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Stronger tenant protections needed to avoid evictions in Oakland
by Lynda Carson (newzland2 [at] gmail.com)
Tuesday Dec 28th, 2021 7:03 PM
Attorneys Ira Jacobowitz, Marc Janowitz, and tenant activist Lynda Carson at an April 12, 2000 rally in front of the Federal Building in Oakland to help protect senior citizen Herman Walker (person sitting down) who was facing eviction because of HUD's one strike policy. Lydia Gans photo.
tenants_copy.jpg
Stronger tenant protections needed to avoid evictions in Oakland

By Lynda Carson - December 28, 2021

The above photo was taken on April 12, 2000, at a rally in front of the Federal Building at 1301 Clay St., in Oakland, to protect Herman Walker, and three other elderly tenants that were facing eviction in Oakland because of HUD’s notorious one strike policy. Stronger tenant protections have been needed for many years and it would really help save tenant's housing by abolishing HUD’s one strike policy, and the Costa-Hawkins Act as a way to protect tenants in Oakland, and throughout California.

According to a flyer I have promoting the April 12, 2000 rally in front of the Federal Building in opposition to HUD’s one strike policy, in large bold letters it states, “Protest The Lack Of Fair Housing Laws In Oakland — We Must Have Just Cause.” It was barely three months earlier on January 29, of 2000, that tenant activists, attorneys, organizers, and tenants in Oakland came together at the Oakland Library to form or create the Coalition for Just Cause.

HUD’s one strike policy to “evict the innocent” from their public housing was also fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court by local attorneys Anne Omura of the Eviction Defense Center, Ira Jacobowitz, William Simpich, John Murcko, Matthew Siegel, Robert Salinas, Whitty Somvichian, Maureen Alger, Cooley Godward, James Donato, Paul Renee, and others.

Anne Omura of the Eviction Defense Center may be seen speaking out about the displacement of low-income tenants in Oakland by clicking here.

Even now with marijuana being legal in California, Public Housing tenants, Section 8 tenants, and low-income tenants in subsidized affordable housing projects run by nonprofit housing developers, tenants can be evicted by because of HUD’s one strike policy if they are found possessing, or smoking marijuana.

Landlords Engaging In Harmful Acts And Fraudulent Acts To Evict Tenants

During 2021, covid-19 was a brutal year for tenants because reportedly many landlords are engaging in harmful and fraudulent acts to evict tenants, despite available rental assistance (ERA) to save the tenants from becoming evicted, and unhoused, or made homeless.

According to a recent survey of 119 legal aid and civil rights attorneys in 41 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico by the National Housing Law Project (NHLP), legal aid attorneys reported that they have been observing the following problems since the CDC's federal eviction moratorium ended recently.

-Rising eviction cases, even for federally subsidized tenants

-More landlords lying in court to evict tenants

-More illegal evictions, lockouts, and other harassment

-Landlords collecting rental assistance funds only to evict tenants

-Federal tenants being unfairly evicted

-Judges ignoring or inconsistently applying federal and state law

-Limited and incomplete eviction diversion programs to protect tenants

Additionally, according to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, a December 20, 2021 report details how increasing evictions may vary across the nation since the federal eviction moratorium came to an end recently.

As recent as December 21, 2021, St. Mary’s Center in Oakland joined others across the nation in remembrance of the unhoused and homeless people in Oakland, and across the nation who are living out in the cold and the rain, during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic killing hundreds of thousands of loved ones across the nation.

A pandemic that may have just been made worse because of the new CDC guidelines lessening the period covid-19 infected persons shall remain sheltering-in-place, or quarantined, reportedly because of political pressure of the airlines who want the CDC to loosen restrictions meant to protect the public.

-Lynda Carson may be reached at newzland2 [at] gmail.com

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Links to some unhoused/homeless deaths in CaliforniaPosted by Lynda CarsonWednesday Dec 29th, 2021 12:52 AM
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