Monday, September 13, 2021

Help Those In Emergency Need After Floral Shop Torched

Floral shop in ruins, robbed and torched after nearly a century in San Francisco

Featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, this is a very sad story of lunacy and criminality destroying the innocent and their livelihoods. We regularly focus on the homeless as that's SF CARES priority, but we must always support those that are now displaced for a multitude of reasons. This is one of them. Please support the Frank's Floral shop owner's GoFundMe. Even $10 would be a great help!

For a windfall of $8, someone broke into Frank’s Floral Shop on Irving Street in San Francisco the other night. They jimmied the back door with a crowbar. They trashed the place and took what meager receipts the cash register had to offer.

And then, they apparently set fire to the place — a Sunset District establishment that for 95 years had supplied bouquets and corsages to brides and widows and new parents in the 19th Avenue and Irving region, as well as city’s broader Armenian community.

The incident at 1821 Irving St. occurred at 12:30 a.m. Sept. 5 and is under investigation as a burglary and possible arson, according to the police and fire departments.

A week later, on Sunday afternoon, the owner of the shop, 66-year-old Sona Pehlivanian, stood in the wreckage. In the pile of charred inventory were some wicker flower baskets, trays of ruined succulents, a melted Rolodex and flowery thank-you notes with curly penmanship.

Pehlivanian said she doesn’t know much about how insurance works, what will be covered or how much it will cost to rebuild the store, which includes a storefront and little office and workspace upstairs. The need will include some new walls, ceilings and staircase, along with new inventory. So far her insurance representatives have not shown up to assess the damage, but offered $9,400, which would barely replace the lost merchandise, she said.

“What’s the landlord insurance going to cover? What about my insurance? Do I fight? Do I hire an attorney? Do I want to start again? By the time this is all finished I’ll be almost 70,” she said. “Should I put in the energy to rebuild, or walk away and keep doing flowers for the church out of my garage? I don’t know.”

Pehlivanian was a recently divorced young mother when she bought the shop in 1987. Then, as now, it had a pizza spot on one side and a liquor store on the other. Until that point, Frank’s Floral had been owned for 60 years by Frank Korkmazian, who along with his wife, Gladys, operated the store and lived in two rooms upstairs.

After Frank died, Gladys ran the business until she sold it to Pehlivanian.

“They did almost everything for the Armenian community — all the weddings and funerals and processions,” she said. “I continued that. They were so happy that another young Armenian girl had taken it over and would keep it going. And I did that for 35 years — until this evil man take it away from me for absolutely nothing.”

Pehlivanian had previously worked at a bank but needed more flexibility to take care of her baby son. The shop offered her that. It was longer hours, but she could keep her child safe and tend to him in a sleeping bag on the floor while she worked. She said she worked 17-hour days and 20 hours on holidays. It paid off.

“As a single parent with a young child, I worked hard enough with the business that I was able to buy a house in the neighborhood after about five years,” she said.

Supervisor Gordon Mar said the break-in was the latest in a rash of commercial burglaries during the pandemic that hit stores along Irving, Taraval and Noriega streets. A print shop broken into on Taraval was also set on fire, and robbers additionally hit Sun Maxim Bakery, Twisted Donuts, Nomad Cyclery and Footprint Shoe Store, which was robbed twice in one night. Mar said he has called for hearings into how to make the retail strips safer. He said he was unaware of any arrests in the break-ins.

“Frank’s Floral really is a historic neighborhood business, and Sona put her heart and soul into it,” he said.

Longtime customer and friend Milly Sheehy said she was heartbroken to hear of the setback.

“This is the most hardworking woman you will ever see,” Sheehy said. “She gets up at 4:30 every day to go to the Flower Market. Oh, she can’t say no to anybody. She helps everybody. She has a heart of gold, that woman, and she is a total giver.”

Dennis Wu, a prominent business leader in the Chinese American community who lives in near the Stonestown mall just to the south of the neighborhood, said he became enamored with the store just recently. Wu got together with Drew Min and Jessica Ho to start a GoFundMe account to raise money for Pehlivanian.

“I fell in love with this woman,” he said. “Some people sing. Some people paint. Some people are great chefs. This woman had just this little flower shop, but she projected love through her fingers and hands.”

