Educating Property Owners

SFHF’s primary focus is educating landlords who do not speak English as their primary language. These property owners may have a particularly difficult time keeping up with San Francisco’s ever-changing landlord-tenant laws.

SFHF delivers vitally important information in the languages that landlords speak to the neighborhoods where they live and own properties. That could mean bringing instructors who speak Cantonese to Chinatown, those fluent in Spanish to the Mission or Russian speakers to the Richmond.

SFHF completely funds these classes so they are free to attend. By lowering the barrier to entry, the non-profit creates more opportunities to inform landlords in their native languages about their rights and obligations as property owners. That education can lead to better-run buildings, happier tenants and a greater landlord-tenant relationship citywide.

SFHF is always looking for industry professionals who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog to assist with these classes.

Charley Goss at 415.255.2288 or
charley@sfaa.org if you are interested in teaching.

Helping Veterans, Virtually

SFHF provides an important service to the city’s most vulnerable veterans through its virtual security deposit initiative. These veterans may have received funding for their rents through the federal Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, yet they cannot afford the deposit many units require and remain in shelters or on the streets.

After hearing about a need from a veteran support program, or sometimes directly from the veterans themselves, SFHF steps in and guarantees the deposit through the use of a “virtual security deposit.” This simple step allows those who gave so much for our country to get into safe and permanent housing. Plus, the deposit is rarely utilized because it is needed once the tenant vacates and then only when there is damage to the unit.

Supporting Families

More recently, SFHF has begun providing care packages for pregnant women and new mothers through a partnership with the Homeless Prenatal Program. Something as simple as a box of diapers or clean crib sheets can make a huge difference in the lives of families struggling to remain housed in the city

Legal Assistance for Landlords

SFHF provides limited-scope legal work for low-income property owners. Often times these owners are elderly and may have older, long-term tenants as well. They struggle with issues of deferred maintenance and representing themselves before city agencies like the rent board.

Through SFHF, these low-income landlords can get subsidized assistance from a rotating list of approved attorneys, including a free initial one-hour consultation. While the foundation cannot offer legal assistance in all cases, its attorneys can be critical in cases of non-payment of rent or lease enforcement, to name a few examples.

How to Help

The San Francisco Housing Foundation was funded by an initial grant from the city and continues to this day as a result of contributions from the San Francisco Apartment Association, the Coalition for Better Housing, and the Professional Property Management Association of San Francisco.

Individuals in the rental housing community are also encouraged to consider making a tax-deductible donation to the SFHF. Even a small amount can make a huge difference in the lives of low-income landlords and tenants.

Reach out to Charley Goss at 415.255.2288 or charley@sfaa.org to donate or to hear more about the impacts of the foundation’s critical work. Together, we can make a stronger, safer San Francisco.