Single room occupancy (SRO) tenants in San Francisco’s Chinatown protested against Mayor London Breed’s proposed budget cuts on Wednesday in fear of losing the funding meant to support their families.
About the budget cut: Breed said “tough choices” must be made as the city faces a projected budget deficit of $290 million. Her proposal includes the elimination of over $5 million from the Code Enforcement and Outreach Program and the SRO collaborative housing program.
About the programs: The programs, which are supported by neighborhood organizations, are meant to provide assistance to both low-income families and landlords with their housing problems.
SRO tenant: Cupping Tan has lived in an SRO in San Francisco for the past four years after moving to the U.S. from China with her husband and daughter. She noted that living conditions in their building have been “very poor,” with broken utilities and a lack of water or electricity on some days.
“They’re really relying on the SRO collaborative, and if this budget is going to be cut down, they feel even depressed to live in such bad place. And they have no idea what to do because of the language barrier. They need to take care of their families. They need to work,” Tan told CBS News.
The protest: On Wednesday, more than 100 SRO families rallied in Chinatown, along with San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin and community leader Juan Alejandro García from the Chinatown Community Development Center.
“Many of these units [are], let’s be honest, subpar housing. Without the voice of the four SRO collaboratives, it would not be treated with the respect for the individuals who reside in these units,” Peskin said.
“Imagine no one there available to offer you resources; if you didn’t have the capacity to find those resources for yourself, imagine having no one. Who are you going to turn to?” García added.