December 15, 2016
After collecting years of data, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto and Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County have released the “first centralized, publicly available source of information to reveal the full scale of the eviction problem in the heart of Silicon Valley.” The project was funded by The San Francisco Foundation with the intent to consolidate eviction data for public officials in the county.
The 2016 Eviction Report reveals client data collected from both organizations that sheds light on the troublesome rise of “no-cause evictions” – an eviction that lists no reason such as non-payment, a violation of the lease, a foreclosure, etc. The report found that no-cause evictions account for nearly half of San Mateo County’s evictions, significantly higher than Alameda’s or San Francisco’s 20-25%. Further, the data collected from the two legal aids revealed that over 70% of all their clients that came to them with evictions were Black or Latino. However, Shirley Gibson, Directing Attorney from LASSMC, made sure to point out that the report is in no way comprehensive.
The majority of people that receive evictions never seek out legal aid due to fear, anxiety, the belief that they can’t be helped, and more. Without an attorney, most tenants never realize that they are being evicted illegally. This is why getting the word out about legal aid and encouraging people to seek out legal help is so important; it could mean the difference between keeping ones’ home or losing it.
Read the Eviction Report.
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA)