Meeting Time: April 08, 2021 at 9:00am PDT
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Agenda Item

4-B ID 21-504 RESOLUTION - Creating the Rental Mediation Program

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    Joses Magno at April 07, 2021 at 8:59pm PDT

    Housing is a human right! oppose the rental mediation program to put the people of Fresno first!

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    Marisa Moraza at April 07, 2021 at 8:50pm PDT

    As a resident in District 2, I urge the council to oppose Council President Chavez's Rental Mediation Program. We need to support community led, community informed, and community centered proposals like the Eviction Diversion Project. The city needs a Right to Counsel program that actually defends renters.

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    Cathryn SousaWynn at April 07, 2021 at 8:15pm PDT

    I would like to urge the City Council to oppose the resolution to create a Rental Mediation Program. I, instead would support the creation of a more comprehensive Right to Council Community Program which is currently referred to as the Eviction Diversion Program.
    The Eviction Diversion Program provides staffing adequate to address eviction problems; a public outreach process; an education program for both tenants and landlords; outlines evidence-based economic studies of other communities which have instituted similar programs.
    Our entire community will benefit financially, economically, and socially from a reduction in unhoused residents.
    An Eviction Diversion Program which focuses on the prevention of homelessness affects the total health and well-being of our community, schools, and businesses.

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    Bonnie Pavlovich at April 07, 2021 at 7:36pm PDT

    I am asking the City Council to oppose the Resolution creating a Rental Mediation Program (RMP). Instead, I want the City Council to support the comprehensive Right To Counsel (RTC) Community Program which is now called Eviction Diversion Program (EDP). The RTC Community Program seems much more beneficial for people who find themselves in the multiple crisis of a pandemic, a forced move, no personal funds to move quickly and safely, and no helpful, accessible information that empowers them to be proactive. I believe this program will be of more benefit to the entire community.

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    Rain Chamberlain at April 07, 2021 at 7:29pm PDT

    This rental mediation proposal is ridiculous and not based in reality. If it were to be enacted, it would not prevent one single eviction due to how ill-planned it is. It was obviously made without research or input from anyone in the community, and seems to be intended to thwart other efforts rather than to be an effort in and of itself. The only benefit it seems to offer is a couple of staff members giving out tenant rights information, which is not the same as legal representation and would not prevent evictions.

    Furthermore, the City of Fresno has in its Municipal Code SEC. 10-1614 that it is to provide tenant education, and when I asked about it a year or two ago, I was told that y'all had forgotten you had written it in and nothing had been done. When you've said for years that you were supposed to be providing tenant education and haven't done so, I don't suspect you'd even manage that if this proposal were enacted.

    There is, however, a proposal being put together by the community that is informed by experience and shown to work, and it has the potential to do a lot of good for our city. I would urge the City Council to reject the rental mediation program proposal and instead to adopt the proposal put together by the Right To Council Coalition, which will benefit the tenants of Fresno in ways that have been shown to work.

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    Alante Hollingsworth at April 07, 2021 at 7:21pm PDT

    Housing Is A Human Right

    I am asking the City Council to oppose the Resolution creating a Rental Mediation Program (RMP). Instead, I want the City Council to support the comprehensive Right To Counsel Community Program which is now called Eviction Diversion Program (RTC/EDP).

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    Pricilla Valdez at April 07, 2021 at 7:18pm PDT

    My name is Pricilla, I am a student at Fresno State and I strongly oppose the Renter Mediation Program. Instead, I would like the city council to support the Eviction Diversion Project, which would possibly be more effective, according to The Fresno Bee. In support of Fresno renters, this program was created to ensure that their voices are being heard as well as provide them with the right to counsel. Especially during times like these with so many people losing their jobs and homes, this program is exactly what the community needs. A home should be a safe place and no one should have to deal with unfair evictions or landlords who don’t care about them.

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    Andy Levine at April 07, 2021 at 6:48pm PDT

    Fresno has a long history of ignoring best practices that have proven to work in other cities. Right to Counsel has shown strong, sustainable results in protecting vulnerable renters and avoiding further homelessness in the other cities in which it has been adopted. I am so proud of and encouraged by the tenants, students, faith leaders, educators and community-based organizations who have done so much work to present the Fresno Right to Counsel proposal to the City of Fresno. They have done the work. Now we need the City of Fresno to support it. A true Right to Counsel program is needed right now more than ever. Councilmember Chavez's Rental Mediation Program alternative is absolutely not the answer we need and would be yet another example of Fresno rejecting what we know will work. I agree with The Fresno Bee Editorial Board: "The Right to Counsel proposal is more robust and will actually defend renters. That is the critical need." Let's do this.

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    Ashlie Kosinski at April 07, 2021 at 6:44pm PDT

    Housing Is A Human Right

    I am asking the City Council to oppose the Resolution creating a Rental Mediation Program (RMP). Instead, I want the City Council to support the comprehensive Right To Counsel Community Program which is now called Eviction Diversion Program (RTC/EDP).

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    Grace Miller at April 07, 2021 at 6:13pm PDT

    I request that Fresno city council oppose the Renter Mediation Program and instead support the Eviction Diversion Project that has been proposed by the community. The Eviction Diversion Project does far more for renters by ensuring that tenants have a right to counsel. Right now more than ever, Fresno renters need to be protected as we face the possibility of waves of eviction due to the pandemic, and tenants, who have far less power than landlords, need to be given as many protections and as much support as possible. The best way for us to keep people from facing homelessness is by protecting people's right to stay in their homes.

