Housing

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I support a just-cause eviction ordinance.

This would mean a tenant could be evicted only for a good reason: violation of their lease, or violation of relevant laws. Just cause allows landlords protections against bad tenants. It also allows tenants protections against bad landlords.

This is an urgent issue. Concord residents who rent are already being evicted from their homes, along with their children, for no cause or for unjust causes. Residents who ask for their landlords to deal with basic health and safety issues such as mold and bed bugs have been evicted in response.

Under a just-cause ordinance, tenants could still be evicted for damaging property, not paying rent, or otherwise violating their lease agreements. They could not be evicted for requesting necessary maintenance or because a landlord has simply decided they would rather rent to someone with deeper pockets.

I support rent stabilization with reasonable protections for landlords.

A good rent stabilization ordinance prevents unreasonable spikes in rent while allowing landlords a reasonable rate of return.

In recent years, many tenants in Concord have faced staggering rent increases–sometimes hundreds of dollars per month in a single increase. Many good tenants have been unable to keep their homes because their rents have risen so abruptly and their incomes have not.

I support a policy that allows rents to rise with inflation and allows landlords to cover their real cost increases. I am sensitive to the risks faced by small landlords, who cannot amortize their unexpected costs over many housing units. And Concord has many small local landlords who keep their rent increases modest and gradual. A prohibition on large, sudden increases is not aimed at them, and will not affect them.

I support building more housing for all income levels.

Rent stabilization is not a solution to the housing crisis. An increase in housing stock, including both market-rate and affordable housing, has to be a major part of that solution. The purpose of rent stabilization is to help Concord families stay in their homes while that new housing is built.

More housing = less traffic.

When working people can’t afford to stay in Concord, they also can’t afford not to keep their jobs in Concord and deeper into the bay area. So they move outward–and then they commute to and through Concord, adding many more hours in their cars on our overcrowded roads. They clog our freeways, and when the freeways become unbearably crowded, they cut through town and clog our neighborhood streets. When people can live near their jobs, everyone benefits because those cars aren’t taking up space on the roads for hours every day.

Tenant protections = stable, thriving communities.

Unaffordable and unreliable housing for renters affects our entire community.

Children’s education and emotional health suffer when families lose their homes and kids must suddenly leave their community and change schools in the middle of a semester… And all of society suffers when the education and well-being of our children suffers.

Neglectful owners are free to allow apartment complexes to deteriorate if their tenants face the risk of being evicted when they ask for basic, necessary repairs. While the Monument has many well-kept apartments, we’ve all seen the dilapidated ones. Evicting tenants instead of maintaining buildings is bad for people and property.

Unaffordable and unstable housing have led to overcrowding in many buildings. Many people are forced to squeeze extended families into small apartments because they’ve had to offer their couches and floors to family members who have lost their homes and would otherwise be on the street. One consequence of this is an increase in cars parked in surrounding neighborhoods.

And of course there are the people who aren’t even fortunate enough to find a family member’s couch to sleep on. This problem could get worse; we must make sure it doesn’t. The number of people sleeping in cars and on the street will continue to rise if we don’t institute basic protections so that people can have stable housing.

We must protect the stability of our community by addressing tenants’ rights and housing supply. Let’s help our long-time Concord residents remain part of Concord!

 

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