Everyone has a right to housing
Tenants and their allies took action against devastating rent increases caused by the Federal government sequester on Thursday, August 29 at San Jose City Hall. Some 17,000 tenants on the Federal Section 8 housing program in Santa Clara County recently received rent hikes of 10% or more due to draconian cuts caused by the government stalemate in Washington. Some families have received astonishing increases of $900 or more.
Fifty-seven percent of Section 8 voucher holders in Santa Clara County are seniors or disabled and 61% are on fixed incomes. There is simply no way they can afford rent increases of this magnitude. In many cases the result will be homelessness, dislocation, and destruction of families. While the results of the sequester are devastating to low-income families, it appears that Congress is planning to leave it in place for the long term, which will result in additional and deeper cuts next year.
Local Congressmembers were invited to attend the speak-out and receive the petitions of the tenants. Tenants called for immediate reversal of the sequester and allocation of adequate affordable housing funds to meet the needs of the American people. According to our constitution, the role of government is to promote the general welfare of the people, not the private benefit of corporations.
Silicon Valley is the richest area in the richest country in the world, and we are richer now than ever before in our history. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from taking care of our most vulnerable people. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from putting the needs of our residents before tax breaks for corporations. There is nothing, except a tragic moral blindness, that prevents us from paying attention to the human suffering going on right here in our own community.
Contact your Congressional representatives, tell them to JUST SAY NO TO OUTRAGEOUS RENT INCREASES FOR SECTION 8 TENANTS! SEND CONGRESS A MESSAGE: REVERSE THE SEQUESTER, HOUSE YOUR PEOPLE!