With at least twenty eight lives lost and 2,000 homes already destroyed, the fires in Northern California's Sonoma and Napa County
are already a devastating tragedy.
But the fire's impact will also likely linger well after the last flames are extinguished — especially for the residents of communities like Santa Rosa, California, where rising housing costs and a lack of affordable housing options may force people to leave the community
in search of more affordable places to live.
Santa Rosa's lower- and middle-income residents were already struggling with housing needs before the fire. Rental vacancies are little more than a third of the national average. And average rents in Santa Rosa rose 6.4 percent from September of last year — the largest increase for any city in California's Bay Area.
This summer, rent control and tenant eviction protection measures approved by the Santa Rosa City Council were rejected at the ballot box after big-spending lobbyists for the apartment rental industry spent unprecedented campaign cash to overturn the city council's vote.In the wake of these devastating fires, Santa Rosa's city council must take emergency action to ensure access to affordable housing for the city's residents — especially for those with the least means to uproot their lives and move somewhere else.
We know that the majority of Santa Rosa's city council stand with us in the call for affordable housing. And we know that we need to act now to ensure that affordable housing for working people in Santa Rosa — and not windfall profits for real estate profiteers — is the city's immediate priority.
By adding your name to the petition, you can help convince local officials to freeze local rental rates at 2016 levels for 24 months and stop greedy profiteers from exploiting a natural disaster for their own benefits. Please sign now to help!