Inside a 300-square foot studio apartment, Mercedes Hernandez is counting down the days and praying for a miracle. She's one month behind in rent. She owes $1,600 and last week she got an eviction notice. Her 7-year-old daughter is afraid they'll end up homeless next week.
Luz Pena: "Your daughter didn't want to go to school because she was afraid that she was going to come back home and you were going to be evicted?"
Mercedes Hernandez: "Yeah. Se ponia a llorar y yo le decia que no llorara." (She cries and I tell everything was going to be okay)
Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted to give renters like Mercedes more time to prevent evictions. They passed legislation introduced by Supervisor Dean Preston that will give renters facing eviction a 10-day warning period.
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"Right now it's three days. We have a crazy system in California where a landlord on day one can say give me the rent. Serve a notice saying that and if a tenant can't come up with the rent within three days, even if they come up with the rent on the fourth day they can still be evicted and lose their home," said Supervisor Preston.
Supervisor Preston is hoping this time will allow renters to get a lawyer and avoid an eviction.
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"I hope more cities enact it. There have been attempts to do this at the state level that we have tried particularly because at the end of the day, for a tenant facing eviction who likely already lacks the resources to find counsel to get a lawyer takes a lot of time," said Shanti Singh with the Tenants Together Organization.
Even though this legislation passed today, Mercedes won't benefit from it because it still needs to be signed by Mayor Breed and won't go into effect into March. Meanwhile Mercedes says her daughter is packing her bags as she continues to pray for a miracle.
Luz Pena: "She says these are her favorite toys and that if you do have to leave she is going to take them?"
Mercedes Hernandez: "Si nos desalojan se va a llevar esta maleta." (Yes, if they evict us this is the bag she is going to take)
Hernandez's neighbor created a GoFundMe page in hopes to help her stay in their home for at least 3 months as she recovers.