Posted on November 10, 2015 by the Legislative Committee
Tenants and members of the homeless community will protest outside the hearing of the California Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing at 8:30 am on Thursday morning, November 12.
When: Thursday, November 12 at 8:30am
Where: James P. McEntee Plaza in front of the Santa Clara County Building, 70 West Hedding St, San Jose.(MAP)
What: Rally for affordable housing
Sponsor: Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County
Contact: email ahnscc - at - gmail.com
The Peace and Freedom Party supports SB 608, which would end the criminalization of homelessness, and urges the repeal of Costa-Hawkins, the 1995 law that cripples rent control in California. The discussion below is reproduced from the Affordable Housing Network of Santa Clara County Facebook page.
TENS OF THOUSANDS DISPLACED, CONGRESS AND LEGISLATURE MUST ACT NOW
Tens of thousands of low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and working people are being forced out of their Silicon Valley homes, while Congress and the State Legislature have not taken effective action to stop the crisis. Rents in San Jose have risen 10% or more every year since 2010. Inadequate or non-existent rent controls in Silicon Valley cities are forcing more and more renters to leave the area or become homeless. The lack of “just cause” eviction protection in this low-vacancy market allows landlords to treat tenants as disposable commodities. The Legislature has done nothing to repeal the Costa-Hawkins restrictions on rent control that could help save affordable housing for hundreds of thousands in Silicon Valley alone.
Even so-called "affordable housing" is raising rents so fast that seniors and people with disabilities are being forced out of their homes. Tax credit rents based on area median income are going up while fixed incomes are staying the same. Federal cuts to housing assistance have created a shortage of Section 8 housing vouchers, and fixed their value so low that for many they have become worthless pieces of paper, because no landlord will accept them.
When people become homeless, cities like San Jose devise programs to house a few while treating the rest like criminals. As one park ranger said, "Our job is to make your lives so miserable that you leave the city."
It is understandable that technology corporations, real estate, and landlord interests would seek to maximize profit, and not care about anyone else. As real estate tycoon Ken DeLeon said, "The person who’s working hard at Google has more of a right to be here than somebody just because their parents were here, and they complain they can’t afford a home."
What is inexcusable is when our elected officials fail to representing the interests of the people they are supposed to serve. There is no excuse for public policy that displaces the very people who built this valley, and creates such desperate poverty here in the richest area in the entire world. An economic system that doesn’t feed, clothe, and house its people must be and will be overturned, and replaced with a system that meets the needs of the people.