Below is a brief list of resources that may be especially helpful. This collection is only a small representation of transgender-welcoming services in California and the United States. Searching online for additional resources may yield more specific information or assistance. Resources are divided by California-specific organizations, national organizations, and general resources. For ease of use, we have specified whether organizations provide direct or support services, and to what extent they serve the LGBT communities, and specifically, to what extent they serve transgender communities. National Lawyers Guild Interns spoke with representatives of almost all of these organizations to ensure that our description of their services is correct and up-to-date, and that they are explicitly welcoming of transgender community members.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA RESOURCES
The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) provides free legal services to eligible East Bay clients in the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville. The mission of the EBCLC's Housing practice is to prevent homelessness, preserve affordable housing, and help low income tenants obtain and maintain decent affordable housing. The primary work of the Housing Practice includes defending low income tenants who are being evicted, representing tenants in housing subsidy termination proceedings, and engaging in strategic affirmative litigation aimed at forcing landlords to maintain their rental properties in a habitable condition. In addition to direct representation of tenants, Staff attorneys, volunteer attorneys, and law students staff more than 100 educational workshops for low-income tenants each year. The Housing Practice also provides legal advice and assistance to more than 2,000 self-represented litigants in eviction proceedings each year.
The Eviction Defense Collaborative (EDC) is the principal organization in San Francisco that helps low-income tenants respond to eviction lawsuits. They provide emergency legal services and rental assistance to over 5,000 tenants in San Francisco, and hold a drop-in clinic Monday-Friday 9:30-11:30 AM and 1:00-3:00 PM. The EDC is closed the first Friday morning of each month and all court holidays. Please bring all related documentation to the clinic.
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco, www.hrcsf.org
417 South Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 703-8634/(415) 703-8644 for counseling
Email: email@example.com (Please write “tenant question” in the headline)
Public Housing Renters Rights Hotline: (415) 354-6353
The Housing Rights Committee is a tenants’ rights organization in San Francisco that offers free counseling for tenants in all types of housing, including rent-controlled, public housing & Section 8. The Housing Rights Committee has a staff of five and offices in the Mission where they offer counseling four days a week (Monday through Thursday), and organize to protect and expand the rights of tenants throughout the city. Open Monday through Thursday 1pm to 5pm for drop-in counseling about housing issues. Counseling is usually available in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Spanish, sometimes Russian, and English. Check their website for Section 8/Public Housing clinics.
Oakland Tenant’s Union, www.oaklandtenantsunion.org
P.O. Box 10573
Oakland, CA 94610
Phone: (510) 704-5276
The Oakland Tenants Union meets regularly at 7:00 pm on the second Monday evening of each month. Monthly meetings are held in the Community Room of the Madison Park Apartments, 100 9th Street (at Oak Street, across from the Lake Merritt BART Station). To enter, gently knock on the window of the room to the right of the main entrance to the building. Though meetings begin at 7:00 pm, by advance arrangement, you can set up counseling sessions with a tenant attorney at 6:30 pm, in the same location just before the main OTU meeting. If you are experiencing rent and/or landlord problems, please call (510)763-0142 or (510)704-5276 if you want to request a counseling session.
San Francisco Tenant's Union, www.sftu.org
558 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 282-6622 (Call for counseling hours)
The San Francisco Tenants Union is a volunteer-based organization that fights for the rights of tenants and for the preservation of affordable housing in San Francisco. The Tenants Union is the city's leading advocate for tenants. The SFTU is 100% membership supported and this enables their advocacy to be uncompromising and immune to pressures from government or other funders. For both members and non-members, the SFTU operates a drop in counseling clinic.
The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) receives and investigates discrimination complaints in its six offices throughout California. Three regional/district offices handle employment, public accommodations and hate crime cases, two district offices handle housing cases, and a special investigations unit focuses on systemic discrimination cases statewide. In addition, there are three legal offices which prosecute cases. The DFEH routinely provides technical assistance to employers, business establishments and housing providers regarding their responsibilities under the law.
California Department of Real Estate, www.dre.ca.gov/Consumers/FileComplaint.html
Sacramento, CA 95818
Phone: (877) 373-4542
The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) investigates complaints against real estate brokers and salespersons accused of misleading or defrauding consumers. If DRE can prove a violation of the Real Estate Licensing Law, a formal hearing may be held which could result in the revocation or suspension of the agent's license.
Tenants Together is a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of California tenants to safe, decent and affordable housing. As California’s only statewide renters' rights organization, Tenants Together works to improve the lives of California’s tenants through education, organizing and advocacy. Tenants Together seeks to galvanize a statewide movement for renters’ rights.
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC provides direct legal services, engages in public policy advocacy and education and works to change laws and systems that fail to incorporate the needs and experiences of transgender people.
The National Alliance of HUD Tenants is a multi-cultural, tenant-controlled alliance of tenant organizations in privately-owned, multifamily HUD-assisted housing. Hundreds of tenant associations representing thousands of tenants in every region of the country are already involved, working together to preserve and improve affordable housing, protect tenants' rights, develop tenant empowerment, promote resident control and ownership, improve the quality of life in HUD-assisted housing and to make HUD accountable to its constituents. Their website includes resources and a state-by-state directory of organizations. This is an excellent place to begin searching for local support.
National Center for Lesbian Rights, www.nclrights.org
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA 94102
Legal Helpline: (415) 392-6257 (9 am to 5 pm PST)
Toll free: (800) 528-6257 (9 am to 5 pm PST)
Legal Helpline request form: http://www.nclrights.org/site/PageServer?pagename=legal_getHelp_whatwecando
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) helps LGBT individuals and families nationwide through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. NCLR offers a legal helpline during regular business hours, and the best way to request assistance is by filling out an online help form on NCLR's website. NCLR provides referrals, assistance locating LGBT-aware attorneys, and offers limited direct services.
National Center for Transgender Equality, www.transequality.org
1325 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 903-0112
Fax: (202) 393-2241
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.
The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: to end homelessness. Toward this end, the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) engages in public education, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing. Work is focused in the following four areas: housing justice, economic justice, health care justice, and civil rights. NCH's website has resources for people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing housing, and includes a national directory of state-by-state resources. This is another excellent place to begin searching for support.
The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) is a national housing law and advocacy center. The goal of NHLP is to advance housing justice for the poor by increasing and preserving the supply of decent affordable housing, by improving existing housing conditions, including physical conditions and management practices, by expanding and enforcing low-income tenants' and homeowners' rights, and by increasing opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities. NHLP works to achieve that goal by providing legal assistance, advocacy advice and housing expertise to legal services and other attorneys, low-income housing advocacy groups, and others who serve the poor. NHLP’s primary areas of emphasis are public policy advocacy, litigation assistance, training, and research and writing, focusing on issues and problems that will have the greatest impact on the housing rights of the poor.
Sylvia Rivera Law Project, www.srlp.org
147 West 24th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Phone/Legal Helpline: (212) 337-8550
SRLP provides free legal services to transgender, intersex and gender nonconforming low-income people and people of color in the New York area. SRLP provides advice and referral for a wide variety of legal issues. Sometimes, they can also provide more help, such as advocacy, help with a case you are bringing on your own, or, more rarely, representation in a legal action.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/online-complaint
Washington DC Office:
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
San Francisco Office:
600 Harrison St, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94107
Complaint Line: (800) 669-9777
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) investigates complaints of housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status. At no cost to you, HUD will investigate the complaint and try to conciliate the matter with both parties.