Meet Mr. Lau

San Francisco Chinatown / Photo Credit: Joyce Xi

San Francisco Chinatown / Photo Credit: Joyce Xi

By Katherine Chu, Housing Rights Staff Attorney

We have accomplished much in our 100 Days of Justice campaign, building the resistance against the first 100 days of the Trump Administration. This week, we're focusing less on lawsuits and legislation and more on the clients who are the reason we do our work. This week, we will introduce you to three of the people we have served and whose stories and lives have touched us.

Mr. Lau is an elderly Chinese American immigrant with limited English skills. When we met him at one of our tri-monthly housing clinics, he was almost 60 years old and caring for his disabled 90-year-old mother, who walks with a cane and suffers from several age-related ailments. The two of them were being evicted from the San Francisco apartment where they had lived for over 10 years. Although the apartment lacked heat, had rodents, and needed repairs for leaks, it was their home and they could afford the rent.

Luckily, we could help. Our free legal clinics provide community members with tools to fight evictions, unlawful detainer cases, rent increases, and housing discrimination.

We challenged Mr. Lau's eviction and won! Sadly, the victory was short-lived; Mr. Lau's case is an example of how ruthless some landlords can be. After we saved Mr. Lau's tenancy, his landlord immediately attempted to evict Mr. Lau again and, heartbreakingly, there was no defense against the second case. We helped Mr. Lau negotiate with the landlord for financial compensation and time to relocate, and this gave Mr. Lau and his mother an easier transition to their new home.

We need your help spreading the word to people like Mr. Lau so we can defend their rights. Our housing clinic meets on the 1st, 3rd, and last Tuesday of every month from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. If you know anyone who is in need of assistance, please send them our way.