In May the Law Foundation was honored with the Housing Trust Silicon Valley's 2016 Housing Champion Award for the work we do to ensure that everyone in Silicon Valley has safe, fair, and affordable housing. "They're who you want in your corner when you're fighting for affordable housing," the Housing Trust's CEO, Kevin Zwick, said in his remarks during the event. The explosive growth of Silicon Valley has left some members of our community behind. Many residents are being displaced as the cost of living sky-rockets. At the Law Foundation, we work with people every day who are at risk of becoming homeless due to an unfair eviction. We are also advocating for policy changes that put long-term solutions in place. For example, we have been pushing for stronger protections for renters, and our work is paying off. This spring, San Jose City Council voted on the following measures:
• A 5% limit on annual rent increases for rent-controlled apartments;
• Anti-Retaliation Protection Ordinance to protect tenants from eviction if they ask for improvements or report a code violation;
• Elimination of the debt service pass-through, which limits the costs landlords can pass on to their tenants.
Though these measures are a step in the right direction, they're not enough to safeguard meaningful protections against unfair evictions and displacement. There is strength in numbers; we hope you'll add your voice as we continue to advocate for fair and just treatment for renters in Silicon Valley.