I became involved in the movement for housing justice because my rent has been going up 9% for each of the past four years. I have lived on the same property for 26 years and virtually no improvements have been made beyond the most basic safety repairs. The property is owned by an out of town landlord who inherited it from her mother; I am sure that the mortgage was paid off decades ago. However the local property managers continue to raise the rent annually because they can, because the “market value” of real estate and rentals in our town has skyrocketed.
It’s more than just making it possible for people to afford these houses, but it’s also about stabilizing the larger community and also stabilizing individual families that depend on what they have been able to develop in their neighborhood over time. I really hope that we can pass rent control in the City of Santa Cruz. I’m 80 years old now and I’ve been out collecting signatures because I just feel so passionately about this.”
When I was 19, I became disabled from living in a moldy apartment. I didn’t complain or break my lease because I didn’t want to be branded a problem tenant. It seemed impossible to find anywhere affordable near my university. I had no idea I could fight for my rights as a tenant. So I stayed until my body completely broke down.
In our school district our enrollment is declining every year. There are fewer and fewer students which clearly means fewer resources. It means lost finances from the state and federal government. Declining enrollment is not good for a school, but families can’t afford to live in Santa Cruz anymore.
We needed 5,700 to get our Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act on the ballot…. and we collected 10,791! We started this campaign because we believe that the wealth of this community lies in its low and middle income workers. With its students, its elderly and disabled folks, and its queer and brown communities. We […]