Three-quarters of Concord residents fear eviction, new survey says

CONCORD — Three-quarters of residents here live in fear of being evicted from their homes, authors of a new study revealed Thursday as part of a public plea for local officials to better protect the city’s renters.

Talk about the affordable housing shortage plaguing the Bay Area tends to focus on major cities like San Francisco and Oakland. But in the East Bay bedroom community of Concord — which traditionally has been more affordable than its larger neighbors — residents are buckling under the burden of a skyrocketing cost of living, according to a study released Thursday by the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), First 5 Contra Costa and Raise the Roof.

“No matter how far we move or where we move to in the Bay Area, the tidal wave of the housing crisis washes over us, drowning our most vulnerable neighbors first,” Jhamese Meyers of EBASE said to an audience of about 100 people Thursday in Concord.

Ninety-three percent of about 1,000 Concord residents surveyed by the organizations reported worrying their rents will increase, and 80 percent said they have received a rent increase.

That fear prevents some tenants from speaking out about problems, and as a result, many are living in poor conditions, according to the study. Nearly half of residents reported living with rodents, bedbugs or other pests in their homes, and nearly one-third reported plumbing or noise problems.

Unlike in some other Bay Area cities, Concord has no rent control or just cause eviction rules — meaning landlords are free to raise rents as they see fit, and to evict tenants.

Affordable housing advocates who spoke on Thursday implored Concord city leaders to change that, and institute rent control and just-cause eviction protections.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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