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They refused to pay rent for months. Now, it may pay off

The Mercury News - OAKLAND — After refusing to pay rent for four months, tenants striking in Fruitvale say their landlord has agreed to consider selling the building — a potential win for the strikers and their activist backers.


Some renters living in the 29th Avenue complex stopped paying rent in November, both to protest what they say are poor living conditions, and to pressure the owner to sell them the building through a local community land trust. If the bold strategy works, it will be the second recent victory for the group supporting them — Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment — which also helped Moms 4 Housing pressure a corporate landlord to negotiate the sale of the West Oakland home they’d been squatting in.

“Thanks to our fight, we have been heard by the owner of this building,” Maria Montes de Oca, who has lived in the 29th Avenue building for 11 years, said Thursday night before a crowd of several dozen neighbors and supporters. “We are closer than ever to buying this building.”

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Struggling for Shelter: Resistance to California’s Housing Crisis Grows

Counterpunch - In an age of worsening income and wealth inequality, a supply of affordable shelter for workers and their families is low while demand for it is high, the conditions for price-gouging. Just ask Dominique Walker, 34, of Moms 4 Housing, one of the unhoused women who occupied a vacant home in West Oakland that Wedgewood Property Management, a real estate investment company, owned.

Oakland police forcibly removed M4H from that abode; meanwhile, wildcat graduate student strikers at two of the 10 campuses in the University California system are withholding their labor, demanding higher pay for skyrocketing rents.

“We are trying to build a coalition,” Walker, a full-time organizer of the Black Housing Union, a chapter of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), told me. “That effort has resonated with people globally.” Movement politics is the name of this game.

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East Bay Seniors Protest Evictions

NBC Bay Area - Some East Bay seniors facing eviction took their protest public Wednesday. They’re the last of what’s left of nearly 100 tenants at San Pablo’s Brookdale Senior-Living Facility who received eviction notices last fall.

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Oakland Tenants On Strike Over Rent Hikes, Shoddy Conditions

CBS Bay Area - Tenants of an Oakland apartment complex were staging a strike to protest rent hikes and the shoddy condition of their living units. But they’re taking it a step further by pressuring the landlords to sell the property so the apartment renters can stay in their homes.

The building, located on 29th Avenue, in Oakland, is the scene of the Bay Area’s latest tenant uprising. Half the residents in the 14-unit complex stopped paying rent four months ago. Francisco Perez says the monthly cost of his one bedroom apartment has doubled to more than $1,500 in just the last 3 years.

“My fear is, OK, this year I can afford it but next year…what am I gonna do?” said Perez.


Striking Oakland renters demand landlord sell building to them

Curbed SF - Tenants of an Oakland apartment building near the Fruitvale neighborhood have stopped paying rent, demanding that their landlord sell them the building for $3.2 million via the Oakland Land Trust nonprofit.

The rent strike is the tenants’ response to what they say are years of rent increases that threaten to push them out.

At the 14-unit building on 29th Avenue, half of the building’s renters are are participating in the standoff that started in October. CBS SF cites one 20-year tenant, who pays $1,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, which he says has doubled in price over the last three years. This, in part, has prompted fears of eviction in the building and neighborhood in the gentrification.

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Housing Activists’ Protest Disrupts Valentine Dining at SF Tavern

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Chanting “housing is a human right,” several dozen activists walked into a popular San Francisco restaurant on Friday evening, interrupting patrons’ Valentine dinner to call out the establishment’s landlord as a heartless mega-corporation determined to squeeze renters.

Roughly 60 protesters marched into The Keystone on Fourth Street near Market in downtown San Francisco on Friday. The upscale tavern is in a property owned by Mosser Capital, which also has many other buildings throughout the Bay Area. According to the protesters, corporate greed may force them to move out of their homes. Many in the group live in a property owned by Mosser.

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Oakland Tenants Protest Increase in Rent

NBC Bay Area - On the evening of Valentine’s Day, dozens of Oakland tenants and their supporters chose a San Francisco restaurant and hotel owned by their landlord to protest increasing rents.

Mosser, a company that owns more than 80 properties in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles, is the landlord of the protesting tenants and owner of the Mosser Hotel. They say the company told them it has to make improvements to their buildings that would allow Mosser to increase their rents.

“It’s real,” said Oakland tenant Angela Shannon. “This kind of stress, it takes a real toll on people’s health and people’s lives. We don’t have to wait until people are on the street to take it seriously.”

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Inquilinos en huelga se niegan a pagar la renta hasta que los dueños les vendan la propiedad

Univision 14 - Un grupo de inquilinos en uno de los barrios hispanos de Oakland decidió tomar medidas drásticas para hacerle frente a los aumentos desproporcionados de renta que ellos consideran injustos: no pagar el alquiler por cuatro meses.

La huelga de los arrendatarios comenzó el pasado mes de octubre y los afectados aseguran que continuará de manera indefinida hasta que logren su cometido: una oportunidad para comprar el edificio en el que viven.

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