Did you know that Sacramento and many cities in the Central Valley ranked among the top in the nation in rent increases? In this video, we look at the statistics and how it affects people.
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.
On Saturday, June 3rd, a workshop for financial literacy was held at the Sierra 2 Center on 24th street. The workshop discussed different ways of budgeting. This was one workshop in a series of financial literacy workshops to educate people on how to budget their money, how to buy a house, and other different ways of being smart with your money.
“Redlining” was a legal practice from 1932 to 1964. It directly affected minorities living conditions and housing options. Today, among other factors such as the wage gap and the pricey cost of higher education, redlining continues to affect people of color and other minorities.
During the 1930s, the Federal Housing Administration and the Home Owners Loan Corporation worked together to finance over $120 billion dollars worth of housing. However, they did not make this housing available to minorities. They would purposefully exclude minorities, and even went as far as to mark on a map of where the majority of colored people were, so that way the would not finance homes in that area.
This affects people to this day, as homeowners in the redlined areas have a harder time financing their homes, due to the area being poorer than the surrounding communities. This in turn brings down the value of the entire neighborhood. In these redlined areas, the houses also tend to be more decrepit, and the cost of repairs become more expensive.
However, redlining isn’t the only reason minorities are having a hard time. A study done by the Survey of Consumer Finances shows that there is a wage gap between minorities and their white counterparts. The wage gap refers to the phenomenon where one person gets paid less than another due to prejudice rather than skill or adequacy.
With this gap in pay, it makes it a lot harder to attend college in hopes of a higher education. With the price of tuition on the rise, it’s becoming harder and harder for poor people to climb out of their predicament.
Redlining, coupled with the wage gap and pricey education, makes it extremely hard for minorities to pull out of this poor crisis. Solving this issue would not happen quickly, and there are more factors that go into poverty than most people realize, but a good place to start would be to make education more affordable. Also, encouraging affordable houses in nicer areas, and fixing up less desirable areas would be a great place to start.
On Thursday, November 6th, members of the Oak Park community met at the Guild Theater to participate in a round table discussion on the state of low income housing in the region.
Are you having trouble making your mortgage payments? Have you lost your job? Have you been turned down for a loan modification? Is your property already listed for sale? Don’t miss this chance to meet one-on-one with your mortgage company or a HUD-approved housing counselor to find options to avoid foreclosure.
The Help for Homeowners Community Event will be held in Sacramento on Tuesday March 20, 2012 from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Sacramento Convention Center 1400 J Street, Hall D. Complimentary parking in the Memorial Garage if you use the garage entrance on 14th and H Streets. Take Light Rail to the event and get off at the Cathedral station.
To see a list of what documents you need to bring to the event, click here.
Sacramento|Yolo Mutual Housing Association residents tell their personal stories, illustrating how mutual housing’s below-market rent and unique resident programs help working families thrive, form the bonds of community, and find financial stability. The organization build and operates permanent rental housing, serving nearly 2,600 residents — half of whom are children. Contact information: www.mutualhousing.com. 916.453.8400. (Video recorded and produced by Access Sacramento).