Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) Gets Evicted in San Francisco
Press Release via Eviction Defense Collaborative
The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC), the principal residential eviction defense agency in San Francisco, is forced to leave the space where it started out 20 years ago at 995 Market Street on December 31st of this year and will move to 1338 Mission Street.
The building owners, Long Market Property Partners and Columbia Pacific Advisors, chose not to renew EDC’s lease and instead will lease the majority of the building to WeWork, a startup valued at 10 billion dollars that specializes in leasing co-working office spaces to tech companies.
The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) provides pro-bono legal services and rental assistance to more than 5,000 individuals and families in San Francisco that annually face eviction. Of those who respond to their eviction lawsuit in San Francisco, 90% do so through EDC.
Unlike EDC’s clients, who have access to the organization’s displacement prevention services, nonprofits do not have similar resources to turn to for assistance when faced with loss of their lease.
After a lengthy and difficult search for a new home the nonprofit signed a 3 ½-year lease at 1338 Mission Street, where its rent will double. EDC needed to find a place in this neighborhood because of its proximity to the courthouse and city services which its clients need to access.
“The EDC’s displacement from 995 Market has taken its toll on an agency that is here to help others stay housed, but we will land on our feet and continue to provide quality services despite astronomically increased rents,” says EDC’s Executive Director Paul Cohen.
EDC’s displacement also affects its decade long subleased tenant, Tenants Together, a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of California tenants to safe, decent and affordable housing, who will also need to find a new location.
“It’s been a positive, powerful, collaborative relationship. The folks doing the on-the-ground legal work at the collaborative, and us, the bigger-picture policy advocates, shared one floor, one kitchen, and conspired in the hallway and elevators,” said Dean Preston, Tenants Together Executive Director. “This break-up truly is a sad thing.”
EDC and Tenants Together represent just two of the many nonprofits in San Francisco who face astronomical rent increases as a result of their displacement in San Francisco’s highly competitive real estate market.
Eviction Defense Collaborative strives to prevent homelessness, preserve affordable housing and protect the diversity of San Francisco. It works toward these goals by providing emergency rental assistance and by helping low-income tenants gain equal access to the law in order to assert their rights at court.