix. In total, these deep-pocketed investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown.
Wall Street’s foreclosure crisis, which began in late 2007 and forced more than 10 million people from their homes, has created a paradoxical problem. Millions of evicted Americans need a safe place to live, even as millions of vacant, bank-owned houses are blighting neighborhoods and spurring a rise in crime. Lucky for us, Wall Street has devised a solution: It’s going to rent these foreclosed houses back to us. In the process, it’s devised a new form of securitization that could cause this whole plan to blow up -- again.
Since the buying frenzy began, no company has picked up more houses than the Blackstone Group, the largest private equity firm in the world. Using a subsidiary company, Invitation Homes, Blackstone has grabbed houses at foreclosure auctions, through local brokers, and in bulk purchases directly from banks the same way a regular person might stock up on toilet paper from Costco.
In one move, it bought 1,400 houses in Atlanta in a single day. As of November, Blackstone had spent $7.5 billion to buy 40,000 mostly foreclosed houses across the country. That’s a spending rate of $100 million a week since October 2012. It recently announced plans to take the business international, beginning in foreclosure-ravaged Spain.
Few outside the finance industry have heard of Blackstone. Yet today, it’s the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the nation -- and of a whole lot of other things, too. It owns part or all of the Hilton Hotel chain, Southern Cross Healthcare, Houghton Mifflin publishing house, the Weather Channel, Sea World, the arts and crafts chain Michael’s, Orangina, and dozens of other companies.
Blackstone manages more than $210 billion in assets, according to its 2012 Securities and Exchange Commission annual filing. It’s also a public company with a list of institutional owners that reads like a who’s who of companies recently implicated in lawsuits over the mortgage crisis, including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and of course JP Morgan Chase, which just settled a lawsuit with the Department of Justice over its risky and often illegal mortgage practices, agreeing to pay an unprecedented $13 billion fine.
In other words, if Blackstone makes money by capitalizing on the housing crisis, all these other Wall Street banks -- generally regarded as the main culprits in creating the conditions...
Come join us Dec. 16th at 2pm, San Francisco City Hall to support strong, enforceable tenant protections.
Let's make sure that Hassle Free Housing legislation makes it out of the Land Use Committee and to the Full Board of Supervisors.
While San Francisco has some of the strongest protections for tenants, including protections against harassment, landlords in our city are still using harassment tactics to illegally evict tenants.
Just a few examples of the harassment tenants face include: calling them at all hours of the day; sitting outside their homes or coming by their building everyday; having construction take place Monday through Saturday beginning at 7am; sending invalid 3-Day Notices that tenants have to respond to; not accepting rent, as well as verbal aggression and intimidation.
Harassment is an incredibly effective and cheap way to evict a tenant because a landlord is making their housing situation so unbearable that tenants self-evict, leaving behind a vacant unit that does not trigger any of the restriction on re-renting at market value that would follow a legal Ellis Act or Owner Move-In eviction or the requirement to give relocation payments after any No-Fault Eviction.
The Hassle Free Housing Legislation is our attempt to ensure that the harassment protections that currently exist in San Francisco are enforceable.
Currently tenants facing these and other types of evictions only have the option of holding their landlords or master tenants accountable for their actions by suing them at Superior Court.
While it is important that tenants have that avenue to enforce the right they have, there must be another, more accessible option for tenants who do not have the resources to hire a lawyer and sue their landlord or master tenants.
If Hassle Free Housing is approved by the SF Board of Supervisors, tenants would have an option to take their harassment claims to the SF Rent Board have a mediation session with the Landlord or Master Tenant and try and resolve the issue.
If there is no resolution, but it is clear that tenant harassment is taking place, the Rent Board's Administrative Law Judges would send their findings the SF City Attorney who could pursue the case.
So… don’t forget Dec. 16th at 2pm, San Francisco City Hall -- to send a strong message to the Land Use Committee and Full Board of Supervisors that Hassle Free Housing legislation makes sense.
Attendees at Saturday's tenant convention placed stickers marking where they live on a map of San Francisco that displayed average housing prices. Photo by Lynne Shallcross
By Lynne Shallcross/MISSION L@CAL
Posted November 25, 2013 4:00 pm
Sergio Lainez is fighting to keep his family of five in the only home they’ve known for the past 22 years on Bryant and 24th streets. “I don’t have peace at all,” said Lainez, 41, who, with the help of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, has been in a five-year legal battle with his landlord. “They just want me out.”
Lainez joined a group of about 50 other Mission and Excelsior residents Saturday at Everett Middle School for a tenant convention organized by Just Cause (also known as Causa Justa.) The event was intended to be the first step in getting a measure to fight displacement on next fall’s citywide ballot.
Wading through topics including accountability for landlords who neglect repairs, reducing the impact of the Ellis Act and protections against evictions and vacancy control, attendees talked about what they want to see turned into a ballot measure.
“It’s going to be a pretty long fight next year, and we want people to invest in it and feel a part of it — and the way that we see that being a possibility is if they craft it, if they’re involved from the very beginning,” said Maria Zamudio, San Francisco Housing Rights Organizer for Just Cause.
Just Cause was part of a larger coalition last year that worked successfully to pass a bond to fund affordable housing development, known as the Housing Trust Fund or Proposition C.
The San Francisco Budget and Legislative analyst reported recently that more residents were evicted from the Inner Mission with the Ellis Act than in any other neighborhood. The Ellis Act is a 1986 state law that allows landlords to take their rental properties off the market by evicting all of the tenants. The report tracked 71 Ellis Act eviction notices in the Inner Mission from 2009 to 2013.
Citywide, all types of evictions reported to the city’s Rent Board rose from 1,242 in March 2010 to 1,716 in February 2013. Evictions under the Ellis Act increased 170 percent between March 2010 and February 2013. From October 2012 to September 2013, there were 162 Ellis Act evictions.
Hebert Sipion has been living in the Excelsior District for two years, and last month, his landlord raised the amount Sipion is required to contribute to his utility charges from 80 percent of the total to 100 percent. “He told us he can raise it whatever he wants,” Sipion said.
So Sipion and his wife, who are already working with Just Cause, came to yesterday’s event to gain more information and support.
David Campos, who represents the Mission on the Board of Supervisors, reassured residents that their voices are being heard.
“The Mission is, in many respects, the front lines of this fight,” Campos told attendees. “When you have the beginning of an...