Project Sentinel tenant-landlord helpline marks first year of service

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Redwood City – Barely a year into its operation, Project Sentinel’s free Residential Housing Helpline has responded to over 1,500 calls from tenants, landlords, and neighbors throughout San Mateo County eager to learn about their tenant-landlord rights and responsibilities.

The free helpline, that can be called at (650) 399 -2149, provides, landlords, tenants, and neighbors, information on tenant-landlord rights and responsibilities, resource referrals, and guidance on amicably resolving their conflicts. Helpline services are provided in English, Spanish, and Tagalog.

During its first year, the Helpline has received a variety of calls. “From utility credits in Pacifica, rent increases in Daly City, repair requests in Menlo Park, and eviction questions in East Palo Alto, the helpline has listened to callers throughout the county about any and all tenant-landlord concerns”, said Ryan Reyes, Case Manager for the Helpline. “In addition to the helpline, Project Sentinel is also actively looking for venues and community partners to conduct public presentations on tenant-landlord rights.”

Project Sentinel employs a variety of methods to assist callers. Aside from providing callers with information on their rights and responsibilities, the helpline also guides and educates callers about amicable dispute resolution options. Callers are assisted in negotiating and brainstorming. Letters that callers have written are reviewed. Conciliation and mediation with the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center is also explored. Should legal assistance be required, callers are referred to the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County and Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto.

About the Tenant-Landlord Helpline
Funded by San Mateo County’s Measure A, an initiative that addresses affordable housing programs and projects, Project Sentinel was the community organization selected to administer a Landlord Tenant and Information Program. The helpline is also under the umbrella of the County’s Home for All Initiative (www.homeforallsmc.com).

About Project Sentinel
Project Sentinel is a non-profit agency aiming to develop and promote fairness and equality in housing. Project Sentinel has offices in Redwood City, Santa Clara, Gilroy, Fremont, Milpitas, Modesto and Sacramento. Aside from tenant-landlord counselling, Project Sentinel offers counselling and assistance on mortgage and fair housing issues. On fair housing, Project Sentinel investigates, and on occasion litigates, housing discrimination complaints, processes requests for reasonable accommodation, and addresses other fair housing issues such as predatory lending. Project Sentinel also offers counseling for first time home buyers and those in danger of defaulting on their mortgage.

Contacts
Ryan R. Reyes
Case Manager
Phone: (650) 399-2149
E-mail: rreyes@housing.org

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