California is home to over 16 million renters, 45% of the population, and the majority of us are low-income people of color. A disproportionate number of women with children and people of color are targeted for eviction and displacement and that number has increased with the foreclosure crisis and today as speculation on land and housing intensifies. We are demanding an end to evictions and rent increases, and the investment in deeply affordable housing.
Tenants all over the state are facing massive unprecedented displacement because of landlords and real-estate speculators gambling on our homes, causing rents to rise. However, we are continuing to build momentum with several local wins in the past month.
Today Causa Justa :: Just Cause, a community tenants’ rights organization in Oakland and San Francisco, and Tenants Together have released the following joint statement in response to the “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire in Oakland and the current wave of evictions in Oakland and beyond:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2016
California Apartment Association Lies About Government Agency Position in Anti-Rent Control Mailer, Tenants Protest
Tenants protest CAA’s deceptive campaign and will file complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC)
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.”
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.
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.
Hundreds of tenants and advocates marched through several Boston neighborhoods Thursday afternoon as part of a nationwide rally calling for regulations to protect low- and middle-income residents from being forced out by rising rents.
Across from City Hall, organizers from the Right 2 Remain Coalition delivered a symbolic human rights violation citation and eviction notice to the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, accusing the industry group of thwarting affordable housing efforts.