Tenants Together formed in 2008 with the mission to "galvanize a statewide movement for renters' rights." At that time, the California Apartment Association threatened renters' with a ballot initiative to make all rent control in CA illegal. The foreclosure crisis hit and unsuspecting tenants were displaced as landlords defaulted on mortgages. Now the ranks of tenants in California has swelled from 13 million to 16 million and counting, and landlords are taking advantage of a market glut with venture capital and international investors to gouge tenants with unfair rent increases.
In response to this crisis, the movement we seek to galvanize is in formation. Last week we were interviewed about this in The American Prospect. Tenants have renewed the fight for rent control, calling for new laws in their cities and calling for its expansion by removing state laws like the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which deregulated rents in California. City councils in San Jose and Santa Rosa have voted on stronger rent control and just cause policies. Oakland, Richmond, San Mateo, Burlingame, Alameda, and Mountain View are going to the ballot November 2016 to pass these tenant protections and are coordinating at the regional level. Los Angeles and San Francisco are winning fights to expand renters' rights.
Hundreds have downloaded our Rent Control Toolkit and are putting it into practice. We are keeping this page updated with ways you can get involved if your city has a campaign for rent control and just cause.
Instead of primarily being on the defensive as tenants' rights are attacked, we are in a movement moment where we can go on the offense and proactively expand tenants' rights. Now we must fight to grow and sustain our movement. Please consider donating or volunteering to help keep up the momentum.