Councilmember Alarcon Calls for Rent Increase Moratorium

–Los Angeles

On the morning of  April 14, 2010 tenants from across Los Angeles crammed into the LA City Council press room waiting anxiously for the press conference to begin. This would not be your usual City Hall pres conference where politicians are surrounded by their staff, lobbyists and the gamut of  deep-pocket special interest players that adorn the corridors of City Hall. Instead, you had an eclectic mix of people adorning colorful t-shirts that boldly stated their organizations, mission and communities standing around the podium.

Today would mark the first time in a long while in which everyday Angelenos would be viewed as a priority. Today Councilmember Alarcon would call for a 1-year freeze on rent-increases in rent stabilized units in Los Angeles.

Councilmember Alarcon opened with a story about he and his wife having lunch at El Pollo Loco. A property owner approached him and said hello, to which Alarcon asked if he was faring okay in these tough economic times. The owner responded that the mortgage meltdown was great for business because there was such a demand for rental property and that  he could raise his rents at will.

That was the make or break moment for Richard Alarcon.

You could sense the pain of uncertainty as tenants from LA CAN, Union de Vecinos, and Comunidad Presente shared their testimony from the podium. Councilmember Alarcon listened quietly, thoughtfully, as Claudia Gomez tearfully told her story about a family of six forced to live in a one bedroom home. It was clear, given the entirety of her comments, that any increase would mean being forced to choose one life sustaining thing over another.

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Claudia G., Union de Vecinos, tells her personal story of unfair rent burden.

Thelmy P., Comunidad Presente, talks about members of their organization who will be devastated by an increase of any sort.

Leonard Woods, LA CAN, tells how it is to be a retired disabled worker and facing rent increases.

Union de Vecinos and Baby Destiny, our next generation freedom fighter.

Joel and the CES family in the house!

Los Angeles Human Right to Housing Collective organizations involved have included: Los Angeles Housing Preservation Alliance, Coalition LA, Coalition for Economic Survival, Comunidad Presente, Esperanza Community Housing, Inquilinos Unidos, KIWA, LA CAN, LACEH&H, Lamp Community, POWER, SAJE, Union de Vecinos, legal partners, and other supporters

LA CAN and allies arrive at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center

Zandra S., LA CAN Member, reminds everyone that housing is a human right.

LA CAN keeps the energy flowing while waiting for the rest of the troops to arrive.

Councilmember Wesson serves chicken, spaghetti, and red kool-aid at the HCED meeting.

Fighting for the human right to housing is catching on, over 500 tenants were in attendance.

Wesson listens as tenant after tenant tells their housing horror stories.

There was overwhelming support for all speakers experiencing gross human rights to housing violations.

Single mother loses her job, her home, and has to move into a garage. The garage owner is seeking to raise her rent another $500 dollars.

Deborah B., LA CAN, tells why it is important to save public housing.

Resident has faced five-illegal evictions as property owner attempts to empty the building.

Each story highlights the pain that people on "Main Street" are experiencing on a daily basis.


2 Responses to “Councilmember Alarcon Calls for Rent Increase Moratorium”

  1. Veronica Harris Says:

    I am a disabled and legally blind person who has been living in a low income apartment complex since 11/2005. I have been harassed and threatened over the years and attempts to evict me illegally have been tried but failed. (I have NEVER been late with my rent.) I fear that since I have no family, and also the prospect of becoming completely blind, I will be living on the streets when my rent is raised again this year. (They have already tried to raise it twice last year.) Thank you for this outlet.

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