Housing has been a major problem in Sacramento for the past several years. Whether it be the affordable housing crisis or high rents, many people are struggling with finding a place to live. Even when people find apartments to live in, they can still face problems as tenants. Often, low-income tenants struggle to pay their rent. They struggle because they are what’s considered a “cost-burdened” tenant. That means that they have to pay 50% or more of their income on rent. According to a Harvard study reported by National Public Radio, 72% of people who make under $15,000 a year have to pay more than half of their income on rent. Cost-burdened tenants are more likely to be evicted or treated unfairly by their landlord because of their struggling ability to pay rent.
One group that seeks to stand up for tenants rights in Sacramento is the Sacramento Tenants Union. On January 8th they held a meeting in the Organize Sacramento office to discuss solidarity in supporting each other rights as tenants. It was an open door meeting and everyone was welcome to join.
“The Sacramento Tenants Union [believes that] housing is a human rights, solidarity is key,” said Lazaro Cardenas, a member of STU. “It is important to recognize that tenants are not defined by one issue. Affordable, rent control and evictions are issues that impacted a lot of people incident in Sacramento and other states. The mission of the Sacramento Tenants Union is to ensure a strong solidarity amongst tenants in Sacramento.”
Tenants have rights that are protected by state and federal laws. The Sacramento Tenants Union seeks to spread knowledge of those rights and protect people from unjust evictions.