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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dean Preston
July 14th, 2015
Tenants from across the state will converge today on the bi-monthly meeting of the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) in Sacramento (9:30 a.m., 801 12th Street) to confront the Agency's Chair, Matthew Jacobs, about his eviction activity. Jacobs is using the state's controversial Ellis Act to evict his tenants so he can demolish 17 rent-controlled homes and replace them with luxury housing. The group plans to rally in front of the meeting, distribute flyers, testify at the meeting chaired by Jacobs, and deliver nearly 1,000 letters from across the state demanding that he be removed as Chair of the Agency.
Among the tenants in attendance will be Steven Luftman, a Los Angeles tenant being evicted by Jacobs. "He's tearing down my home of 18 years," said Luftman. "I'm here to look him the eye and get some answers," he added. Tenants Together members from across the state raised the funds within hours to cover Luftman's travel costs so he would have the opportunity to confront Jacobs.
A month ago, Tenants Together, California's statewide organization for renters' rights, requested that Governor Brown remove Jacobs - a Brown appointee -- from the CalHFA, the agency that claims to "support the needs of renters" and "programs that create safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities for low- to moderate- income Californians." The Governor has not responded. Tenants Together also wrote to Jacobs to ask for his resignation to which he has not responded. CalHFA staff responded to media inquiries by claiming that Jacobs' business dealings were unrelated to his work to support affordable housing at CalHFA.
"CalHFA cannot be taken seriously while its Chair uses the Ellis Act to destroy affordable housing and throw long-term tenants out of their homes," commented Dean Preston, Executive Director of Tenants Together. "Jacobs must go."
The rally will begin at 9:30 at 801 12th Street, Sacramento, CA. The CalHFA meeting, at which tenants will testify, begins at 10:00 a.m. The tenants will also head to the Governor's office to deliver nearly 1000 letters demanding that Governor Brown remove Jacobs from CalHFA.