The intruder didn’t have the sense to take a gift basket or a bouquet of dahlias before escaping out the back alley, Pehlivanian said. She suspects the person is male, based on what was stolen. The store is still full of ash-covered greeting cards and wedding votives, vases, urns and melted candelabras — not to mention a cooler full of rapidly wilting flowers.

“Men don’t want those things,” she said.

Charred trash is piled outside Frank's Floral Shop in San Francisco after the store was robbed and torched.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Will Resistance Stop Japantown Hotel Being A Homeless Haven?

Featured in the San Francisco Chronicle:

S.F. slows down plan to convert Japantown hotel into homeless housing amid resistance

San Francisco officials are putting the brakes on plans to turn a tourist hotel in Japantown into housing for more than a hundred homeless people, after droves of neighbors complained about the proposal.

Many Japantown community leaders, business owners and residents oppose the purchase, worried that losing one of two hotels in the neighborhood will hurt local businesses.

The Kimpton Buchanan Hotel at 1800 Sutter St. is one of four properties the city wants to buy with state money and turn into permanent supportive housing. But the proposal has attracted so much neighborhood opposition that Mayor London Breed’s office said Tuesday that it will give officials a few more weeks for community outreach.

If the project doesn’t move forward, the city could lose a chance to apply for state funding to create 131 units of desperately needed housing in a neighborhood with scant homeless services. Officials said they are considering other properties in the city in case this one doesn’t work out.

“With so many people living on our streets we are committed to moving quickly to buy hotels,” Andy Lynch, a spokesman for Breed said in a statement. “But we also will listen to the community, hear their concerns, and try to incorporate their feedback, which is what we’re doing now.”

In the meantime, Breed introduced a resolution at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting to approve the acquisition of two other properties — one in the Mission and another in the Outer Mission. Officials are working on the contract for a fourth property in SoMa and plan to move forward on it soon.

The four buildings would add 368 units to the city’s permanent supportive housing stock, in which homeless people pay 30% of their income in rent and receive social services such as case management.

But the resistance in Japantown demonstrates the challenges Breed faces as she tries to spread homelessness services and housing around the city. The overwhelming majority of the city’s shelter, drop-in centers and permanent supportive housing units are in the Tenderloin and SoMa.

“We support supportive housing,” said Richard Hashimoto, president of the Japantown Merchants Association. “But just not in this neighborhood.”

By Tuesday, more than 6,500 people signed an online petition to stop the sale of the Japantown hotel, which is currently a temporary shelter for homeless people during the pandemic.

“They’re not going to spend as much money in Japantown as a tourist would,” Hashimoto said, referring to the would-be tenants who are often living on the margins of society and struggling with mental illness and drug addiction. “That’s a huge economic loss for us.”

Supervisor Dean Preston, whose district includes Japantown, said he is supportive of having “multiple” permanent supportive housing buildings in his district— but he is not convinced the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel is the best location.

“All districts and parts of the city should be part of the solution to providing affordable housing for formerly homeless folks,” Preston said. “But when you get concerns raised by the community, it’s also incumbent to make space for folks to weigh in before making a final decision.”

He said he is “eager” to bring more housing for homeless people to his district, but “we’re not going to do that by ignoring the concerns of residents.”

The mayor hoped the Board of Supervisors would approve the purchases by the end of September, and close on the sale by the end of the year. It is unclear how long she will wait until moving forward on the Japantown site.

But the clock is ticking: The city’s tight timeline is driven by Project Homekey, a state grant program to create homeless housing. The state will start accepting applications on a rolling basis in late September, and local officials are working under the assumption that the sooner they get the applications in, the better.

The city has not yet disclosed prices of the hotels.

Meanwhile, Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Ahsha Safaí said Tuesday that they both support the purchases in the Mission and Outer Mission.

Safaí said there are a few community members who are skeptical of turning the Outer Mission tourist motel at 5630-38 Mission St. into housing for homeless people.

But he feels confident that the city will be able to move forward on the purchase.

“Every neighborhood needs to do their fair share,” he said.

 

NIMBY - Definition, Reasons and Practical Example

 

 

Monday, August 30, 2021

San Francisco Rent Relief Tracker

Please note that if you can pay rent, pay it. If you can pay even 25% of your rent, pay it. Hoarding your cash from landlords, when over 50% of landlords generate income solely by renting, is unethical. Landlords cannot afford to keep a roof over their head while tenants have received huge cash bail outs from the government, unemployment and stimulus checks. We volunteer at the Food Bank and many times we've seen bags of groceries (that we bagged) jammed behind supermarket cashier stands i.e. people that are employed with access to free or heavily discounted food are draining the Food Bank's resources from people who have NO money. Be sensible and don't be greedy. Pay your fair share and regain your moral compass. 

