The purpose of the Mountain View Housing Justice Coalition is to promote the rights of tenants across all rental units, including mobile home spaces; to protect against unjustified rent increases and evictions without cause; to end the displacement of individuals and families occupying naturally affordable housing; to end arbitrary and discriminatory actions by property owners and their representatives; to protect vehicle residents against harassment and exclusion; and to advocate for the development of affordable housing in the City of Mountain View.
A vision of a world in which:
Housing is recognized as a human right. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.” [http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html] All people have a right to decent, safe, and healthy housing conditions.
Housing is affordable and accessible to all. California state law requires cities to make “adequate provision for the housing needs of all economic segments of the community.” [http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=65580.&lawCode=GOV] The City of Mountain View’s General Plan affirms our city’s commitment to “Support the development of both rental and ownership housing serving a broad range of incomes, particularly extremely low-, very low-, and low-income households.” [https://www.mountainview.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=15284] True affordability means that households should not have to sacrifice other basic needs in order to pay for housing; housing costs should not be an unreasonable burden.
Housing is stable. The Mountain View Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act affirms that “eviction from residential housing imposes adverse impacts on the displaced Tenants, including numerous financial costs” [https://library.municode.com/ca/mountain_view/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTITHCH_ARTXVIICOSTFAREAC]. A strong and healthy community requires that all people be free from arbitrary and unpredictable changes in their housing, including evictions, foreclosures, and unreasonable increases in rents, property taxes, or space rents for mobile homes. Individuals and communities should be protected from displacement.
Housing is equitable. In accordance with U.S. [https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp] and California law [https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/housing/], no one should face discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital or familial status, source of income, or mental or physical disability. Anti-discrimination laws should be vigorously enforced, and those who assert their rights should be free from retaliation. No person or group should have their housing options limited, or face undue environmental hazards or burdens, on the basis of any the above factors.
Housing is inclusive. Housing should be planned with the full, democratic participation of all stakeholders, including especially those who have historically been excluded from policymaking such as low-income communities and communities of color.
Housing justice cannot be achieved without racial justice. From the history of redlining to predatory mortgage lending to our current gentrification crisis, we cannot address the housing issues of our community without working to dismantle racist systems.
The Mountain View Housing Justice Coalition stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing struggle to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy forever.
Words spoken by Martin Luther King a half century ago are still relevant:
“Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again.”