On April 26, 2022, the San Francisco Chronicle published an investigative report entitled: “Trapped in Misery.” The article, authored by Joaquin Palomino and Trisha Thadani, described horrific conditions in several San Francisco single-room-occupancy hotels (known as SROs) that provide rooms and aid to formerly homeless people. A few of the shocking results of this investigation:
In a study of 515 people who left federally funded supportive housing programs in San Francisco in 2020, 137 (26.6%) left for an unknown destination, 110 (21.4%) returned to the streets or ended up in temporary housing or an institutional setting, 137 (26.6%) found other permanent housing, and 131 (25.4%) died.
At least 166 people fatally overdosed in city-funded hotels in 2020 and 2021—14% of all confirmed overdose deaths in San Francisco, though the buildings housed less than 1% of the city’s population.
Since 2016, the year city leaders created the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH), the number of homeless people in the city has increased by 56%.
Case managers who support SRO residents have overseen as many as 85 tenants apiece in recent years—five times higher than federal recommendations—in part because residential hotels receive as little as $7 a day per room for supportive services.
In 2019, the Board of Supervisors considered a ballot measure to create an oversight commission for HSH, which has 192 employees and one of the largest budgets among city agencies. But Mayor London Breed lobbied against it and the measure died.
I applaud the Chronicle for shedding light on the horrific conditions in several of San Francisco’s SROs. San Francisco’s housing shortage and homelessness crisis are challenges with no simple solutions. However, as this article revealed, the City must do a better job to provide its most vulnerable residents with humane and habitable living conditions.
On an unrelated note, we are hiring! Tenant Law Group continues to seek exceptional professionals to join our growing team. We are currently seeking a Marketing Manager and Litigation Attorney. The primary responsibilities of the Marketing Manager are to oversee the process of acquiring new clients, work with CEO and COO to achieve the firm’s goals, and ensure smooth day-to-day operations of the Marketing Team. The primary responsibilities of the Litigation Attorney are to oversee the prosecution of a portfolio of litigation matters; ensure progression of litigation matters through the pipeline; and act as a sounding board and mentor to other attorneys. While we do not have a minimum years-in-practice requirement, we need a Litigation Attorney with experience taking and defending depositions, (preferably) attending mediations, and negotiating settlements.
If you or someone you know might be a good fit for one of these positions and would like to join one of the fastest growing law firms in the United States, visit this link for more information. In addition to being certified as a Great Place to Work, Tenant Law Group offers job perks that include 100% remote work (i.e., no commute); monthly reimbursement for use of a home office; health, dental, and vision benefits; paid vacations, holidays, and sick leave in accordance with state law; and a retirement plan after the first calendar year of employment.
Thank you for your continued support of Tenant Law Group. If you or someone you know has been illegally displaced; harassed; forced to endure uninhabitable living conditions; suffered discrimination or harassment in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, genetic information, medical condition, citizenship, primary language, and/or immigration status; or otherwise been harmed by a landlord’s unlawful actions, please call (415) 915-7445 or follow this link to get started.
Eric L. Toscano
Founder & CEO