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Stand with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: Fight for renters' rights

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"Support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's Place to Prosper Act."

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    Stand with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: Fight for renters' rights

    We are in the middle of a national housing crisis. A person working full time at a minimum-wage job cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment in 99% of counties nationwide, and nearly 6,300 people are evicted every day.1

    The good news is that there is momentum for big plans to tackle the housing crisis. Oregon passed a universal rent control law and California is poised to crack down on rent gouging. Cities like San Francisco also approved tough measures to keep rental prices under control. And numerous 2020 Democratic candidates offer bold and detailed housing plans – even while the slumlord in chief Donald Trump fuels rising rents and housing discrimination.2

    Progressive champion Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently unveiled a simple yet powerful housing plan as part of her "Just Society" package of bills.3 Rallying behind Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's plan will show that countless people support bold action to tackle the housing catastrophe in America.

    Stand with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: Fight for renters' rights.

    Gentrification is ripping entire low-income communities of color to shreds and displacing families. The legacy of redlining and ongoing discrimination against communities of color, indigenous people and immigrants leaves millions of people paying too much for sub-par housing, with little protection from predatory and discriminatory landlords. Twenty million households pay an unaffordable amount of rent, and almost 50% of renters are behind on medical bills, utilities or rent. Worst of all, the number of homeless school children doubled between 2007 and 2016.4

    The housing crisis is a major driver of the rising tide of inequality in America. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is trying to put bold action against poverty on the political map with a package of six bills called "The Just Society." Her housing plan, the Place to Prosper Act, would:5

    • Impose a national rent control cap of 3% or urban consumer inflation, whichever is greater – so that landlords can no longer wildly jack up rents to reward speculators and force families out.
    • Protect tenants by prohibiting forms of discrimination (such as not accepting housing vouchers) and introducing a national right to counsel for those facing eviction.
    • Penalize predatory landlords and place new disclosure requirements on corporate landlords.
    • Create a national legal fund to provide low-income renters with access to legal services.

    Housing is a human right – but our economic system often renders it a special benefit of the privileged few so that speculators and investors can make gobs of cash. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's proposal is one of the simplest but boldest proposals out there, and we need to make sure it is the starting point for conversations about how to tackle the housing crisis.

    Stand with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: Fight for renters' rights.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Amee Chew and Sarah Treuhaft, "Our Homes, Our Future: How Rent Control Can Build Stable, Healthy Communities," PolicyLink, the Center for Popular Democracy and the Right To The City Alliance, February 2019.
    2. Kriston Capps, "Would AOC's National Rent Control Solve the Housing Crisis, or Make It Even Worse?" City Lab, Sept. 26, 2019.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Chew and Treuhaft, "Our Homes, Our Future: How Rent Control Can Build Stable, Healthy Communities."
    5. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "The Place to Prosper Act," Sept. 23, 2019.

    Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images