Tampa, Florida - The Tampa community has struggled for an end to the housing crisis since the eviction moratoriums ended last year. With this year’s midterm elections approaching, Tampa activists demand a rent control ordinance to stop the rise in rent prices. Enough public support can push the Tampa city council to address the housing emergency. Tampa is among the cities facing the worst of the national housing crisis. Tampa ranks ninth worst in the world for decrease in housing affordability. Renters in the city spend 42% of their income on housing, a 6% increase from 2017 during a time of rising inflation and stagnant wages. In 2022, affordable housing listings decreased by 46% while housing prices increased by 26%. More people in Tampa are at risk of losing their housing.
“There’s the California that people imagine, a place I would love to visit and maybe buy a house on one salary,” Mayor Daniel Lee, now running for Congress, says with a smile. “Then, there’s the actual California.” Back in 2018, when Lee was elected as Culver City’s first Black councilmember, he didn’t know about the city’s history as a “sundown town,” a reference to all-white areas that enforce segregation through local laws, intimidation and violence. It was only at the Annual Legislative Conference hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation that other Black elected officials told him their stories of taking roundabout drives in their youth to avoid the notoriously racist Culver City Police Department. The city was founded by Harry H. Culver, who advertised it in the Los Angeles Herald in 1915 as a “model little white city.”
When millennials head home for the holidays this month, many who are city dwellers will be hosted by parents or grand-parents whose housing is far more spacious and financially secure than their own. Even guests with well-paid jobs in relatively stable rental markets will cast an envious eye at the benefits of baby boomer house buying decades ago. That’s because these holiday visitors belong to a “generation priced out” of America’s hottest urban markets for single-family homes, condos, and rental apartments. According to Berkeley author Randy Shaw, skyrocketing prices for all three forms of housing have created a generational divide, with major political implications for progressive city governments and advocates of affordable housing.
By Michael Byrne for ROAR Magazine - These organizations are developing new ways of responding to the growing conflict between tenants and landlords and between housing as a right and housing as a financialized asset. They aim to become more than radical activist groups, but rather to organize tenants en masse and to change the structural conditions and policies which condemn tenants to a life of high rents, frequent evictions and low-quality housing. All the organizations mentioned above are involved in collective action in response to individual issues, in particular rent increases, evictions and poor housing standards. This involves providing information about tenants’ rights, negotiating with landlords, media campaigns targeting specific landlords and taking legal cases. For tenant organizers this is about tenants working together to fight for their rights, rather than charity. Renting can be an isolating and individualizing experience. The only time a tenant is likely to reach out to others is during a particular moment of crisis, such as a rent increase or eviction. These moments provide the possibility to de-individualize the experience of renting, but also to politicize that experience by showing that by working together tenants can change their reality. Yet this kind of “case work” brings its own challenges — and not just in terms of the considerable resources it requires.
By Staff for Metropolitan Council on Housing. We are camping out in front of Governor Cuomo's office to demand that he stop siding with real estate developers and start standing with New Yorkers! For too long Governor Cuomo has been selling out tenants. He's given a $2.4 billion tax break to developers so they can pretend to build affordable housing while in reality they kick out low and middle-income New Yorkers, who are predominantly people of color. Governor Cuomo's housing agenda isn't helping tenants, it's hurting us... and we've had ENOUGH. Its time to press the Governor to stand with us. If you can join us for any part of the three day camp-out and actions listed above, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or RSVP on Facebook
By Randy Shaw for Counterpunch. Activists in cities that have long had rent control laws are pushing for stronger measures. In Los Angeles, activists like Larry Gross, Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, want the city to stop allowing tenants to be evicted so that speculators can demolish their rent-controlled buildings (emptying the building through the Ellis Act, a state law that preempts local just cause eviction laws). CES and their allies forced the head of the California Housing Finance Agency toresign over his Ellis Act eviction of tenants. The spread of rent control campaigns goes beyond California. In Seattle, sharply rising rents and tenant displacement led Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata to push for a Council resolutionrepealing of the statewide ban on rent control. On September 21, Seattle’s City Council backed the resolution calling for repealing the state preemption of local rent control enacted in 1981. Portland tenants are also pushing for rent control.