The house where I have rented for almost 10 years was not on the market, but, last fall [before Measure M was in the works], a realtor representing a family looking to invest in income property offered my landlord enough money that he decided to sell. The new owners let me know they planned to […]
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.
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.