The California housing market makes paying rent on Academic Student Employees’ salaries untenable. Our members, like other low-wage workers throughout the state, face a crisis of unaffordable housing. Skyrocketing rents force student workers to live in cramped apartments, commute long distances, and live paycheck to paycheck. UAW 2865 is committed to fighting for housing justice and tenants rights for workers left behind by the construction of luxury apartments and the interests of real estate investment corporations. Along with dozens of other labor unions and community organizations across California, we’re a member of Housing Now!, a statewide coalition using direct action and legislative pressure to push for housing policies in the interests of the working class, low-income renters, vulnerable communities, and the unhoused.
What Rights and Protections Do I Have As a Tenant?
As the current crisis unfolds, UC campuses, cities, and counties across California have instituted numerous emergency housing measures and protections. We’ve compiled a info packet listing emergency housing and financial resources at UC campuses, eviction protections and other recent emergency laws, and tenant organizing resources. Find the COVID-19 Tenants Rights and Organizing Resources guide here.
Housing Crisis and COVID-19
The current pandemic and ensuing economic recession have made existing housing inequities even more dire. Sudden and soaring unemployment has made it impossible for an estimated ⅓ of U.S. tenants to pay rent. As part of a statewide effort to to cancel rent and mortgage payments in California for the duration of the emergency, UAW 2865 has signed on to the Rent Strike Movement campaign, a coalition effort to organize tenants to go on rent strike to pressure Governor Newsom to take immediate action and grant renters relief. Sign the petition here to get involved.
What Campaigns Has UAW 2865 Endorsed?
In 2018, our membership endorsed and organized canvasses in support of Proposition 10, a California ballot measure which would have legalized the passage of new rent control measures across the state. Although Prop. 10 was defeated at the polls, the campaign marked the start of our union’s latest participation in the statewide fight for fair housing and tenants rights.
In January 2020, our membership voted to endorse the Rental Affordability Act, a proposition set to appear on the ballot in November that would allow cities and municipalities in California to expand rent control. It would also institute vacancy control measures, meaning that rents in controlled units can only be increased a certain amount between residents. Passage of this ballot measure would help keep millions of tenants in their homes and slow the pace of displacement and gentrification.