March 9, 2022
Dear City Council Members and City Representatives,
My name is Mike Evans, and I am the Executive Director of the South East Area Coalition. I am writing this letter of support for the Eviction Reduction Law (Introductory 94).
This bill ensures that tenants have protections against retaliations from landlords who do not act in good faith as responsible property owners. This is an important step in the right direction of stabilizing the housing crisis in Rochester, setting regulations that hold landlords accountable for the state of their properties, allowing tenants the right to organize and file for legal code enforcement, and allows renters to question increases to their rent over 5%. The bill would require landlords to be transparent about high rent increases while recognizing that taxes and maintenance/upkeep are all justifiable reasons to raise rent.
It is important to treat all tenants fairly, with dignity and respect as well as protect supportive landlords that act in good faith of their obligations to their tenants and properties (including having valid Certificate of Occupancy as required by the law). Tenants, particularly black and brown families, have been negatively impacted for decades by poor living conditions, absentee/slumlords tactics, and instability and poverty caused by unjust evictions. SEAC supports this bill to bring equity and equality to Rochester’s tenants and homeowners.
No one should live in squalid conditions or be afraid of reprisal and eviction asking for help and repair. Healthy, proper, and fair living conditions bring stability to our neighborhoods and communities. Children can grow with friends and flourish in school, businesses can develop a regular supportive customer base, and pride in one’s home and neighborhood bring further positive changes to the area such as Clean Sweeps, community development, outreach and support, infrastructure repair and development, jobs, and more.
SEAC asks our City Council to vote in favor of the Eviction Reduction Law (Introductory 94). We have a chance to do right by the 64% of Rochesterians that are tenants throughout our wonderful city.
Thank you and be well,
1255 University Ave, C010 (Lower Level)
Rochester, NY 14607