Featured in the San Francisco Public Press:

UPDATE 8/23/21 3:15 p.m. This is the latest installment in a series tracking financial assistance to San Franciscans with rent debt. We’ll aim to publish updated figures each week.

With just under six weeks to go before the moratorium on COVID-19-related evictions expires, requests for rent assistance have climbed to nearly $120 million in San Francisco.

A total of 10,552 households had requested $117.9 million in rent and utility assistance as of last week, about five months after the government opened financial aid programs to cover housing costs that residents incurred during the pandemic, according to data from state and local officials. Roughly one in five applicants had either been approved or received money. The programs have about $152 million in funding, some of which is for administrative costs.

Rent debt in San Francisco stood between $147 million and $355 million in June, according to estimates by the city’s Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office, which reports to the Board of Supervisors. The figures are based on unemployment rates that peaked in April 2020, rendering as many as 33,200 renters jobless, and did not return to pre-pandemic levels during the period studied.

The state and local governments are running parallel rent-relief programs. City residents should apply through the state’s program if they owe money for rent or other housing bills that were due from April 2020 through the end of March 2021; they should apply through the city’s program for debts in later months.

The statewide eviction moratorium, protecting tenants who could not pay rent due to COVID-19 hardships, was originally scheduled to end Jan. 31, but lawmakers have extended it twice. Following its new end date, Sept. 30, San Francisco tenants will be vulnerable to eviction if they have not paid at least 25% of the rents due in the preceding 12 months, as well as October’s rent. Tenants who can prove that they are eligible and have applied for financial assistance, but are awaiting a decision from the government, will continue to be protected through the end of March 2022 at latest.


 

 


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

San Francisco plans to buy four properties to house homeless people across the city

Featured in the San Francisco Chronicle:

San Francisco is pursuing purchasing four properties, scattered across the city, by the end of the year to turn into housing with supportive services for homeless people.

The city reviewed dozens of potential sites and settled on a motel in the Outer Mission, an apartment building intended for student housing in SoMa, a single-room occupancy hotel in the Mission and a tourist hotel in Japantown. Nonprofits will run the sites and provide services such as a case manager to deal with tenant issues and connections to treatment for substance use or mental health.

The properties will add 368 housing units, part of a total goal of creating up to 1,000 units using $400 million in local funding and a matching state grant that should become available in September. The exact amount from the state is not yet known. The purchases are part of the mayor’s goal to buy or lease 1,500 units before the end of 2022.

The need is dire: There were 8,000 homeless people in San Francisco at the last count in 2019, and advocates suspect the number rose during the pandemic. San Francisco has more than 10,000 people living in around 8,000 units of city-owned or leased permanent supportive housing.

Last year, the city moved thousands of people temporarily into hotels and bought two hotels with hundreds of units for new permanent housing for $74 million, using a combination of local funding and money from state program Homekey. Gov. Gavin Newsom has pledged $7 billion over two years for the program statewide. 

Buying older buildings meant the city inherited problems — and some existing discontented tenants — but elected officials and advocates largely praised the purchases as a much faster and cheaper way to house homeless people than building new. Purchasing and rehabbing an existing property last year cost around $323,000 per unit, compared to an estimated $800,000 for a new unit of affordable housing.

Advocates have pushed the city to buy more using an influx of money from the voter-approved business tax hike Proposition C.

The city is also winding down its temporary hotel program and looking for permanent places for people, which the new purchases — one of which is already running as a temporary hotel — could help provide.

For the four sites under consideration, the city will conduct community outreach at the end of August. Officials will then ask the Board of Supervisors to approve the purchases and negotiate the final sale with owners, with the city mum on price until then.

The city hopes to scoop up 52 units at the Mission Inn motel on Mission Street south of Geneva Avenue and 25 units at the Eula Hotel, an SRO near 16th and Mission streets. The Panoramic, 160 units — a mix of studios and three bedrooms — in SoMa and the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel, 131 rooms in Japantown, are also in the mix.

