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Renter Rights

Combatting The Housing Crisis With The Crown Heights Tenants Union

Some 34% of available housing stock in the US is rented by tenants, who number over 114 million people. Among tenants, more than 40% pay over 35% of their monthly income towards rent alone. As wages stagnate and rents rise, the fight against landlords, evictions, and developers becomes more urgent to the class struggle day by day. The Real News speaks with Esteban Girón from the Crown Heights Tenants Union on the housing crisis roiling America and how tenants can fight back.

Housing Should Not Be A Luxury

Unfortunately, access to private space has become increasingly unequal in Europe. This discrepancy has been exacerbated by the pandemic. A lockdown spent on a terrace or in the garden is not the same as one confined in an apartment block. Ever since the end of World War II, sufficient housing supply has been a high priority in the modern market economies of Europe. But after several decades of neoliberalism and a decade of strict austerity, Europe now faces the challenge of how to tackle today’s housing inequality.

Millions In US ‘Race Against The Clock’ To Pay The Rent And Stave Off Eviction

Millions of Americans are in a “race against the clock” to receive rental assistance before the end of the month, when a federal eviction moratorium designed to help people cope during the coronavirus pandemic expires. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium ends on 30 June, and some states will still have local renter protections in place. But in the vast majority of states, rental assistance – an essential lifeline for millions – could arrive too late, according to housing advocates. “At this point it’s a race against the clock to try to get the money to the tenants who need it to keep them stably housed when the eviction moratorium expires,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). In mid-May, 7.49 million US adults said they were not current on rent or mortgage payments and had slight or no confidence they could make next month’s payment, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

Seattle Votes To Guarantee Lawyers For Renters Facing Eviction

The Seattle City Council unanimously voted Monday to guarantee free legal counsel to poor tenants facing eviction, a system similar to the right to representation already enshrined in the country’s criminal courts. In passing the measure, members of the council hope to keep as many people in their current homes as possible and avoid the devastating and expensive downstream consequences — including homelessness — that often follow when someone is forcibly removed from where they live. "This legislation will not enough be itself and we know that we need a lot more," said Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who originally proposed the legislation. "We know that eviction destroys communities, wrecks households and even kills."

With Evictions Looming, US Cities Seek Legal Help For Renters

Washington - When Shalonda Glascoe fell behind on her rent as she struggled to find a job amid the coronavirus outbreak this spring, her landlord tried to kick her out of her Baltimore home - twice. Eventually, Glascoe, 47, sought free legal help, a decision she says was key in allowing her to stay in her home in the northeastern U.S. city. Without legal assistance, "I don't think I would be here right now. I think I would have lost the fight," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Over the past few months, bans on evictions during the pandemic have been enacted at the city, state and federal levels, yet landlords are still filing notices - and the rate may even be picking up, housing experts warn.

This Is Why Thousands Of Renters Are Evicted Each Year

Joseph Gelletich’s life began to unravel in September of 2018, 16 days after he missed a rent payment. His landlord filed an eviction lawsuit, triggering the legal process that would eventually leave him homeless. But Gelletich says he didn’t actually find out about the proceedings until months later—after many of his options for fighting to keep his apartment had already evaporated. Gelletich had called Harvard Hall home since 1991. Almost 60 now, he moved into the stately, seven-story building at the southern end of Mount Pleasant as a young man, just starting a career remodeling kitchens and bathrooms.
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