Eric Gudz, during public comment this week, explained to the council that having received such a large number of folks reaching out and asking what they could do to alleviate some of renters’ concerns, they started to collect stories about what it is like to be a renter in Davis.
Eric Gudz explained to the Vanguard that they had received over 30 of these stories. They explained to the council, “I launched this last week. I want to make sure that these voices are heard in the community.
“I plan to read one of these stories at every council meeting until we have a firm date on the council calendar for a workshop and we formally begin the policy discussions for improvements to the renters’ rights ordinance to make sure these voices are heard,” Gudz explained.
They added, “I’m urging you all to consider the additional protections that we need to put in place and please try to express the urgency from my words that this cannot wait another lease cycle.”
With that, they read the first story.
“I pay nearly 50 percent of my income in rent for a two-bedroom, one bath, that is in every sense of the word, dilapidated.
“My rental increases are nearly every year for the last five years I’ve been here. There is no rhyme or reason. The facilities are outdated and in disrepair. So it’s not because they’ve become a luxury apartment complex. Although I work part-time at a decent, but not market wage, I’m looking to move out of the city because I can’t juggle the rent, medical bills, car, utilities, and food.
“It would be nice to live by myself but I can’t do that while I’m here in town. So despite being an adult with a degree and over 40 years old, I live like a college student with roommates and I struggle more than a college student because they want to live with people their own age – so I often have to go with the first person that says yes to my room rental. It’s unsustainable.
“The landlord class of Davis and the developers all treat housing as a perpetual money tree. Limited development and the council’s focus on pretending Davis needs to be more business parks and $700,000 entry housing plans make Davis a pretty difficult bedroom community of the Bay Area.
“If we would have infill development of 500 to 750 square feet, multilevel communities if possible. We could have sensible rent control where the increases in rent have to be justified. Instead, we have a landed class, an upper class, and an attitude towards people who can’t afford $1700 average for an apartment.”
Eric Gudz concluded, “Thank you for listening to these stories, there will be more to come.”