Wednesday 6 April 2011

Tenants Protest Against Evictions

On April 4, tenants protested in front of the City Hall against evictions. Members of ZSP and the Tenants' Defence Committee took part in the protest. One of our comrades informed those gathered that the government would like to amend the Act on the Protection of the Rights of Tenants. Last time they tried it, we managed to block it - and we have to aim for the same results again! The amendment includes, amongst other things, giving the city the power to set differential rates, according to the location of the building and condition. This means that any tenant who, by accident, wound up in a "more attractive" neighbourhood, may be subject to huge rent increases. Another thing they would like to do is to make the rental agreements for a set time - not indefinite as it is today. And they will be checking people's income and kicking out people who earn "too much".

Although the city is trying to argue that they are getting rid of "the rich" to give housing to the poor, these changes will effect mostly the working poor, since the income criteria for public housing is totally unrealistic in this city! Practically anybody who earns slightly more than the minimum wage is not eligible to receive public housing, but this amount is far to little to live on! In addition, kicking more and more people out of public housing will just inflate the rates on the private housing market, which is overburdened and does not correspond to people's abilities to pay.

We called on people to take part in a demonstration on April 29 against this amendment!