Locked Out and Displaced: Tenant Fights Back

Case underscores the ongoing surge of harassment and evictions

flooding Mission District

When: Friday, March 12, 11AM
What: Press conference denouncing the illegal eviction lock out of immigrant tenant
Where:  3374 24th St., outside a four-unit building where he rented a room
Who: Locked out tenant, Supervisor David Campos, and Causa Justa :: Just Cause, local tenant’s rights and immigrants rights organization and other allies
Why:  To demand that Mr. Sanchez gets let back into his unit and his right to stay is protected.

•Tenant will be available for interviews, interpretation provided

SAN FRANCISCO– In the heart of the Mission, on 24th Street. between the sparkle of Valencia Street and the few fruterias left on Mission Street, Jesús Sanchez, a Latino immigrant and Mission resident came home Wednesday night to find that the locks to the unit had been changed and all his belongings had been removed.

Because Sanchez was never served with notice nor given the opportunity to defend his ability to stay, it is an illegal eviction. Sanchez demands that his rights as a tenant be respected and that he be let back into the unit and resume his tenancy.

Sanchez has been living in the unit as a subtenant for 18 months.  In January Sanchez contacted PG&E to report a gas leak. The utility company shut off the gas until a repair was made. Sanchez says one of the building owners turned the gas back on without addressing the leak.

The master tenant in the unit attempted to verbally evict him for reporting the leak and began harassing him to leave. On Monday March 10th, Sanchez says both the master tenant and the owner Eric Dabanne verbally attacked him screaming that he leave without giving him proper notice.

On Wednesday when he got home, not only were the locks changed, but also through the window the counselor and the tenant could see that the carpet had been pulled up and repairs had begun in the unit. On Thursday tenant and counselor contacted the owner to demand he be let back in the unit and he refused.

Sanchez is one of hundreds of tenants and subtenants feeling the brunt of gentrification in SF manifesting itself through harassment, abuse, illegal evictions and ultimately displacement. Building managers, landlords and real estate speculators continue to profit in as they bring in higher income tenants. 

Leticia Arce, CJJC counselor working on the case said,  “We see these kinds of cases all the time, immigrant and low income tenants kicked out, and being replaced by higher income tenants who can pay up to double and triple the rent. Everyone but long-time tenants.”

In 2013, almost 40% of our total eviction cases in our clinic came from the Mission district and over 60% of the time, there’s no stated reason for the eviction. (from our clinic numbers)

His story highlights the need for stronger protections for tenants and protections for the growing number of sub-tenants who have to live together and pool their money due to rising rent prices and less affordable housing.

“Jesús is one more tenant standing up against displacement,“ says Dawn Phillips, co-director of programs at CJJC “[Cases like these] are why we see dealing with gentrification threatening our neighborhoods to be our most urgent work right now,” added Phillips, who is lead author of “Development Without Displacement,” a soon-to-be-released report that contributes to the conversation an understanding of gentrification and displacement from the perspective of a frontline organization working in neighborhoods most impacted by the crisis.

#StopDisplacement  #Housingisahumanright #stoptenantharrasment