 


Much of the city’s permanent supportive housing is concentrated in the Tenderloin and SoMa, but two of the properties are in districts with little homeless housing: the Outer Mission and Japantown. Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who represents the district where the Mission Inn is located, has supported buying more hotels and every neighborhood doing “its fair share” to house homeless people. Still, the plan could create controversy in a quieter residential community.

“These are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities,” Safaí said. “For anyone who would be resistant to it, I would say you can’t complain about people living on the streets and not do something about ensuring they have housing.”

Some residents are already supportive. Steven Currier has lived in the Outer Mission for 28 years, currently seven blocks from the Mission Inn, and argued that people are “not only down and out in District 6 (where the Tenderloin is located),” but all over the city.

“Why not buy the hotel and transition these people who are homeless, which is a pandemic in itself, to put them in permanent housing?” he said. “It’s an honor for us to be able to help these people.”

It’s not the first time homeless programs have been set up in the district. Following complaints about trailers and vans parked on the streets, the city worked to open a space near Balboa Park where homeless individuals could live in their vehicles and receive services such as health care and connections to permanent housing.

Currier said the six-month community outreach process before the parking site opened was at times “very volatile, very vulgar.” As co-chair of the safe parking program’s community working group, he judged it a success, leading to help for those in need and fewer complaints about street conditions. The site closed so that affordable housing could be developed on the property.

Currier said he hopes a motel converted into homeless housing would be better received.

For Mission Inn owner Amit Motawala, the opportunity to sell was appealing as the pandemic dragged on. The motel formerly served contractors who wanted to avoid a weeknight commute back to the Central Valley and international tourists who needed an affordable place to stay.

As occupancy dropped dramatically, Motawala found another way to fill rooms last year through local nonprofit Swords to Plowshares, which provided emergency housing to formerly homeless veterans before they settled into a permanent place. Around half the rooms are still available for veterans, he said.

Selling to fill the rooms with more people in need seemed a natural fit.

“We saw this opportunity and we think it is the right move,” Motawala said.


Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Homeless Set To Stay In Hotels After Govt Bail Out

Just coming on the heels of SF's leaders that were starting to evict the homeless from hotels, this new update is featured in USA Today:

Federal government extends coverage of 100% of states' emergency COVID-19 costs

WASHINGTON – As the coronavirus fills hospitals, the Biden administration will fully reimburse states for some COVID-19 emergency response costs through the end of the year, USA TODAY learned.

Administration officials will announce the extension during their weekly call with governors, according to a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The covered services include emergency medical care, vaccination operations and housing at-risk populations such as the homeless.

“We're going to continue to take a look at conditions, as we go forward, and make decisions like this one, based on their needs,” Charlie Anderson, the economic and budget policy director for the administration’s COVID-19 response team. “There are a lot of folks on the frontlines doing everything they can, including state governments … And it is critical to continue to be a strong partner in those efforts given what they're dealing with.”

President Joe Biden’s original order, which he issued on his second day in office, directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for 100% of eligible costs through September. States usually cover 25% of emergency services.

Biden will also extend his directive that the federal government pay the full cost for mobilizing National Guard personnel who are supporting COVID-19 response efforts.

Biden criticized the Trump administration for making states pay a share of the cost. Soon after the November election, Biden promised to change that.

The extension, however, is a reflection that the pandemic is not under control. Cases are on the rise in most states, a surge driven by the highly contagious delta variant. The surge is particularly strong in Southern states with low vaccination rates.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week that the state was bringing in 2,500 nurses from across the U.S. to help staff overwhelmed hospitals. Before that announcement, the state had encouraged local governments and providers to use funds from a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan package to address staffing needs.

The plan included the funding that is making possible the extension of full reimbursement for emergency services. 

Newsom pushed for funding extension

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is among the governors who urged the administration to continue to cover the costs, which is critical to the state’s ability to continue a program that has provided shelter to more than 42,000 homeless people during the pandemic.

Begun in March 2020, “Project Roomkey” has provided hotel rooms and meals to the homeless. That has both prevented the spread of COVID-19 among a population with health vulnerabilities as well eased the pressure on hospitals, according to the state.

Article continues... 




