Know Your Rights handout, training empowers Mission residents

Staff and managers of Mission Housing and Caritas Management attend training to help citizens and non-citizens defend themselves against constitutional violations during ICE raids. Photo by Tony Bear!
Mission Housing Development Corporation | Know Your Rights

Mission Housing created a tri-fold pamphlet, “Know Your Rights – What to do When Immigration Agents Arrive at Your Door,” available in three languages.

Know Your Rights brochure distributed to Mission Housing residents, others; Mission Housing staffers conduct educational forums

Since January, 2017, U. S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents have conducted raids on immigrant communities in the Bay Area and around the country. Some raids have disrupted the families and households of citizens and non-citizens alike.

“Ever since ICE agents visited one of our complexes in January, we felt it was important to let our residents and neighbors know their rights,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing Development Corporation. “Everyone has certain basic constitutional rights, regardless of their citizenship status or the political climate. One of those rights is that a home is a sanctuary.”

Private property reminder

Mission Housing Development Corporation | Notice to Authorities

“Notice to Authorities” can be seen at the entrances of Mission Housing developments.


In the days following the ICE visit, Moss directed a “Notice to Authorities” be placed on the entrances of Mission Housing developments. The notice, crafted by attorneys, notifies law enforcement that no one on-site at a particular building has legal authority to validate warrants or other legal access documents. The notice advises that access to Mission Housing buildings requires a valid and executed search warrant, presented at the corporate headquarters, to the Executive Director, and only when he has legal counsel present.

Community outreach about constitutional protections

To help residents and neighbors of its apartment communities navigate encounters with law enforcement, Mission Housing has put a special outreach program in motion. Coordinated by Marcía Contreras, Mission Housing Director of Operations and Resident Services, the two-pronged approach was crafted with the help of legal professionals, and trained immigration practitioners from La Raza Centro Legal.

First, Vicky Castro, Executive Director of La Raza Centro Legal, trained the staff and managers of Mission Housing and Caritas Management on how citizens and non-citizens should defend themselves against constitutional violations during ICE raids.

San Francisco Immigrant Legal Education Network, also known as SFILEN, provided additional training to Mission Housing Resident Services team members (Chirag Bhakta, Aaron Bustamante, Veronica Green and Contreras) on the Rapid Response Network and steps to protect Mission District residents.

Armed with this knowledge, Mission Housing staffers are conducting Know Your Rights educational forums in the organization’s residential community rooms. The forums are open to anyone who wants to learn how to help protect the rights of San Franciscans anywhere.

Information at your fingertips

Second, Mission Housing created a tri-fold pamphlet, “Know Your Rights – What to do When Immigration Agents Arrive at Your Door.” The brochure details steps to take when immigration agents or other law enforcement go to a home. Sections of the publication include “If ICE Comes to Your Door,” and “Arrest Warrant Basics.” There is a list of community resources where legal aid or advice is available.

Mission Housing Development Corporation | red card

Mission Housing staff is also distributing a “Know Your Rights” card, which carries info about how to assert one’s constitutional rights.

Staff is also distributing a “Know Your Rights” card. The red card carries information about how to assert constitutional rights. And, the card includes a scripted explanation for quoting to ICE agents.

The forums and the materials are free of charge.

Keeping families stabilized

Mission Housing has also set aside $40,000 to establish the Mission Housing Family Stabilization Fund.

The fund will support Mission Housing families, and any member of the Mission community negatively affected by detention, deportation, ICE raids or other anti-immigrant actions. Examples of support would include but not be limited to assisting with rent payments and groceries if the “bread winner” of the family is detained. An application for assistance from the fund is being prepared, and will soon be available on the Mission Housing website, and at the management offices of Mission Housing properties.

“Keeping our families stabilized is always Job #1 at Mission Housing,” said Moss.

“Our community will pull through these troubling times only by coming together. Mission Housing will, by any means necessary, protect the rights of our residents and our neighbors.”

RELATED:

Know Your Rights brochure – English [PDF]

Know Your Rights brochure – Spanish [PDF]

Know Your Rights brochure – Chinese [PDF]

Notice to Authorities poster [PDF]

READ MORE: Housing, Legal Groups Outline Immigrant Rights When Facing ICE

Rapid Response Hotlines

A listing of phone numbers to contact members of the Northern California Regional Rapid Response Network. For more information contact hpanah@sfbar.org. Provided courtesy San Francisco Immigrant Legal Education Network. For more information contact Program Manager Marisela Esparza: marisela@dscs.org
San Francisco415-200-1548
Alameda County510-241-4011
Santa Clara County408-290-1144
Monterey County831-643-5225
Fresno County559-206-0151
Marin County415-991-4545
Sacramento County916-245-6773
Santa Cruz County831-239-4289
Contra Costa CountyTBD
Sonoma and Napa CountyReleased 10/12
Services Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN) Texting Platform for North and Central CA
Community201-468-6088
Allies918-609-4480

Mission affordable housing builder undertakes retrofit

The ground floor area at 3254 24th Street will undergo one of the more extensive rehab efforts, eliminating the existing commercial space. Photo by Tony Bear!

Mission Housing begins life and safety upgrades; Mayor’s office funding retrofit on various permanently affordable rental units

The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development for the City and County of San Francisco, also known as MOHCD, has awarded Mission Housing Development Corporation $3.9 million to perform wholesale structural improvements on several buildings in the Mission Housing portfolio.

In 2016, MOHCD issued a Notice of Funding Availability, the “Existing Non-Profit Owned Rental Housing Capital Repairs NOFA”. The goal of the funding: facilitating the preservation of permanent affordable housing for low income and homeless households in San Francisco.

The Mission Housing response to the ENP NOFA detailed the extensive rehab work needed to stabilize six multi-family buildings and help preserve their affordability over the long-term.

“One reason Mission Housing exists, is to stabilize and preserve affordable housing stock in the Mission and throughout San Francisco,” said Sam Moss, Executive Director of Mission Housing. “People have a right to live in safe, habitable places. Thanks to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development we can make the investment needed to uphold the high quality of life all San Franciscans deserve, regardless of their income.”

Retrofits address multiple concerns while preserving housing stock, community-serving businesses

The six properties being retrofitted, originally built in the late 1890s and early 1920s, were acquired by Mission Housing in the 1980s and 1990s to preserve affordable housing stock.

The construction efforts are projected to begin in fourth quarter of 2017. Much of the work needed addresses seismic concerns, habitability, life/safety, and code compliance issues. While most of the building occupants should experience minimal disruption, a few residents may be temporarily relocated at some point in the construction phases.

The retrofit work will encompass a few commercial spaces. “Mission Housing is working with all the affected commercial tenants to ensure their businesses remain strong throughout construction,” said Moss.

Calle 24 Latino Cultural District could gain a community-serving space

The ground floor area at 3254 24th Street will undergo one of the more extensive rehab efforts, as part of essential life and safety upgrades needed to keep the upstairs residences viable. Because this renovation will substantially reduce the amount of commercial space, it could be converted to offices for the Mission Housing Resident Services team.

“We are looking into how the space could transition into a neighborhood-serving hub,” said Marcía Contreras, Director of Operations and Resident Services for Mission Housing. Contreras is a member of the Calle 24 Council. “Our teams could be in closer proximity to our 24th Street-area residents, and more non-residents could access our community services.”

“This change would make 3254 24th Street another asset to the Mission District,” said Contreras.

The commercial tenant being displaced by the retrofit work will receive assistance with relocating.