July marked the launch of the City of San Francisco’s Tenant Right to Counsel program, fulfilling the mandate of the voter-approved Proposition F (the No Eviction Without Representation Act) on the November 2018 ballot. The program guarantees a free attorney to all San Francisco tenants who have received an eviction notice or who have been served with an unlawful detainer lawsuit. The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) serves as lead agency for the program, which contracts with a number of legal service providers including Bay Area Legal Aid to ensure representation for tenants facing eviction.
A July 30th story in the Christian Science Monitor by Martin Kuz shines a national spotlight on this groundbreaking new resource to level the legal playing field between landlords and tenants. Staff and leadership from EDC, Tenants Together, and BayLegal’s own Housing Supervising Attorney Lisa Kim are quoted on the impact that the right to free legal representation may have on the crisis of displacement facing low-income tenants in San Francisco, the role that our firms and organizations will play in implementing Right to Counsel, and the growing national movement toward RtC.