October 29, 2019

Christian Marin

San Francisco’s Own Lower Polk Community Benefit District Awarded Top International Honor for its Innovative and Effective Tenant Landlord Clinic (TLC)

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, during the 65th Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Baltimore, MD, the International Downtown Association (IDA) recognized San Francisco’s own Lower Polk Community Benefit District (CBD) with its highest award, the “Downtown Achievement Pinnacle Award.”

This prestigious award was granted to us for our innovative and effective Lower Polk Tenant Landlord Clinic (TLC), which won in the category of Events and Programming.

“We are humbled and honored that our own TLC won the prestigious Pinnacle Award,” says Christian Martin, Director of the Lower Polk CBD. “We call it the ‘TLC’ because our focus is on tenants, and it’s one of the few anti-homeless initiatives in San Francisco that works by preventing homeless. Now that we have achieved international recognition, it’s our hope to see this program grow and continue to help more at-risk families in the coming years.”

Founded and designed by the Lower Polk CBD in in 2017, the Lower Polk Tenant Landlord Clinic is a unique coalition of several diverse organizations which work together synergistically to prevent homelessness before it starts. The TLC does this by keeping people stably housed in their current places of abode.

Our partners include the San Francisco Bar Association’s Conflict Intervention Service (BASF/CIS) and University of California Hastings College of the Law (UC Hastings).

We are funded by a generous grant from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD).

To date, we have helped approximately 200 people stay housed in their current homes. “This unique collaborative model is effective because it combines education, counseling and mediation to settle differences that can otherwise lead to eviction and homelessness,” says Carole Conn, CIS Director.

Most recently, we have also received funding to help small “mom-and-pop” merchants keep their shops in our rapidly-changing neighborhood. “A diversity of residents and merchants is essential for a vital and sustainable community,” says Christian Martin.

“The Lower Polk CBD’s innovative TLC project received the IDA Pinnacle Award for setting the new standard for improving cities worldwide,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “The TLC has made a positive impact on San Francisco’s Lower Polk area, and the people who live, work and play there, and demonstrates a continued commitment to champion livable, vital and diverse urban centers.”

Additional information about the TLC can be found at Additional information on the Pinnacle award winners can be found online at

About the LPCBD

Founded in 2015, The Lower Polk CBD is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit that works to improve the lives of all people in the Lower Polk neighborhood in San Francisco.

About IDA

IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management.


LPCBD Media Contact:
Christian Martin
Lower Polk Community Benefit District

IDA Media Contact:
Allison Shashok
Marketing & Communications Manager
International Downtown Association