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.
In the North Bay Area, the Santa Rosa city council voted to put rent control on the ballot. The city council could have voted to repeal the law rather than put in on the ballot, and thanks to grassroots organizing groups keeping up the pressure, they did the right thing.
In the South Bay Area, the Mountain View city council voted to defend their new rent control ordinance. This vote was uncertain as only one city councilmember supports real tenant protections. The city council noted that an unprecedented amount of calls and letters went to their office urging them to direct the city attorney to defend the ordinance. Thank you to all who sent letters!
Moving further south, in San Jose the new city council voted to include a rent registry in their program and not to permit “banked” rent increases, which allow landlords to skip increases sometimes but then compound them later. This change confirms the limit of 5% rent increases a year. Advocates are continuing to organize for just cause for eviction policies.
In the Central Valley, after years of organizing in Fresno against slumlords, last week the city of Fresno passed a routine inspection ordinance. Landlords will now have to ensure that a home is habitable before it is rented out to new tenants. For decades, slumlords have profited off low-income tenants without landlords investing in repairs.
In Southern California, two plaintiffs and Tenants Together won a lawsuit upholding the Santa Monica ordinance prohibiting Section 8 discrimination. Already cities in other parts of the state are taking initiative to pass their own nondiscrimination ordinances.
Join Tenants Together today and help support the movement! Consider becoming a sustainer at $5, $10, or $15 a month.
These wins are only possible because of communities and organized buildings of tenants fighting back against all odds. Tenants in South Pasadena and Long Beach are taking steps toward housing justice by forming tenant associations. In South Pasadena tenants were able to win better relocation assistance, and continue to organize for long-term goals. Next week there is an eviction blockade in San Francisco to stop the eviction of a 100-year-old woman. Together, we are taking direct action and passing strong policy for housing justice.