|B. LANDLORD/TENANT ADVOCACY MEDIATION AND EDUCATION
Education Campaign around
Landlord-Tenant Resources & Law In 1990 the San Mateo County Sheriffs
Department estimated it handled between 35 and 40 evictions per week, or more than 2,000
per year. In response to this, the Eviction Prevention Task Force was formed in 1991 to
provide education, training, and collaborative opportunities among landlords, property
managers, and service providers in San Mateo County. Comprised of the Tri-County Apartment
Association (the largest association of landlords in the county), and community based
organizations providing services related to the housing, landlord/tenant, and mediation
The Task Force provides two workshops per
year for landlords and service providers. The workshops focus on particular rental housing
topics, and continually emphasize the importance of healthy landlord/tenant relationships
and early intervention toward the prevention of evictions. It also presents information to
landlords on services which, when used early, prevent evictions.
These workshops are being developed and
presented in the "spare time" of staff from the participating organizations.
Continued and increased support from the Human Services Agency and other sources is needed
to assure ongoing educational efforts to an ever increasing audience.
Recommendations for Education
Campaign around Landlord-Tenant Resources and Law
Recommendation IB-l On-going
staff training should be conducted in eviction law, accessing funds, conflict
resolution strategies and resources. These trainings should be sponsored by the
Eviction Prevention Task Force and the Community Information Program.
Recommendation IB-2 One well-coordinated
and well advertised education campaign, where mediation and advocate program areas
are defined by geographical location, special needs, expertise. Should be
properly funded and well advertised. Strategic distribution points include libraries,
schools, district offices, court house where eviction is filed. Eviction Prevention
Workshops for landlords should continue in county. Advertisements should be taken
out in local papers in "Apartment Rental" section. Mailer should be sent out to
those receiving rental tax credit and those paying property taxes. Stuffer could be
included with mailed refunds. Resources advertised should include hotline, landlord tenant
mediation services, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, Rental Assistance resources. The
program should focus on landlords of/and renters in San Mateo County.
Who is responsible for Implementation? All
mediation and advocacy agencies in county including La Raza Central Legal, Legal Aid
Society of San Mateo County, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, City of Menlo Park
Conflict Resolution, Operation Sentinel, County Mediation Program, and also the Apartment
Industry Foundation and Tri-County Apartment Association. The idea behind this is to
encourage landlords to be involved in solutions in conjunction with non profits.
Where Will The Funding Come From? Pro-bono
assistance should be sought from the media consortiums and Ad Council. Information could
be distributed through Chamber of Commerce, monthly meetings of city Mayors and other
Mediation/Advocacy: There is a
need for mediation and advocacy services which will assist people to remain in their
housing. The San Mateo County Human Services Agency division of Housing has a Mediation
program which provides professionally trained volunteer mediators for many types of
conflicts including consumer disputes, small claims cases and neighborhood problems.
Mediation and Advocacy services should continue serving current population, but additional
funding should be targeted towards at-risk homeless population.
Recommendations for Mediation/ Advocacy
Recommendation IB-3 One
well-coordinated conflict resolution system, where program areas are defined by
geographical location, special needs, expertise, including whether each service is
strictly impartial conflict resolution, or if service advocates on behalf of the
tenant. Should be properly funded and well advertised.
Recommendation IB-4 In order to
attract landlords, advocacy services must establish links with rental assistance,
which allows advocate to access funds.
Recommendation IB-5 Mediation
agencies such as Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, which is strictly impartial,
should inform tenants of rental assistance availability and of need to secure
resources before meeting with landlord when differences include non payment of
Who is responsible for Implementation? All
mediation and advocacy agencies in county including La Raza Central Legal,
Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, County and
City Mediation Program, and also the Apartment Industry Foundation and
Tri-County Apartment Association.
Where Will The Funding Come From? City
Funding, Special Events, Foundation Funding targeted at homeless prevention.