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[Fox13 Memphis] group walks demand letter to Memphis Housing Authority

http://www.fox13memphis.com/news/small-group-walks-demand-letter-to-memphis-housing-authority/449028686

A small group of people with a loud voice took their message of hope to the front steps of the Memphis Housing Authority on Thursday.

Tamara Hendris said “I think that I'm seeing change across the board that people are being more concerned.”

Hendris is with the group known as HOPE.

They're concerned there's not enough affordable housing in Memphis.

Toni Whitfield is also with HOPE and said “these people don't have anywhere to go and it's about to get cold and every year we have at least two people freeze to death and we don't want that this year.”

Marcia Lewis has been the new director of MHA for just eight weeks.

She met the group outside MHA when they showed up, unannounced, and hand delivered a list of seven demands.

Lewis was sympathetic to their message saying “it is somewhat of a surprise but you know I think that a lot of times people simply don't know who they can talk to.”

At the center of the list is a demand– The city delays the demolition of Foote Homes until everyone at Warren and Tulane Apartments are relocated.

Paul Young, the city's Community Housing Director said that might not happen.

“I don't know it delaying the demo is the best approach, we have federal funds tied to that development” said Young.

Young said the city is committed to helping folks find new homes.

They've tracked 453 people from Tulane, Warren and Foote Homes who have relocated to new housing.

Young said about half the residents still need to find a new place to live.

“It's a challenge because the availability of housing is not at its height right now with this much demand and this many residents looking for places to live” said Young.

Young says demolition on Foote Homes could being before the end of the year.

Members of HOPE were able to set up a meeting with Lewis next week to talk about the list.

>> Here is the full demand letter form HOPE.

[Masslives] Activists rally for affordable housing in Springfield

Source: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/09/activists_rally_for_affordable.html

By Dan Glaun | dglaun@masslive.com
on September 23, 2016 at 6:32 AM, updated September 23, 2016 at 6:33 AM

SPRINGFIELD — A group of housing advocates held a rally outside Springfield City Hall Thursday evening, calling for expanded affordable housing and eviction reform.

Members of the demonstration, organized by local activism groups Arise for Social Justice and Springfield No One Leaves, marched from the corner of Sherman and State Streets to Court Square, carrying banners and chanting slogans.

“What do we want? Affordable housing! When do we want it? Now!” the marchers said.

Speakers, including people who have experienced homelessness, called on the city to ensure its residents have access to housing and to launch a study of Springfield's housing stock.

“We are rallying because there are too many people in Springfield live on the edge of homelessness,” Executive Director of Arise for Social Justice Michaelann Bewsee said in a statement. “Many are already homeless – they are staying in shelters or sleeping on the street. Some want us to think that this problem has gone away, but it hasn't, it's gotten worse.”

According to Friends of the Homeless, which operates the city's homeless shelter on Worthington Street as well as 110 units of permanent housing, 1,200 to 1,400 people experience homelessness in Springfield each year.

Speakers cited a 2014 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report to Congress that estimated that Massachusetts had 21,237 homeless residents — the fifth highest total in the country.

Bewsee said the city had failed to adequately respond to the group's request that it establish a housing taskforce. City Housing Office Director Geraldine McCafferty sent Arise a letter detailing the city's efforts to combat homelessness and rehabilitate housing stock, but did not agree to create the taskforce, according to a copy of the letter provided by Arise.

“There is no way to survive on the amount of money most people make in this city,” Bewsee said.

Speakers from Arise and Springfield No One Leaves delivered speeches and recited poems to the crowd, calling on the city's residents to resist foreclosures and evictions.

[Boston Herald] Rally today highlights ‘renters state of emergency’ in Boston

Source: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/real_estate/2016/09/rally_today_highlights_renters_state_of_emergency_in_boston

Rally today highlights ‘renters state of emergency' in Boston

Donna Goodison Thursday, September 22, 2016

Credit: Stuart Cahill

Sheila Dillon

Homeowners, renters, homeless people and community development and other groups plan a rolling rally in Boston today to draw attention to a “renters state of emergency” as part of a National Renters Day of Action in 46 U.S. cities.

