Legislation: San Francisco ballot initiative, ordinance would establish right to counsel in housing cases

11/14/2017, Legislation, Housing - Evictions

A coalition of tenant groups and advocates called the SF Right to Counsel Committee have filed a ballot initiative that would guarantee a right to counsel for all tenants (not just low-income tenants) facing eviction.  The proposal refers to the recent establishment of an eviction right to counsel in New York City.   48hills has more on the ballot initiative, and proponents ohave set up a website for the ballot initiative.

Also, an ordinance has been introduced that guarantee counsel in housing cases.  It is co-sponsored by the President of the Board of Supervisors. The introduction of the ordinance has been covered by the San Francisco Chronicle, CBS, SF Weekly, Curbed San Francisco, and the Bay City Beacon.

Both of these initiatives come in the wake of the City's 2012 ordinance declaring its intention to become the nation's first "right to civil counsel city", as well as a pilot project that expanded representation in certain types of housing cases via increased pro bono participation (read the report of the pilot project's final results).