 

Monday, August 9, 2021

Problem for Tenants & Problem for Landlords

Please read this article by the LA Times and rationally weigh up the logic:

We've been recently promoting resources for people facing illegal evictions. This article and our comment is only referencing illegal evictions: Irrelevant of whether you like landlords or appreciate the landlord featured in the article, when you signed a lease you honored an agreement and you paid rent. During the pandemic when California came to a crashing halt, it was understandable if you couldn't afford rent. But currently, with excessive unemployment offered alongside millions of jobs being listed, either way you're receiving income or have the means to...so there is no reason why you cannot pay even a portion of your monthly lease. Do not claim that you can't afford rent and food because there are thousands of Food Banks in our state - free food is in abundance. So be responsible, ethical and honor your lease agreement. Do the decent thing and retain your legal commitments. It's about morals here. 

Article: Landlord sues L.A. for $100 million, saying anti-eviction law caused ‘astronomical’ losses

One of the region’s most prolific apartment builders has sued the city of Los Angeles over its COVID-19 eviction moratorium, saying his companies have experienced “astronomical” financial losses and are legally entitled to compensation from the city.

GHP Management Corp., which is owned by real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer, said in its lawsuit that 12 buildings that it manages have experienced more than $20 million in lost rental income as a result of the measure. GHP, which filed the lawsuit along with several other Palmer companies, expects that number to triple by the time the provisions of the moratorium have expired.

The city enacted its temporary eviction limits in March 2020, just as COVID-19 was triggering the shutdown of businesses and throwing people out of work, barring building owners from forcing out tenants who could show their inability to pay was caused by the pandemic.

Palmer’s companies allege that the moratorium — first put in place by Mayor Eric Garcetti as an emergency order, then approved as an ordinance by the City Council — violated the “takings clause” established in the 5th Amendment, which says private property shall not be taken for public use without “just compensation.”

Palmer’s companies said they are entitled to compensation of more than $100 million.

“While the eviction moratorium ostensibly protects tenants who are unable to pay rent due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it arbitrarily shifts the financial burden onto property owners, many of whom were already suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic and have no equivalent remedy at law,” said the lawsuit, which was filed last week.

GHP Management, a property management company, is a subsidiary of G.H. Palmer Associates, which owns more than 15,000 apartments in Southern California, according to the company’s website. G.H. Palmer Associates is owned in turn by Palmer, a businessman known for developing beige apartment blocks in and around downtown Los Angeles with Mediterranean features and Italian names — Medici, Lorenzo, Piero.

Asked about the filing, City Atty. Mike Feuer defended the city’s handling of the moratorium, saying his office wrote a “sound and lawful ordinance” that has kept tenants from becoming homeless during the pandemic.

“We defeated a previous attack on these crucial protections and will vigorously defend the ordinance again,” Feuer said in a statement.

Palmer’s filing comes less than two months after Gov. Gavin Newsom extended the state’s own eviction moratorium until Sept. 30, offering to cover 100% of the back rent and utilities owed by many low-income residents whose finances were hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the program, both renters and landlords may seek relief. Landlords seeking aid must provide verification from their tenants that their income is low enough to qualify for financial aid, according to the state’s website.

In February, the city’s Housing and Community Investment Department reported that it distributed more than $98 million in subsidies to renters whose households were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Of that total, 56% was paid to landlords and the other 44% went directly to tenants.

Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, who is a member of the Los Angeles Tenants Union, said the state’s relief program shows that Palmer will “receive every dollar that he is owed.” Still, Rosenthal said she does not believe he is entitled to that money.

“I am not at all convinced that his right to profit by means of passive income should take precedence over the very lives of tenants in Los Angeles whose incomes were severed by the pandemic and by public health orders that directed them to isolate and quarantine,” she said.

Rosenthal and other organizers for renters’ rights have argued that the city’s law was not a true moratorium, since it did not prohibit building owners from filing eviction cases in court. In many cases, she said, tenants simply moved out of fear instead of fighting those cases, or lost in court after failing to make a defense.

Palmer is a major donor to the Republican Party and a player in local, state and national politics. So far this year, he has put at least $200,000 into the recall committee targeting Newsom and at least $110,000 into the effort to recall Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascon, according to state records.

Palmer hosted a fundraiser for President Trump in 2019 and, a year later, was identified by The Times as one of Trump’s top donors in California.

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, said Palmer’s lawsuit, if successful, would “wreak havoc” on the city, siphoning away money from basic city services and throwing into question efforts to keep both COVID-19 and homelessness under control.

“This is both an economic and a health issue to ensure that people can maintain the roofs over their heads right now,” said Gross, whose group advocates for tenants’ rights.