They'll target the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, Boston Redevelopment Authority and the new luxury Millennium Tower Boston to highlight Hub residents “falling into the gap,” which they blame on the lack of rent control, just-cause eviction laws and community control of public land and development amid a Hub development boom.

The activists will demand change related to affordable housing creation and displacement of community residents, said Maria Christina Blanco, community organizer at City Life/Vida Urbana.

“The people who built up this city should not be displaced,” Blanco said. “There's so many people who need housing and can't afford it.”

Millennium Tower is testament to an economy producing housing “just for people who are basically wealthy 1 percent corporate speculators,” she said.

The rally will end at Parcel 26 in Chinatown, part of 5.5 acres along Kneeland Street near the Southeast Expressway that's owned by the state Department of Transportation and will be sold for private development.

The activists support a call for at least 20 percent or 200 of any housing units developed there to be set aside as affordable for low-income residents.

Meanwhile, the Cambridge-based Small Property Owners Association, which couldn't be reached for comment, has called for landlords to counter-protest today — primarily to voice opposition to proposed just-cause eviction legislation supported by Boston tenant groups. Such legislation equates to rent control, according to an email from the property owners group yesterday.

Hub housing chief Sheila Dillon, director of the Department of Neighborhood Development, said the city is reviewing the proposed legislation and discussing it with elected officials to “make sure that we're crafting a bill that we all support.”

[Santa Rosa Press Democrat] Protesters call out ‘fraud’ of Santa Rosa rent control petition

Source: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6117006-181/protesters-call-out-fraud-of

Protesters call out ‘fraud' of Santa Rosa rent control petition

KEVIN MCCALLUM

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | September 22, 2016, 9:01AM

Protesters picketed the offices of the California Apartment Association in Santa Rosa on Thursday to call attention to what they say are fraudulent efforts by petition gatherers trying to overturn the city's new rent control law.

About a dozen people carrying signs gathered in the parking lot of the association's office on Round Barn Boulevard in the city's Fountaingrove area. Protesters briefly blocked a section of the building's parking lot until police ordered them to move. They said they were symbolically “evicting” the association from its home, voicing hope that their actions would highlight efforts by the association representing landlords to block the city's rent control and just-cause eviction policies.

Davin Cárdenas, lead organizer for the North Bay Organizing Project, said the move was prompted by numerous instances of people being misled by signature gatherers who are either twisting the truth or lying to voters in an effort to get rent control overturned.

More than 100 people have asked the city to remove their signatures and claim they were misled into signing one of the petitions, which call for the council to repeal its new rent control and just-cause eviction law or put the issue before the voters.

“We're calling out the fraud,” Cárdenas said.

He said the picket was part of a nationwide effort dubbed the National Renter Day of Action involving demonstrations in 48 cities around the nation.

Mallori Spilker, vice president of public affairs for the California Apartment Association, said protesters should direct their energy into pushing local officials to expedite the development of new housing.

“Without a doubt, renters are having a tough time in today's market as the construction of new housing has failed to keep pace with the tremendous job growth we've seen in the Bay Area,” Spilker said in a statement. “Building more homes, and especially apartments, is key to bringing renters relief, and it needs to be a core part of any plan to solve California's housing crisis.”

Opponents of the city's rent control law must gather signatures from 8,450 registered voters by Sept. 29 to block the ordinance from taking effect.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 707-521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @srcitybeat.

[LA Opinión] Alzan la voz en contra el aburguesamiento, los desalojos y el alto costo de las rentas

Source: http://www.laopinion.com/2016/09/22/alzan-la-voz-en-contra-el-aburguesamiento-los-desalojos-y-el-alto-costo-de-las-rentas/

Alzan la voz en contra el aburguesamiento, los desalojos y el alto costo de las rentas

En Día Nacional de Inquilinos, más de 300 protestan en Los Ángeles en pro de sus derechos

Activistas e inquilinos protestaron este jueves en contra de las altas rentas que enfrentan en Los Ángeles. (Aurelia Ventura/ La Opinion)
FOTO: AURELIA VENTURA / IMPREMEDIA/LA OPINION
POR:JACQUELINE GARCIA22 SEPTIEMBRE 2016

Cuando Lisandro Medina recibió la notificación de que él y su familia tendrían que abandonar el apartamento donde han vivido por los pasados 14 años en Los Ángeles, él decidió luchar contra lo que consideró un desalojo injustificado.

