I am just curious as to whether B Voice readers have an opinion about this. Seems a handful of renters, no doubt rallied by the letter writer, appeared at the last Burlingame City Council meeting to tell the council that the housing plan should cater more to renters in Burlingame. Below is the letter as it appeared in the SMDaily Journal.
Should the housing plan cater more to renters or should we let market forces dictate what Burlingame looks like? Keep in mind that statistically Burlingame has approximately 52% rentals vs. owners.
The topic of whether or not ABAG numbers are realistic is moot, as both Mayor Michael Brownrigg and Vice Mayor Terry Nagel implied (“Faulty population numbers may influence housing” in the Aug. 20 edition of the Daily Journal). The real story not even mentioned in your article is the growing clamor for affordable housing. Over 20 renters from Burlingame attended the council meeting, some of them courageously telling personal stories of impossible rental increases and impending displacement. We also heard from highly knowledgeable speakers from Peninsula Interfaith Action (now PIA/SFOP), the Housing Leadership Council and Urban Habitat.
Renters in Burlingame and other Bay Area cities are under assault and they are starting to fight back. Homeowners enjoy the protections of mortgage interest deductions, Proposition 13 tax breaks, and many other financial benefits. Renters, on the other hand, pay their landlord’s mortgage interest, property taxes, sewer and water bond assessments and maintenance costs; yet they are regarded as second-class citizens, with absolutely no protections from egregious rent increases. Low-income seniors and disabled people are suffering the most. Something has got to happen now to stop the bleeding.
I urge all renters to come together to work toward solutions in their communities, and demand acknowledgment, respect and action from their elected leaders.