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Protecting Tenants’ Rights in the Canal Community

March 21, 2023

Voces Del Canal at San Rafael City Hall advocating for tenants’ rights

Housing is a critical issue facing low-income communities, and Canal Alliance advocates for the rights of tenants in the Canal neighborhood. With the support of the San Francisco Foundation and a coalition of partner organizations, Canal Alliance is empowering residents, preventing evictions, and ensuring that affordable housing remains accessible to low-income families. 

To support these efforts, the San Francisco Foundation provided a $20,000 rapid response grant so that Canal Alliance can expand its impact by building grassroots leadership and mobilizing renters as leaders in the community to address this challenge.  

A first focus for these efforts is to empower residents and prevent evictions for tenants of a 99-unit apartment building located at 400 Canal Street, who face potential loss of housing after receiving ‘buy-out’ letters from the building’s new corporate ownership. Along with Tenants Together, Canal Alliance is creating and empowering a 400 Canal St. Tenants Union through leadership development and organizing support, while imparting valuable knowledge to help the tenants overcome challenges and preserve their right to remain in their homes.  

With this funding, members of our Policy and Civic Engagement (PACE) team are also supporting tenants through outreach and education, building momentum for policy advocacy with the goal of bringing progressive renter protections to San Rafael’s Latino immigrant community in the Canal and beyond.  

To build grassroots advocacy power, Canal Alliance has engaged Tenants Together, a nonprofit that defends and advances California tenants’ rights to safe, decent and affordable housing.  

In addition, the PACE team is organizing forums, knocking on doors, and educating residents throughout the Canal about their legal rights. This work is supported by Legal Aid of Marin and Voces del Canal, in coordination with Supervisor Dennis Rodoni and the City of San Rafael.   

Beyond these urgent efforts to protect the tenants at 400 Canal Street, Canal Alliance and a coalition of Marin nonprofits, known as the Canal Policy Working Group, are asking the City of San Rafael to adopt a rent control ordinance for the Canal neighborhood to further renter protections, implement an affordable housing policy, and address concerns about gentrification in the Canal.  

We invite you to join us in this vital effort and actively participate in our mission to protect and uphold tenants’ rights. Follow us social media to learn about opportunities to advocate for change at San Rafael City Council meetings. You can also support our efforts by making a direct donation to support our Advocacy and Policy efforts, enabling us to create lasting impact for our community.  

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