News and Views
November 8, 2017
The third-largest city in the United States, Chicago, is home to more than 2.7 million people, 22 percent of whom were living in poverty as of 2016. In some communities on the South Side and West Side of the city, the poverty problem affects between 40 to 60 percent of residents. Among the many issues facing these 1.3 million Chicagoans with incomes at or below the poverty line, finding and keeping an affordable place to live is one of the most pressing—and increasingly difficult as the city transforms.
November 7, 2017
With property values steadily rising throughout Los Angeles, it isn't too surprising that building owners and landlords are looking for ways to charge 2017 market-rate rents on some of the approximately 624,000 rent-controlled units in the city — that estimate coming from the rent control division of the city's housing agency.
Portland voters decided overwhelmingly Tuesday not to adopt a form of rent control. With all precincts reporting Tuesday evening, Question 1 on the city ballot was defeated by a nearly two-to-one margin. According to unofficial results, the vote was 13,466 to 7,595, or 64 percent to 36 percent, against the rent stabilization ordinance. Thirty-seven percent of the city’s 56,205 registered voters turned out to cast ballots.
Another proposed solution is for the city to seek grant opportunities for new housing development. But the City Council is not running a small local nonprofit organization reliant on grant funding. The City Council is responsible for the sixth largest city in the U.S., with the fourth largest homeless population. The fact that the City Council proposes grants as a solution to the affordable housing crisis is concerning, given the severity of our housing and homelessness crisis.
November 6, 2017
Chris Raudenbusch lost his rental home and just about everything he owned when a wildfire swept through his Santa Rosa neighborhood in October. "My girlfriend was renting the house. I had just recently moved in to help her with the rent because her roommate had left," Raudenbusch said. "We grabbed, grabbed the animals and took off. We had no warning -- no nothing."
November 6, 2017
As the main breadwinner, Martha Simmons has always worked hard to support her family. But when her landlord raised the rent of the home she rents with her adult daughter, Charitie Bolling, who is disabled, Bolling’s husband and their three small children at 1140 Ingerson Ave., the 60-year-old was forced to take on three security jobs just to stay afloat. “Right now, I’m working seven days a week, 16 hours a day to keep roof over our head,” said Simmons, whose $3,300 rent was raised to $4,700 last year.
November 6, 2017
After rent stabilization measures received mixed results around the Bay Area in the last election, voters in Pacifica will have their turn on Tuesday. Volunteers who have been campaigning since the summer hope to convince homeowners, a group that makes up the majority of the city’s population, to vote for Measure C, which would limit how much landlords could raise rents. Gloria Stofan, a resident since 1966, volunteers with Fair Rents 4 Pacifica. She said that, after speaking to four people, two said they’d vote no on Measure C, one said yes and one was undecided.
November 5, 2017
State officials are taking action against a Queens landlord who threatened tenants with eviction unless they could show they were in the country legally, the Daily News has learned. The State Division of Human Rights plans to file a formal complaint Monday against Dr. Jaideep Reddy, the owner of a Corona building where residents received notices telling them to provide, among other things, proof of their immigration status.
November 1, 2017
Last Tuesday we mobilized to attend the first-ever State Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee informational hearing on “The Housing Affordability Crisis: Exploring the Effects of Renter Displacement” and asked you to contact your local state representatives to demand the repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.
October 31, 2017
From September 18-24th, over one hundred organizations took part in over 55 coordinated actions and assemblies across the country for the #RenterWeekOfAction. While the week itself was striking, the brewing and growing national housing justice movement behind it signals a dramatic shift in the fight for safe, secure, sustainable, affordable housing for all people in the country.
Philadelphia is taking steps to protect renters from unfair evictions amid what Mayor Jim Kenney has described as a “housing crisis due to a shortage of safe and affordable housing.”
he petition filed at the beginning of this month to introduce a form of rent stabilization in the city of Glendale hit an administrative setback last week as the city clerk’s office deemed the filing of more than 11,000 signatures invalid due to compliance issues with state election codes.
October 20, 2017
With renters becoming 60 percent of city residents and median rent on Craigslist pushing $3,000 per month, students at UC Santa Cruz are talking with community members about a rent control campaign in 2018. A representative of the Santa Cruz Tenant Organizing Committee announced the campaign at the end of “No Place Like Home,” showcasing a survey of 1,737 renters around the county by UCSC faculty and undergraduate researchers attended by 600 people at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Thursday night.
A landlord has agreed to pay more than $1 million to tenants who were evicted after a fire swept through their illegal apartments in a warehouse space in the Inner Mission District in 2014, the first legal settlement related to the rash of fires that have displaced residents in the neighborhood over the past four years.
Glendale Tenants Union Vows to Keep Fighting for Rent Control While Pasadena Counterpart Gets Up to Speed
October 19, 2017
Glendale affordable housing advocates have been forced to start over on a ballot initiative which would have forced limits on rent increases throughout the city, After turning in 11,000 signatures to the Glendale City Council on Oct. 3, the Glendale Tenants Union learned on Oct. 11 that the City Clerk had rejected their petition because it did not comply with state election laws.
October 19, 2017
The race is on for the chance to become the home of Amazon's second headquarters. The Greater Sacramento Economic Council announced the region's bid for Amazon's second headquarters Wednesday morning outside Golden 1 Center. Sacramento is among a number of cities -- San Diego, Houston and Minneapolis to name a few -- competing for the headquarters. Amazon says they'll hire as many as 50,000 employees with an average annual salary of more than $100,000. Proposals are due midnight Thursday.
October 18, 2017
California’s statewide tenants’ rights organization warned on Wednesday that double-digit rent increases following recent wildfires violate Penal Code 396, the state’s anti-price gouging laws. The cap on rent increases was triggered by the Governor’s declarations of states of emergency in nine counties due to wildfires. Tenants Together is holding a webinar at 10am-11am on October 26, 2017, for media, policymakers, lawyers, and organizers on the issue. To sign up for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/RentBan
October 18, 2017
Stacey Falls, a science teacher at Santa Cruz High School, has been keeping a nervous eye on rents in recent years, as she’s watched friends and colleagues move away. Falls, who sat on the high school’s hiring panel, says Santa Cruz High won’t even consider candidates who would have to relocate to Santa Cruz “because it would be too challenging.”
Landlord Who Doubled Rents in Low Income Neighborhood Settles with Some Tenants, Others Vow to Continue Fighting
October 18, 2017
Steve Kalmbach was in a meeting in the conference room at his Pleasanton office when he looked through the glass windows to find a crowd of unwelcome visitors in the reception area. Some were his tenants from a Deep East Oakland neighborhood — there to protest his doubling of their rents. “He got really angry and didn’t want to talk to us so we put fliers all around his office,” said Jorge Rojas who rents a two-bedroom house on 76th Avenue with his wife, two children and two dogs. The cops showed up and told the tenants to leave.
October 17, 2017
Palo Alto's foray into rent stabilization blew up at the starting line Monday night after the City Council majority struck down a proposal from three council members to strengthen the city's tenant-protection laws.