Attorneys for GHP and Palmer’s other companies did not respond to an inquiry from The Times. In their filing, those lawyers said the eviction moratorium had led to more than $2.7 million in rent losses at Palmer’s Medici project, a 627-unit apartment in downtown Los Angeles; nearly $2.8 million at the Da Vinci, a 526-unit complex along the 101/110 Freeway interchange; and nearly $3.9 million at Summit at Warner Center, a 760-unit apartment property in Woodland Hills.

Because of the city’s restrictions, lenders have refused to finance or refinance the loans on the properties managed by GHP, causing additional economic harm, the plaintiffs said in their lawsuit. In addition, building owners have been required to pay for electricity and other utilities in units where they are not receiving rental income, the filing said. 

Palmer’s companies contend that they will have little success in recouping their losses from their tenants after the one-year grace period that follows the end of the city’s COVID-19 emergency.

“The city orchestrated a regulatory regime designed to provide a compulsory and de facto rent forgiveness to be foisted on landlords throughout the city,” the lawsuit states.

A Garcetti spokesman did not immediately have a comment on the case.

Palmer has tangled with the city in court before. More than a decade ago, he persuaded a Superior Court judge to overturn the city’s “inclusionary housing” rules, which required that developers near downtown offer a specified percentage of affordable housing as part of their residential projects.

Palmer’s legal victory halted the city’s momentum in trying to build affordable housing in the area, said Gross, the tenants’ rights advocate.

“His hands are not clean in regards to the housing crisis we are now facing,” Gross said.

 

The Orsini

The Orsini, left, is one of several buildings that have incurred financial losses as a result of an eviction moratorium, according to a new lawsuit filed against the city of Los Angeles. 
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

 

Monday, August 2, 2021

In SF, Send a Text, Learn How to Avoid Eviction

Featured in San Francisco Public Press:

San Francisco residents can now learn how to avoid eviction by sending a text message to a special phone number.

That service is part of an outreach campaign launched Friday by the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition, a group of tenant-rights organizations. The goal: to teach people their rights and help them apply for rent assistance during the two months left before a statewide moratorium on evictions for unpaid rents expires. The coalition will also use the text messages to find out where people in need are concentrated in the city, which could help them better target future outreach.

“The urgency now is how do we get a lot of households that are still not in the rent-relief programs to be in them?” said Aitran Doan, manager of the outreach campaign. “We know there is a huge gap.”

An estimated 26,700 households are behind on rent in San Francisco, according to research and advocacy group PolicyLink. But only about a third ­— ­8,800 households — have applied for rent assistance, according to government figures.

People can begin receiving information about rent relief and the eviction moratorium by texting “Rent” to 888-732-3215.

A user who enters their ZIP code will also receive the name and phone number of their nearest tenant-rights group, which can provide more personalized help. That might include instructions on how to apply for financial assistance.

“It is casting a broad net across the city,” Doan said. “If there are places that need additional support, we will know that very soon.”

The platform could also be a tool for reminding participants about relevant deadlines or conducting polls. It is available in English, with plans to soon add Spanish, Chinese, Filipino and Arabic, Doan said.

The coalition is coordinating with the San Francisco Unified School District and local labor groups to disseminate information as widely as possible.

State and local governments are running parallel rent-relief programs. San Francisco tenants should apply through the state’s program if they owe money for rent or utilities that were due from April 2020 through March 2021; they should apply through the city’s program for debts in later months.

By Oct. 1, tenants must pay 25% of the total rent they owed during the 12 preceding months or they can be evicted. They can also be evicted for rent due that month.

After the moratorium’s end, tenants will still be protected from eviction for nonpayment until April 1, 2022, if they have applied for rent or utility assistance and are awaiting a decision — though that protection would disappear if the programs run out of money.

This additional protection is a major reason why the coalition is trying to expand the number of applicants, Doan said.

“We really don’t want to see massive evictions, or people leaving prematurely before an eviction notice is even given,” she said.

 

Someone's hand is shown holding a phone with text messages on the screen. San Francisco residents who text “Rent” to 1-888-732-3215 will receive information about the statewide eviction moratorium, as well as referrals to groups that help people request financial aid to repay rent and utility debt.

San Francisco residents who text “Rent” to 1-888-732-3215 will receive information about the statewide eviction moratorium, as well as referrals to groups that help people request financial aid to repay rent and utility debt.