“El dueño llegó y nos empezó a dar aumentos que no eran legales y nosotros íbamos a Housing Authority [departamento de vivienda] para parar eso”, explicó Medina. “Pero después comenzó a ofrecer dinero a los inquilinos para que se fueran”.

Cinco inquilinos del edificio de 24 unidades donde vive Medina ya aceptaron la oferta del dueño por miedo al acoso constante, explicó el residente de Los Ángeles.

A Panfila Rodríguez no le ofrecieron dinero para salirse de su casa. Al contrario, fue la renta exorbitante que los dejaba sin dinero cada fin de mes lo que la obligó a dejar la vivienda de dos recámaras donde residió con su familia por 20 años.

“Cuando dejamos la casa estábamos a punto de vivir en la calle porque había apartamentos, pero no nos alcanzaba para pagar”, dijo Rodríguez.

Ahora los cuatro miembros de la familia comparten un estudio en Boyle Heights.

La gente dice que los altos costos de las rentas obligan a muchos inquilinos a dejar sus apartamentos. (Aurelia Ventura/ La Opinion)
La gente dice que los altos costos de las rentas obligan a muchos inquilinos a dejar sus apartamentos. (Aurelia Ventura/ La Opinion)

Protesta

Medina y Rodríguez se unieron este jueves a una coalición de más de 30 organizaciones que pelean por los derechos de los inquilinos para pedir que los funcionarios electos y propietarios de edificios y casas hagan algo ante la crisis de vivienda que existe en Los Ángeles.

La Coalición Renters Day LA (Día de los Inquilinos de Los Ángeles) unió alrededor de 300 personas en el parque Lafayette en el área de McArthur Park en el día nacional de acción contra el aburguesamiento.

Este evento se realizó simultáneamente en otras 50 ciudades del país para ofrecer información acerca de los derechos del inquilino en las áreas mas necesitadas.

Panfila Rodríguez (izq.) e Ymelda Alvarez se unieron a unas 300 personas que protestaron en contra del aburguesamiento en Los Ángeles. (Aurelia Ventura/ La Opinion)
Panfila Rodríguez (izq.) e Ymelda Alvarez se unieron a unas 300 personas que protestaron en contra del aburguesamiento en Los Ángeles. (Aurelia Ventura/ La Opinion)

Con pancartas y mantas denunciando las malas prácticas de los dueños de apartamentos, la coalición acusó a los desarrolladores, propietarios y a la ciudad de poner ganancias antes del bienestar de los inquilinos.

Poco después, los manifestantes caminaron hacia la Asociación de Dueños de Apartamentos de Los Ángeles y sus Alrededores (AAGLA) donde hicieron llegar una carta a su president, Herbert Molano, pidiendo que se escuchen sus súplicas.

Demandas

La “acción urgente” pide la creación de una renta de control universal, una moratoria a los desalojos injustos, detener los desalojos bajo la ley Ellis, congelar el costo de la renta en la ciudad de Los Ángeles y detener el acoso a los inquilinos.

Estadísticas de la Corporación Asociada de Vivienda de California (CHPC) estimó que en el 2014 la ciudad de Los Ángeles necesitaba más de medio millón de viviendas para los angelinos de bajos y extremadamente bajos ingresos.

Se estima que en la actualidad alrededor de 60% de los inquilinos pagan mas del 30% de su salario en renta, lo cual sobrepasa el nivel medio para una vida estable y cómoda.

A principios del año, la coalición nacional de vivienda de bajos ingresos Out of Reach (Fuera del Alcance) reportó que, en promedio, un inquilino que gana el salario mínimo en Estados Unidos tendría que trabajar 90 horas por semana para alquilar un hogar modesto de dos recámaras.

La Coalición motivó a sus miembros a contactar a los oficiales electos, así como a los propietarios de vivienda, para pedir que detengan el aburguesamiento.

El 19 de noviembre llevarán a cabo una reunión de Alto al Aburguesamiento en Los Ángeles.

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