2015 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Anne Bellows

Anne Bellows

Name of Host Organization: Public Advocates
City, State: San Francisco, California
Issue area: Housing - Affordable Housing/Microfinance, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
Sponsors: Hewlett-Packard; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

The Project

Anne will employ fair housing litigation, administrative complaints, and advocacy to protect Bay Area low-income communities of color from displacement by large “bad actor” landlords and local jurisdictions.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Low-income communities of color in the Bay Area are facing a crisis of displacement from their neighborhoods due to rising housing costs, harassment by landlords, conversion of their homes to high-end housing, and public investments targeted to attracting wealthy residents to formerly underserved neighborhoods. Families who have lived in these communities for decades are forced to leave their friends, families, churches, schools, and jobs. The influx of highly paid professionals into the Bay Area can provide an opportunity for shared prosperity, but if cities do not take care, gentrification will simply recreate patterns of segregation and instability that exacerbate health, education, and economic disparities.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Anne is the right person for the project because:
• She is passionate about housing rights and fair housing opportunity, and learned about cutting-edge strategies while working at one of the leading fair housing firms in the country
• She worked with Public Advocates during law school, learning the fundamentals of California housing law, and she witnessed the importance of Public Advocates’ work to lift up community voices in local government planning processes
• While living in the Bay Area during law school, she witnessed the rapid pace of neighborhood transformation and cost increases, and she is dedicated to fighting for a Bay Area that makes room for all segments of the community
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship: 
In the first six months, Anne will:
• Build relationships with community partners to learn about displacement pressures in specific communities
• Begin to develop fair housing advocacy strategies
• Begin to analyze planning and zoning developments that threaten low-income households
• Conduct trainings on fair housing advocacy tools

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