SAN FRANCISCO – It was two months ago when the community convened outside the building on Natoma Street to demand justice.
On Tuesday, they gathered for a celebration.
Two out of the three Filipino families that were sued and evicted by their new landlord for minor infractions will be staying in their homes after court-supervised negotiations.
They credit this victory to their community advocates, especially District Supervisor Jane Kim who is working on new legislation to protect more immigrant tenants from being evicted.
“The landlords are finding other loopholes in which to evict tenants when the goal is not because the tenant has done something wrong but because they just want to make more money off the unit,” said Kim.
All over San Francisco older buildings are being purchased so they could be renovated. But the rent also goes up and high-paid tech industry workers are the ones who can afford it.
Many families have lost their homes in recent years because of the new property owners.
“We’re confused, especially my youngest child,” said Susan Anicete, who faced eviction. “It’s the first time encountering something like this, especially in America. He probably thinks this is what life is like in America but at least we’re here.”
“For years, lately, the Filipinos are gone,” said Robert Abad, who also faced eviction. “They are being pushed away.”
According to the City, the Filipino families need to make some adjustments in order to continue living there.
The families have been living in tight quarters so the courts ordered them to clear excess material for safety reasons.
They say they will do whatever it takes to keep their home.
“Even the children are affected because they are used to living in this neighborhood and we would like to stay here, if we can, for a long time,” said Abad.
These kababayans and their advocates urge others who have been evicted to not give up and take advantage of all the non-profit organizations who offer free legal help.
“We’re seeing a lot of immigrants who don’t know their rights and may not understand the law that are just quietly leaving their apartments when they could fight back,” said Kim.
While the Filipino American community celebrates this victory they say they will continue to fight for all families unjustly facing eviction.
You can contact Rommel Conclara at email@example.com for more information.