Housing

Affordable housing is paramount for a healthy community. Without affordable housing, firefighters, police, teachers and other essential service workers leave, and businesses can’t find employees. Traffic worsens as people move further from their jobs and spend more time commuting. Homelessness and relocation destabilize the home life and schooling of young children, compromising their academic efforts and ultimately keeping them stuck in poverty. Preserving safe and affordable housing is a tool for combating a host of social ills.

For over 15 years, our housing program has been helping tenants stay in their homes with a particular focus on preserving rent-stabilized tenancies. We have helped hundreds of tenants resolve disputes with landlords and defend their rights to safe and habitable housing. Our services also help reduce the hardship of moving and mitigate the effects of an eviction so families can stabilize and recover quickly. We also provide Know-Your-Rights presentations to raise awareness of tenant rights.

To stem the tide of displacement caused by a crisis of unaffordability, we also work closely with community organizers and policy-makers to develop long-term solutions. <<Something about the Facebook partnership>>

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“Where you live affects you”

General page should focus on home and family, community, touching on the how/why of the housing crisis came to be.

  • fairness and access to opportunities
  • Focus on the idea that where you lives determines access to things like healthy food, exercise

Include stats/infographic about how most residents in EPA spend X percent of income on housing from EPA ppt leaving them unable to spend on health food, healthcare, etc.

 

We can bring up the strong link between housing and public health, safety, educational equity, economic justice, and creating inclusive communities

https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2017/02/22/living-art-growing-in-epa

Focus on connection with other communities within the bay area

 

Tenants facing evictions or rent increases


Eviction defense is one of our core services, and is an important tool for combating the displacement of diverse communities. Tenants can be evicted without a reason in the majority of jurisdictions throughout the bay area. With the exception of only a few cities, there are no limitations on the amount that a landlord can raise the rent. Families facing eviction or steep rent increases have little options other than moving. (*link to other area or resource* Read about our work to pass tenant protections in Bay Area cities).

Some cities, like East Palo Alto and Mountain View, have rent stabilization ordinances that place restrictions on the amount that rent can be raised. East Palo Alto also has a just-cause for eviction ordinance that requires landlords have specific reasons for evicting a tenant. In 2015, East Palo Alto also passed a tenant-protection ordinance, which provides tenants with additional protections and benefits. (Learn more about tenant protections)
Our eviction-defense work focuses on using protections in cities like East Palo Alto and Mountain View to protect rent-stabilized tenancies. For tenants from cities that lack protections, our services focus on ensuring that tenants are treated fairly and that landlords follow the law during the process. We will help tenants negotiate with landlords to obtain the best outcomes for their circumstances.

Tenants living in unhealthy or unsafe homes


All tenants have the basic right to live in a safe and habitable unit. The minimum requirements for a home to be considered habitable are usually defined publically in a city’s codes. Conditions that affect habitability can include a lack of certain utilities or appliances, mold, insect or rodent infestation, and broken fixtures (like locks and windows). Children often have a harder time learning when their homes are unsafe and families living in these conditions may develop health complications.

In most cases, the landlord is responsible for maintaining the habitability of a unit. Our services focus on helping tenants to resolve issues with their housing so that they can live safely.

Highlight both visible (i.e. mold, disrepair) and invisible (stress, toxins etc.) negatively affect people’s health.

Danger to children’s health and educational opportunities

Tenants experiencing harassment or discrimination by landlords

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Rescue Housing Fund

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Housing Advocacy, Outreach and Education

Promoting policies that work

Include involvement in EPA (and other cities) city planning and how that will help/benefit entire Bay Area community not just EPA