Tenants of Antioch fight for comprehensive protections
ANTIOCH, Calif. – As the Legislature continues to move toward approving the extension of the eviction moratorium for another 90 days, tenants say this is just the most pressing part of a long list of issues that need to be addressed. . Tenants are battling on the streets and in state homes across the country with plenty of activity in Antioch on Wednesday.
About 40 tenants, tenant advocates and two members of the Antioch City Council gathered and picketed outside the Twin Creeks apartment complex at noon. The apartment complex is one of many low-income complexes that, in total, contain more than 40,000 units managed by FPI Management of Folsom.
“Local government needs to put people first and not these business owners who come in, buy up all the properties and make them unaffordable for the people who actually live here,” said tenant and campaigner Rocheall Pierre.
Tenants are demanding that Antioch, like many other Bay Area cities, enact comprehensive rent controls and tenant protections. They say most low-income tenants in Antioch pay 60-70% of their total income for rent. “That means making tough choices about paying for food, health care, child care and basic necessities,” said Rhea Elina Laughlin of the East County Regional Group.
“Not only is this unprofessional, but it borders on inhumane. That is why it is vitally important for the city of Antioch to adopt these protections for these tenants,” said said a tenant activist.
They say they live in poor conditions, can’t get needed repairs, remove mold, and constantly worry about reprisals and rent increases if they ask for, let alone demand, repairs or complain. “Is it too much to ask your landlord to fix a roof that you pay to be there? said Antioch City Councilwoman Monica Wilson. “We need something in our local government that works forever so families can continue to live here. We can continue to have a diverse community,” Ms. Pierre said.
COVID has brought all of this to the fore nationwide. So, with the end of moratoriums on upcoming evictions and mass evictions looming, this is turning into consumer power politics against business owners.
“They may have more money than us, but they don’t have the power we have. And money doesn’t drive elections, votes drive elections,” the councilor said. ‘Antioch Tamisha Torres-Walker.
We have not heard back from FPI Management, which goes without saying, according to the tenants.