Community groups support Filipinos facing home evictions

By , on May 18, 2015

Filipino families and community groups protest against home evictions. (Photo courtesy of Asian Journal)
Filipino families and community groups protest against home evictions. (Photo courtesy of Asian Journal)

Several Filipino families are fighting evictions from their homes after their building has been purchased by the Big Tree Properties Incorporated last March.

“We are getting this pressure and stress because as soon as we see these people getting out of these buildings then what if it happens to us also? So that’s a big problem for us,” said Rosendo Anicete, one of the Filipinos facing eviction.

The Big Tree Properties earlier offered to buy the building but the residents refused. The company then filed lawsuits against the tenants for alterations, overcapacity and poor housekeeping in their units.

Most of the building’s residents are immigrant Filipino families who have no home to transfer to should they be evicted.

“I’m a veteran. I’m just making less than a thousand. What can I do? Where will I get the rest of the utilities, the food, and all that? So they want us to live on the street? Come on now!” said Anicete.

Various community advocates in the South of Market neighborhood showed support to the affected families.

“How can they do that when these irresponsible speculators that care nothing about anything except the money do this to our communities,” said Tony Robles, community leader.

“It’s not just about being rooted out of your home: the stress that people are going through, the sleepless nights because they don’t know where they are going to be living tomorrow,” said Angelica Cabande, a member of the South of Market Community Action Network.

“Talk to community organizations because we can help. But if you don’t fight, then you don’t have an option but to leave. But if you fight, you have an option of at least staying and keeping your home,” said Vivian Zalvidea Araullo, the executive director of the West Bay Pilipino Center.

The tenants are hoping that they can still revoke the home evictions.