by Jesse Cosme, ACLC member
With almost 14,000 properties in Gainesville on the rental market in the last year, there is a serious need for action to protect the interests of renters.
In the last months the renters’ rights campaign for the Alachua County Labor Coalition has been picking up steam to do just that. The campaign proposes a universal landlord licensing program that focuses on energy efficiency, safety compliance, mediation processes, disclosures, and a few anti-discrimination ordinances that have gained ground elsewhere in the country and state and have been shown to improve the livelihoods of the renters in those communities.
The city and county have both made significant efforts to explore methods to expand affordable housing, and while our proposal is not a solution to all of the issues associated with affordable housing, it will ensure that tenants can rent safe homes with full knowledge of their rights and the utility expenses of home.
We see that as an essential element to any complete affordable housing plan.
On November 8 our proposed process to implement universal landlord licensing was presented at the Gainesville City Commission during a packed meeting.
We thank our members and supporters who came. The outcome of that meeting being the City Commission’s creation of a special committee to construct a pathway towards making this a reality.
We need your help to continue to push this issue forward and smoothly through committee.
We need renters’ voices to be heard in these meetings to make sure their needs are being heard as loudly as they truly are.
If you are interested in participating in this campaign in any way, even sharing your stories of why these things are needed please contact the labor coalition office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-375-2832.