Gentrification Plan Riles Up Bay Area Tenants

Tenants of an apartment complex in Redwood City, California, sued its new owner in Federal Court this week, claiming the company bought the property with the intent of kicking out Latinos and appealing to young white and Asian workers in the tech industry.

The Buckingham Apartments Tenants' Association sued 180 Buckingham Property and its parent company, Trion Properties, claiming they violated the Fair Housing Act by buying a Latino-dominated apartment complex intending to evict them to make way for white tech workers.

Bay Area Voter Guide

The November 2016 election ballot is daunting, to say the least, but there are some real gems at the city and county levels that renters and those who want to fight against gentrification and displacement don't want to miss. We've put together a simple flyer to use when you vote. This year, when you vote, you can help keep tenants in their homes! 5 cities are going to the ballot to pass rent control, which would collectively protect at least 125,000 people from displacement.

Through the "Eviction Mill"

WHEN ELENORE WILLIAMS' family of seven moved into a new apartment in 2013 and found it infested with fleas, she says, management’s response was to give her a bottle of Hot Shot insect killer spray.

“The landlord did not make repairs,” Williams wrote in court documents. “[The] dishwasher hasn’t worked [in] over a year, my son caught a skin disease called PLEVA from the fleas biting him... Mold in [the] bathroom has not gotten done, which caused my son to [begin] taking a steroid inhaler.”

Richmond is the New San Francisco: City Council Rejects Moratorium on Evictions

In a dramatic meeting in mid-September, the Richmond City Council rejected an emergency 45-day moratorium that would have stopped the evictions and high rent increases, a major force that is driving out of this Easy Bay city hundreds of medium and low income residents.

The timid resolution proposed by councilwoman Gayle McLaughlin, was defeated with a vote of three against and four in favor. It needed a super majority.

Renters Highlight Lack of Affordable Housing with National Day of Action

More than 110 million people in the United States are renters – a reflection of how the American dream of owning a home has increasingly become a fantasy. And many of those renters who cannot afford to buy a house are straining to pay rents that consume more and more of their incomes. According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, one-quarter of renters in the U.S. pay more than half of their earnings on housing.

Renters Unite to Demand Affordable Housing

The lack of affordable housing across the country has gained increasing attention in recent months. A report released earlier this year by the personal finance website SmartAsset found that in 12 of the top 15 US cities, rents had increased from 2015 to 2016. In some places, rent prices skyrocketed; San Francisco, Seattle and Miami all had increases of over 7 percent. In Los Angeles, average rental rates went up 17 percent.

For Tenants Facing Eviction, New York May Guarantee a Lawyer

Outside Housing Court in the Bronx, the line invariably winds down the block, snaking past the vendors at tables hawking cellphone plans and by a man selling moving boxes.

Inside, tenants clutching folders of documents, or lugging toddlers on their hips, stagger through the hallways.

On a recent Tuesday morning, the fear and confusion was palpable. Some tenants owed back rent, money they did not have. Two had already received eviction papers but said they had paid their rent, proffering copies of money orders and tattered receipts as proof to anyone who would stop to look.

Renters' Rights, Landlord Responsibilities Core of Oakland's Measure JJ

Tenant rights advocates in Oakland have joined in a nationwide campaign for affordable housing that would toughen rent controls in Oakland.

Promoting Measure JJ on the November city ballot, Oakland demonstrators converged on City Hall as part of a national “Renter’s Day of Action” on September 22. The demonstrators said the city’s character was at stake. They held banners and chanted slogans proclaiming housing as a “human right.”

“Oakland is a melting pot, but it won’t be if rent keeps rising,” lifelong Oakland resident Zane Burton said.

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