Public Housing Dwellers Still Aren't Paying Rent -- Or Getting Evicted

If you set Rent in San Francisco, it might be called Not Paying Rent
Back in September, the famously beleaguered San Francisco Housing Authority initiated a monthlong freeze on evicting residents from public housing sites -- even if tenants hadn't paid rent in a decade.

This amnesty was supposed to provide enough time for the thousands of residents who have not been paying rent -- or those who have been overcharged -- to clear their names. Housing Authority officials thought they had solved the lingering problem of a $4 million-plus backlog of uncollected rent money. They invented a payment plan, whereby residents who owed thousands of dollars in back rent could pay off their bill in installments, with payments not exceeding 7.5 percent of renters' household income.

But since September, only 174 public housing residents -- out of the thousands who haven't paid rent-- had even bothered to set up a payment plan. Moreover, the Housing Authority has no idea how much the payment plans have helped chip away at its embarrassing financial fiasco.

Meanwhile, many of the renters living in San Francisco's 6,500 public housing units still aren't paying rent.

In the month of November, 1,343 public housing residents skipped rent. But only 245 received eviction notices. The following month was even worse. By mid-December, 1,993 residents were forgoing rent -- and 165 received eviction notices, according to the Housing Authority.

Doing the math, of the 3,336 individuals or families who didn't pay rent over the two-month span, only 410 received eviction notices. So what happened to the other 2,926 residents who neither paid rent nor got threats of eviction? Rose Dennis, spokeswoman for the Housing Authority, said that's a good question.

After some research, she found at least one reason for this -- an individual or family could be in the midst of disputing their rent bill. But the possibility of thousands of residents disputing their bill seems far-fetched. Beyond that, Dennis herself couldn't really say specifically why some residents who haven't been paying rent aren't getting the boot. "I cannot tell you definitively why they wouldn't receive eviction notices," Dennis said.

Perhaps it's just done like most other things at the Housing Authority: arbitrarily.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Black and Orange
Black and Orange

The SFHA is a joke. 90% of the employees there are lazy, rude, and do not care about their job. How do I know? I work very closely with his agency and have seen the ins and outs. My ip number would probably be tracked if I exposed too much in public.

Now Trending

From the Vault


©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.