Support UC Albany Village in Rent Crisis

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Sign our petition telling the UC, we refuse to accept their tactics of stealing our money and pushing their debt onto low income student families. Through SB 91's Rental Assistance Program, landlords will receive 80% of back rent owed, while only needing to forgive 20% of the rent themselves. This is an obvious solution for the University to make most of their money back now, when they need it, without having to punish their students. Add your voice to the University Village Albany Tenants’ Union in urging the UC to join landlords all over the state of California in applying for SB91.


UC Berkeley University Village residents in Albany, CA have been on rent strike and withholding rent by necessity for almost a year due to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Almost a million dollars are owed in back rent and after 4 months at the bargaining table, no progress has been made and our feedback, suggestions, personal experiences of hardship, and research were studiously ignored. We have come to realize that meeting with us has been a bad faith tactic designed to placate and distract us, as the university willfully passed up the opportunity to end the rent strike and protect residents with CARES Act funding. Instead, the University has taken punitive measures such as removing back rent from student loans and financial aid packages and invoking registration holds against students who are behind in rent. None of these actions are necessary and they constitute illegal retaliation on the part of the university. While the lines for the food pantry in the UC Village stretch around the block, programming is cancelled, and childcare is unavailable, the UC refuses to join landlords across the state and apply for available state funds that could support student families in paying their back rent.


Say ‘NO’ to the 25% repayment plan trap which individualizes us, robs us of our bargaining power, and authorizes the university to use punitive measures if you do not meet their payment schedule.

Tell the UC to immediately fulfill their mission as a public university to provide affordable housing and education by:

- Applying for SB 91 funds
- Dropping our registration holds
- Cancelling the 4% rent increase for 2021-22
- Canceling the 25% re-payment plan that contains 100% less rent relief than the state plan and is full of loopholes and caveats
- Stop the unlawful practice of automatically applying all payments on CalCentral to back rent


Want to continue the fight? Join our mailing list! Email uvatenantsunion@gmail.com to join and receive updates on our campaign.

If you are a UC Village Tenant behind on rent due to COVID, we urge you to send the following letter to your landlord along with signing this petition. Further details on eligibility are available here.  We suggest sending this letter to the following people: Jo Mackness <mackness@berkeley.edu>, Steve Sutton <ssutton@berkeley.edu>, Kira Griscavage <kgriscavage@berkeley.edu>, Samuel Santos <samuelsantos@berkeley.edu>.Dear UVA administrators,

I believe I qualify for rent assistance according to SB 91. I request that you immediately apply for rent relief through SB 91. 


Thank you for your assistance,

[Name]

Background on UC VIllage Rent Strike

As the COLA movement highlighted, many students were already rent burdened before COVID, and our landlord-employer underpaid us and upcharged us on rent. According to our survey of hundreds of residents in the village, 46% of respondents spent 60-100% of income on rent and 38% of respondents 30-60% of income on rent. Immediately after COVID, 24% of respondents were taking on debt and only 5% not rent burdened. The administration’s reaction to the immediate rent crisis caused by both our low wages and COVID-19 was to implement payment plans (not a cent has been forgiven), threatening emails (and administrative challenges such as with blocked registration/enrollment), and threats to increase our rent.