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    Matthew Vang at April 07, 2021 at 5:22pm PDT

    I am writing to ask the city council of Fresno to oppose the Renter Mediation Program as former renter and someone who works with young people who are renters. This resolution merely seeks to replace the court processes with "neutral" third-party mediators rather than actually address the eviction issues at hand. We need effective legislation that will address the housing problems for all of our community members. I recommend that City Council supports the Right To Counsel Community Program, now called the Eviction Diversion Program (RTC/EDP). This is a community centered solution that also addresses the lived realities of many renters in Fresno.

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    Katie Moua at April 07, 2021 at 4:53pm PDT

    I am writing to ask for the city council to oppose the Renter Mediation Program as a renter in the city of Fresno and as someone who works with many youth and families who are renters in Fresno. This resolution does not do what is needed to protect our community. We need a plan that stops eviction, a plan that doesn't allow our community to become homeless and a plan that protects them from losing their safety. Our community has had to go through so much during this pandemic. We need to listen to our community and create solutions that are for them.

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    Jasmine Leiva at April 07, 2021 at 4:05pm PDT

    I am a renter in the city of Fresno and have been a renter for 14 years. I am writing to oppose the Renter Mediation Program as it doesn't do enough to protect renters. More than half of Fresnans are renters and are overburdened with rent. Low wages, high rents, and passive landlords create unlivable conditions for many people who feel they have no options. With the Covid Pandemic this has become an even greater problem. I am asking the City Council to oppose the Resolution creating a Rental Mediation Program (RMP). Instead, I want the City Council to support the comprehensive Right To Counsel Community Program which is now called Eviction Diversion Program (RTC/EDP). This is a plan with community support and input. It also takes into account the reality many renters are facing today. We need to address the root causes of lack of housing and problematic housing that leaves the residents of Fresno on the losing end. No one should feel they have nowhere to turn when it comes to a basic necessity like shelter.

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    Mateo Camargo at April 07, 2021 at 3:25pm PDT

    I am a Fresno State student and I strongly oppose the Renter Mediation Program. No one should be going through unlivable circumstances that most of these renters are going through. The problems are even doubled during the pandemic and it is a very big concern. This program does not go far enough to legally protect the basic rights of the tenants.

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    Richard Reyes at April 07, 2021 at 3:25pm PDT

    My name is Richard Reyes and I'm a Fresno State student I wanted to say that I oppose the Rental Mediation Program as it does nearly enough support the tenant's right to live comfortably and with peace of mind. I care about housing because I believe that the people who are struggling to find a place to live shouldn't be faced with unlivable environments it is inhumane and immoral and it needs to be addressed. The abuse of power taken by these "slumlords" is disgusting and they need to be held accountable.

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    Cassandra Diaz at April 07, 2021 at 3:22pm PDT

    I am a student at Fresno State and I strongly oppose the Renter Mediation Program. Your home is supposed to be a comfortable safe environment to be in. No one should be put through the circumstances some of these renters are living in, especially during the pandemic, cleanliness and the health of others is a huge concern. In my opinion, this program does not go far enough to legally protect the basic rights of tenants.

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    Oxanne Macario at April 07, 2021 at 3:18pm PDT

    My name is Oxanne, I’m a Fresno state student and I strongly oppose the Rental Mediation program, evicting people and allowing these bigger companies and business owners to continue taking advantage of people is wrong. This program does not go far enough for legal protection of tenants.

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    Xitlali Lopez at April 07, 2021 at 3:16pm PDT

    My name is Xitlali Lopez. I was born in the Bay Area but I grew up here in Fresno. I cherish this community and city that I have lived in all my life. I'm actually a Fresno State student that has been introduced to this issue recently. I know that it is important to stand up for housing justice. I strongly oppose Council President Chavez’s Rental Mediation Program. I have seen families, including my own, being unfairly evicted. It is important that we as a community voice our discontent over this issue. We can't let slumlords to continue to exploit these families.

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    Barbara Pyle at April 07, 2021 at 2:43pm PDT

    We must support the renters .

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    Brandi NuseVillegas at April 07, 2021 at 2:13pm PDT

    I ask that the council pursue the requests to implement Right To Counse, as LCJA has studied the issues pertaining to local eviction extensively and are proposing this.  As a homeless advocate and resident I have seen the affected and actual attempts of slumlords to evict tenants for illegal and immoral reasons. I have seen how much people have suffered without counsel and the need for good counsel for tenants.About two years ago, a friend of mine was evicted under false accusations. I believe that they were seeking to evict her because she was complaining about vermin and repair needs. She did seek legal counsel and some of us were asked to be witnesses that the landlord’s claims were false. The charges were dropped. In the past year, I aided a woman who was homeless because she was renting a room and the landlord evicted everyone because of the actions of other renters. It was too late to intervene, but having counsel might have allowed her to stay. Two weeks ago, a woman contacted me to ask for information for shelters because her family was going to be evicted due to her mother being behind on rent. I was able to connect her with her council representative (Arias) and CCLS, and as this eviction is illegal under the current moratorium, she was able to stay and have counsel in court. These examples, and so many others, show that Fresno renters are at risk of unjust evictions and need access to legal counsel.