San Francisco is second city to enact right to counsel in housing cases

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07/30/2018, Legislation, Housing - Evictions

Update: Christian Science Monitor looks at rollout of program


The Christian Science Monitor took an in-depth look at how rollout of Prop F is going in San Francisco, and features some powerful stories from tenants.


Update: City appropriates funding for Prop F


The San Francisco Examiner and SF Weekly report that San Francisco Mayor London Breed has set aside $1.9 million this fiscal year and $3.9 million in the 2019-2020 fiscal year in order to implement Prop F.


Update: Prop F is now law!


On June 5, 2018, voters in San Francisco approved Prop F by a vote of 56% to 44%!  The San Francisco ChronicleSF Weekly, Curbed San Francisco, Next City, San Francisco Attorney Magazine, and the Stranger (Seattle) have more, and you can also check out the press release from the SF Right to Counsel Committee.  San Francisco thus joins New York City in guaranteeing counsel for tenants in evictions, with the difference being that the San Francisco law has no income limit.




A coalition of tenant groups and advocates called the SF Right to Counsel Committee filed a ballot initiative (known as "Prop F") to guarantee a right to counsel for all tenants (not just low-income tenants) facing eviction.  The proposal referred to the recent establishment of an eviction right to counsel in New York City.   48hills has more, and proponents set up a website for the ballot initiative.  Also, an ordinance co-sponsored by the President of the Board of Supervisors was introduced that would guarantee counsel in housing cases.


The introduction of the ballot initiative and ordinance were covered by the San Francisco Chronicle, CBS, SF Weekly, Curbed San Francisco,the Bay City Beacon, KALW (audio), and the San Francisco Public Press.

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).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes



The NCCRC authored and filed a ballot statement in support of the initiative.