Teachers could be exempt from no-fault evictions during school year

Evicting teachers who live and work in San Francisco for reasons beyond their control could soon become illegal during the school year under a proposal that will be discussed by supervisors today.

The ordinance amending The City’s administrative code to prevent educators from seeing certain no-fault evictions — owner move-ins, condo conversions, removal of a rental units, capital improvements or substantial rehabilitations — aims to quell increasing worries among teachers that they could lose their home during the school year and fail to find new housing they can afford.

In fact, of the 900 public school educators questioned in a recent survey by the teachers’ union United Educators of San Francisco, over 40 percent reported they fear losing their home in the near future, said Ken Tray, the union’s political director.

“Every week I get calls from teachers and para-professionals that they’re facing eviction and they don’t know what to do and they think they’re going to have to leave The City,” Tray said.

When Tray began teaching at the San Francisco Unified School District in the 1985-86 school year, he said educators had no trouble finding a studio for $200 or $300 a month. Last month, the average one-bedroom in San Francisco was over $3,000 a month, according to Rent Jungle, a rental housing search engine.

“We are not only losing veteran teachers [because] they’re facing an eviction … but our new teachers and new paraprofessionals are leaving The City in droves,” he added.

Last summer, the district took unprecedented steps to fill classrooms amid a teacher shortage of some 90 positions, including a letter from Superintendent Richard Carranza to teachers encouraging them to recruit fellow educators, and year-round recruitment programs implemented by the SFUSD throughout the 2014-15 school year.

The situation appears to be worsening. It’s estimated that public schools will see a turnover of 700 educators by the end of this school year, Tray said.

Teachers who are evicted during the school year and forced to move to another city or find another job can adversely impact students and the learning process, according to the legislation that was introduced Feb. 2 by Supervisors David Campos, Jane Kim, John Avalos and Eric Mar. Landlords already may not perform an owner move-in eviction during the school year if it would displace a tenant who lives with a child, with certain exceptions.

The ordinance will go before the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee today. It would apply to all public and private school teachers who live and work in San Francisco.

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