Wednesday, September 11, 2013

August Tenant News Roundup

News Across the State of California

Fresno Inn Tenants Fight Back
Fresno tenants defended their rights against an onslaught of eviction threats, notices, and utility shutoffs at the Fresno Inn. Tenants living in slum conditions were given bogus 3-day notices citing that the building would be demolished due to high speed rail construction. Our Central Valley staff Omé and Magdalena put pressure on the landlord. Watch video of the event here. TT along with attorney Alessandra Muhawe, and with community support, was able to successfully get the landlord to rescind the notices.  Read the Fresno Bee front page coverage here. On to pressure Casa de Campo LLC, LLC member George S. Lee, and manager William Leyton to improve conditions at the property!

Concord residents are being eaten alive by bed bugs, and landlords are failing to do their part to eradicate pests and restore habitability to the properties they own. Residents living at Rosemont Apartments and other complexes in Concord are fed up with local code enforcement officials who are letting landlords off the hook. Tenants are working with TT Organizer Guillermo to demand a bed-bug free living environment.”

U.S. Warns Against Eminent-Domain Mortgage Seizures
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has threatened to stop mortgage lending in cities that take underwater mortgages by eminent domain. This follows the filing of a lawsuit by the Wall Street banks and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to prohibit the use of eminent domain by the City of Richmond in the Bay Area. Fair Housing organizations have filed a brief in response to redlining threats against the city.

SRO Tenants Build Stronger Neighborhoods
Randy Shaw argues that SRO tenants, as long-term residents with a stake in their neighborhoods, work to improve conditions, but that they receive little help from local agencies to keep their neighborhoods free of activities like drug dealing.

Notable Tenant News Nationwide

Attorney General Sues Local Landlord
A North Carolina landlord is being sued for illegally withholding tenant security deposits there. The landlord rents mainly to students, who are particular victims of security deposit theft.

Echo Village Tenants, Fighting Eviction, Want to Remain in Diverse Complex
Tenants with Section 8 vouchers are being forced from a housing complex in Amherst MA, because the new landlord wants to raise rents above the limit that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has set as the "fair market rent" for the city.

Quinn Signs Law to Help Illinois Renters Fight Foreclosure
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation to protect tenants in foreclosed properties. The law provides many of the same protections afforded by the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), which expires at the end of 2014. The Chicago City Council enacted additional protections in June.

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