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Tenants are going through hell in California right now. Rents are skyrocketing, slumlords won't make repairs, unemployment is high, and banks and investors are evicting tens of thousands of tenants across the state. California has the second-most-expensive rental housing in the nation, after Hawaii. Many tenants live with unsafe and unhealthy housing conditions because their landlords won't make repairs. Unscrupulous landlords regularly fail to return security deposits, resulting in millions of dollars of security deposit theft from California tenants every year.
To make matters worse, as a byproduct of the foreclosure crisis, banks and vulture investors are evicting tens of thousands of tenants for no good reason. Eviction is a severe hardship, both emotionally and financially for tenants. Moving is expensive and time consuming. Eviction severs families from their community, kids from their schools, and seniors from their doctors and support network.
As Michelle, one of our Merced members, explained when a bank evicted her family after foreclosure, "[i]t was very stressful, it was very traumatic; they were posting notices on our door from the attorneys every day saying we were going to be evicted even though we were in contact with them and doing everything we were supposed to do." Forced to move quickly, Michelle's family incurred substantial moving costs and ended up in a smaller home with a higher rent. Their displacement was totally unnecessary, but was the typical product of landlord recklessness and bank callousness.
Michelle's story is typical of millions. Having done nothing wrong, renters are forced from their homes across the state. What was different about Michelle is that she turned her misfortune into activism, galvanizing a local renters' rights movement that continues to grow. Working with Tenants Together, she helped pass the first anti-eviction law in the Central Valley.
Again and again, Tenants Together empowers our members to assert their rights and to strengthen the rights of tenants throughout their community. We are proud of our record passing tenant laws, publicly shaming bad landlords, sparking government crackdowns on unethical eviction lawyers and banks, and giving our members the information and tools they need to improve their housing conditions and stability.
Tenants Together is committed to working with our members and allies to protect and strengthen tenants' rights. We are building a movement to demand housing justice for families who rent. Not everyone can afford to own a home, but everyone deserves a safe, secure place to call home and raise their families.
We've done a lot on shoe-string budget, but we need your help to do more. Donate today!