Making It in the Bay

Coalition to Hold Protest Advocating for Reduced Rent for Behavioral Health Tenants

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 15: A large “rent” banner is posted on the side of an apartment building on June 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California. According to a report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the tepid real estate market could see a turnaround with the price of rental properties surging and vacancies dropping from 10.6 percent in 2009 to 9.5 percent last year, the lowest level since 2002. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The #30RightNow Coalition, a group of 80 individuals and organizations dedicated to reducing rents to 30% of income for tenants of Behavior Health Services housing sites, said it will hold a protest at 1 p.m. Tuesday to urge the department to immediately implement this cap.

In January of 2021, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a law requiring a 30 percent of income maximum rent standard for all supportive housing, and funding was set aside to pay for the program.

The Coalition said while the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing has implemented this rent rule, the Department of Public Health has not. This has resulted in some tenants having to spend 70 percent of their incomes on rent.

"It is beyond the pale that, after we scored a major funding victory, we have to organize again because the Department of Public Health is stalling on implementation" said Jordan Davis, the founder of the #30RightNow Coalition.

"This is a disability rights issue; this is an eviction prevention issue; many of our neighbors and siblings are starving, and they should not continue to suffer because their supportive housing happens to be under a different department."

According to Nurit Baruch, the mother of a tenant living in the El Dorado hotel: "I don't understand why the mentally disabled should be the last group to be given the right to pay only 30 percent for their rent. They should be the first because they need it the most."

Representatives from Supervisors Dean Preston and Hillary Ronen's office are expected to speak at the rally, which will take place at the main entrance to the San Francisco Department Of Public Health at the corner of Polk and Grove streets.

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