California Tenants Unite To Address Housing-Affordability Crisis

Jun 8, 2018


Some of the largest tenants’ unions in California, including those in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Pasadena and Glendale, have endorsed Proposition 10 to address the state’s housing-affordability crisis.  The November ballot measure returns power to local communities to limit excessive rents and keep people in their homes.

“We’re honored to receive support from some of the largest tenants’ unions in the state. Tenants’ groups fight every day to protect lower and middle-income families from eviction, harassment and rent gouging. They know that expanding rent control is the quickest way to keep people in their homes and preserve the diversity of our communities,” said Damien Goodmon of Housing is a Human Right and the Yes on 10 campaign.

The Los Angeles Tenants Union, in particular, is a diverse, tenant-led movement fighting for the human right to housing for all. Its members demand safe, affordable housing and universal rent control. They organize against landlord harassment, mass evictions, and displacement. They also mobilize for the repeal of the Ellis Act and the passage for Proposition 10. The group’s mission is to strengthen tenants’ political power through education, advocacy, and direct action. It is an autonomous housing movement funded completely by its members.

“It can take years to build new homes. Meanwhile, tenants are being displaced right now, not only in Los Angeles but all throughout the state. We need to strengthen rent control in California to keep people, especially the most vulnerable, in their homes. The LA Tenants Union is proud to endorse the Affordable Housing Act. We need to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act this November,” said René Christian Moya of the Los Angeles Tenants Union’s Policy Committee.

For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s renters have turned to the San Francisco Tenants Union, a mostly volunteer-run organization, for advice on how to secure and maintain habitable and affordable housing. Through drop-in counseling services and the distribution of the Tenants Rights Handbook, the SFTU has educated thousands of San Francisco renters on their rights under local, state and federal law, and empowered residents to assert those rights in an informed and dignified manner.

“Every week we have to give families in single family homes and folks whose partners and roommates have died the bad news that their rents can be increased to whatever the landlord chooses, because of a bill that protects their profits — Costa Hawkins. It’s about time we repealed this bill. Tenants have suffered long enough,” said Deepa Varma, Executive Director of the San Francisco Tenants Union.

The Oakland Tenants Union (OTU) is an organization of housing activists dedicated to protecting tenant rights and interests. OTU does this by working directly with tenants in their struggle with landlords, impacting legislation and public policy about housing, community education, and by working with other organizations committed to furthering renters’ rights. OTU is open to anyone who shares its core values and who believes that tenants themselves have the primary responsibility to work on their own behalf.

The Pasadena Tenants Union advocates for renter rights and tenant protections from displacement caused by gentrification.​​ Its members believe that housing is a human right and tenants have an inalienable right to a safe, decent, stable and accessible home.

The Glendale Tenants Union acts as a place for residents of Glendale, CA to meet, organize, and discuss issues that affect them as tenants. Its members strongly believe that rent stabilization is a key element to achieving fair and stable rents for the citizens of Glendale.

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