With COVID-19 assistance programs expiring, tenants of the city’s single-room occupancy hotels face growing eviction rates. Many of them have nowhere to go but back on the street.
Residents of San Francisco’s single-room occupancy hotels (SROs), many of whom depend on the city-funded housing to stay out of homelessness, are getting evicted at higher rates as pandemic-era assistance programs lapse, report Joaquin Palomino and Trisha Thadani of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to the article, at least 114 people were evicted in the last fiscal year, compared to 40 in the previous years. “The Chronicle found that more than half of all evictions were in nine residential hotels, which housed 16% of all supportive housing SRO residents.”
The authors point out that these numbers belie the true extent of the city’s housing crisis, and that many tenants are forced out through unofficial means not recorded by HSH. “For example, some residents sign agreements with property managers, promising to leave by a certain date in order to keep the eviction off the books and preserve their housing record.”
The authors note that “The nonprofits that contract with the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing (HSH) to manage SROs typically kick out residents for the same issues that qualified them for the supportive housing programs in the first place: poverty, mental illness, trauma or an inability to care for themselves.” The Chronicle’s investigation found that these residents rarely receive any support in finding new housing.
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HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
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