About


Who We Are

The Rental Housing Round Table is a group of community organizations and concerned individuals working toward social justice in our community to address the lack of legal protection for Santa Barbara renters in order to end unjust evictions, unfair treatment of tenants and increase the number of rental units available.

Several mass evictions mobilized the group in 2008, helping push the County Wide Ordinance 4444, providing relocation assistance to tenants evicted due to renovation, rezoning, code violations and demolitions. 


However, more can be done to help renters in Santa Barbara!


The negative impact on people's lives as a result of tenant displacement coupled with the court's inability to ensure justice for all parties demonstrate the absence of adequate laws in the city to ensure a consistent, fair, and respectful relationship between tenants and landlords. 

It is time to remedy the problem through a Tenants' Rights Ordinance, which guarantees dignity and justice for both renters and landlords in our community.

We have had meetings and forums to help gather the stories of renters here in the city to help mold the Tenants' rights Ordinance we hope to present City Council. 

Check out our Calendar and come participate in our next event! 












Vision

To protect and encourage a diverse, inclusive and representative community of very-low to moderate income renters and the development of healthy and vital communities to ensure the expansion of the local and regional sustainable economy and improve the well being of present and future generations. 


Renters' Rights Forum - July 22, 2016
@ Faulkner Gallery 





Talking to Renter's in Santa Barbara's West side with (from left to right) City Council Member Cathy Murillo, long time CAUSE Leader Soila Aguilar, and CAUSE Organizer Frank Rodriguez. 

Principles 


Housing is a Human Right - Safe, accessible, secure, affordable housing is a fundamental human right which benefits all members of the community and, as such, is the responsibility of all to collectively promote and maintain. 

Definition of Community - Healthy, vibrant communities are comprised of diverse populations including workers, students, seniors, children, people with disabilities, residents of many socio-economic backgrounds, all of which add to the overall quality of life and local economic stability. The construction, maintenance, and accessibility of affordable rental units for all residents is vital to the long-term success of the community.

Value of Diversity - All residents and populations contribute to the community and are thus valuable assets to our collective past, present, and future. No one population should be forced to compete against another due to a lack of available rental units, as this threatens the health of the entire community, especially low- wage and low/fixed-income renters with fewer housing alternatives.  

Collective Responsibility - As housing is a fundamental human right, and all individuals, public institutions, and private entities collectively shoulder the responsibility for building a diverse, vibrant community and strong local economy, and each has its role in ensuring our collective quality of life.  

Renters - Should have access to information about their rights and responsibilities and organize collectively to protect their interests and expand their rights as tenants. 

Landlords and Property Management Companies - Should hold each other accountable to fair community standards, use variable pricing to open our community to low-income residents, participate in developing an ordinance which adequately protects both renters and landlords, and work to expand the current stock of affordable rental units. 

Government - Should pass legislation that brings dignity and justice to both renters and landlords.  The government should actively track the housing needs of the community and protect the existing stock of rental housing, including prices, owners, and conditions, and when a shortage exists, use public monies to fund programs and incentives to meet local housing needs. 

Major Employers, Educational Institutions and Other Entities - Which attract significant numbers of new residents to the area should provide substantial funding to building new rental units at prices affordable to these residents and work to educate the new residents on local housing laws and housing-related community resources. 
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