87-year-old Holocaust survivor Musiy Rishin was under threat of eviction until the Alameda city council stepped in. (Photo/Courtesy Svetlana Rishin)
87-year-old Holocaust survivor Musiy Rishin was under threat of eviction until the Alameda city council stepped in. (Photo/Courtesy Svetlana Rishin)

Holocaust survivor spared eviction in Alameda City Council vote

A 4-1 vote by the Alameda City Council last night has saved Musiy Rishin, an 87-year-old Soviet-born disabled Holocaust survivor, from being evicted from his apartment.

“He’s happy and he’s basically very exhausted,” said his daughter, Svetlana Rishin.

The council voted to rescind a rule that would have allowed Rishin’s out-of-state landlord to evict him from the apartment he’s lived in for 17 years, something that his daughter said would have been traumatizing.

Rishin fled the invasion of Ukraine by the Nazis as a 9-year-old and settled in Uzbekistan. He immigrated to California with his family in 1998.

Rishin rents through the housing voucher program known as Section 8, under which the federal government pays the bulk of the rent directly to landlords as a way to help low-income, elderly and disabled people.

Last spring, Alameda enacted an ordinance to prevent landlords for evicting tenants just to raise the rent by blocking “no cause” evictions, but an exemption for Section 8 apartments meant that Rishin was still vulnerable.

Last night’s vote removed that exemption. Svetlana Rishin said the council meeting was filled with supporters and the council was very sympathetic to her father’s plight.

“There was overwhelming support,” she said. “So, yeah, it passed!”

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.