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San Francisco Chinatown SRO residents rally against proposed budget cuts

San Francisco Chinatown SRO residents rally against proposed budget cuts
San Francisco Chinatown SRO residents rally against proposed budget cuts 02:52

SAN FRANCISCO -- Low-income residents of San Francisco Chinatown SRO's are raising concerns over Mayor London Breed's budget proposal that slashes critical funding for the advocates they rely on.

Cupping Tan, along with her husband and daughter, has been living in an Single Room Occupancy, or SRO, in San Francisco for the past four years since they moved here from China.

"She's basically saying that the living conditions right now is very poor. They share a bathroom, the kitchen, and because of this situation, the utilities are usually broken. Sometimes they're out of water or electricity," Tan said.

She is just one of hundreds of SRO residents concerned about the mayor's proposed budget cuts, which aim to eliminate over $5 million from the Code Enforcement and Outreach Program as well as the SRO housing program. Many of them gathered at a rally in San Francisco's Chinatown Wednesday to voice those concerns.

"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 added.

The program is supported by a coalition of neighborhood organizations. It provides linguistically and culturally sensitive assistance to both tenants and landlords. 

"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," explained San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who spoke at the rally..

That's why many of these residents protested in Chinatown along with community leaders like Juan Alejandro Garcia, from the Chinatown Community Development Center.

"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 said.

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