Petition to Local Officials in Cape Towns
Create more 1-2 bedroom housing on Cape Cod
Cape Cod towns need to pass better accessory dwelling bylaws to make it easier for seniors to age-in-place and young people to stay here. The Cape does not have enough year-round rental housing, nor enough choice in the type of housing available. Modifying towns' Accessory Dwelling Unit by-laws will increase the supply of available units without developing more land or ruining the character of our community. Members of the workforce on Cape Cod will be more likely to stay on the Cape if there are more attainable options for them to rent. At the same time, baby boomers are increasingly trying to age-in-place. Staying in the homes they’ve lived in for decades can be made easier by the addition of an ADU for them to house a CNA or relative to care for them, or just to rent to a young person who can keep an eye on them and supplement their retirement income. The Problem: The Cape has a drastic shortage of 1-2 bedroom units – which is the type of housing unmarried young professionals, fishermen, and other members of the workforce – the backbone of our economy - want and need in order to afford to live here. Few single people in their late 20s or 30s (or divorced or widowed people in their 50s and 60s) wish to live in a 3-4 bedroom house with roommates or shuffle from a winter rental to an unaffordable summer rental. These members of the workforce can afford to pay market prices for such units – if there were more of them. Unfortunately, there are very few and the existing bylaws aren't producing them. The Solution: A model by-law supported by the Smarter Cape Partnership would make it easier for homeowners to rent out accessory units on their property, for example a carriage house, an in-law apartment or an above-garage apartment. It would limit and remove some current zoning restrictions on accessory units to encourage the creation of more year-round rentals on Cape Cod. The by-law would maintain existing regulations that are necessary to protect community character and water quality. Accessory units are great option because they create affordability in two categories – increasing attainable rental options and creating an income stream to make a home more affordable for owners. We all know rental opportunities are scarce due to the Cape’s desirability and attractiveness as a tourist destination. Allowing existing homeowners to create more rental opportunities without adding more bedrooms or bathrooms than allowed by wastewater and/or zoning regulations strikes a great balance of more units, while keeping the charm and character of Cape Cod intact. The crux of an accessory dwelling bylaw lies in the fact all existing land use and wastewater regulations will have to be met. The proposed bylaw just allows the creation of more attainable, yet compact units to help offset the shortage of available and affordable units. Who else benefits? More Cape Cod residents will be able to afford to stay on the Cape and buy a home here if they can rent out a carriage house or garage apartment to help them pay for their mortgage. Making it easier to rent out accessory units will provide more reasonably-priced rental units for people who might otherwise have difficulty finding housing on the Cape. By making it easier for homeowners to rent out their carriage house or garage apartments, towns on the Cape can increase the number of year-round rentals without letting developers ruin the character of the community with more development and big apartment buildings. Many seniors on Cape Cod will have an additional, sustainable source of income - and potentially a younger person to help them out around the house. By-law Details: The accessory units would have to comply with the septic and wastewater requirements for the town. The accessory unit could not be sold separately from the primary residence. All accessory units would have a separate entrance, a bathroom, and a kitchen. Accessory units couldn't be used for Air B&B or other lodging purposes. No more than one accessory unit could be created per lot. The accessory unit could not have more than two bedrooms or be more than half the size of the primary residence. Accessory units would need to have their own parking spots. How can I help? Sign the petition! We'll let you know when the issue is coming up in your town so you can have a say with decision-makers. You can also volunteer to help. Who else is supporting the bylaw? The Smarter Cape Partners, who are the leading business, professional, educational and economic umbrella organizations on Cape Cod. These groups recognize we have a Cape-wide housing problem and creating in-law apartments is just one tool we can use to ensure people who grew up here can afford to stay here. They are comprised of: CCYP (Cape Cod Young Professionals) Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Cape Cod Technology Council Cape Cod Community College Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod Open Cape The bylaw has also been endorsed by the Cape Cod Times and Cape Cod Chronicle Editorial Boards.
Petition to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, RPI Student Living and Learning, Shirley Ann Jackson, Travis Apgar, John A. Lawler
Let RPI students stay in their houses
The handbook changes put forth in the August 29 revision are not reflective of the community, open to abuse, damaging to students (especially low-income students), poorly deployed, of negligible merit, and ultimately aimed to end Greek life as we know it. Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities rev. August 29, 2019, Page 27“All other Rensselaer students … may choose to live off-campus provided they are not living in the residence of a fraternity or sorority whose recognition has been revoked or suspended by the Institute, or is not formally recognized by the Institute.” “The Rensselaer Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities (Handbook) is a reflection of the values, beliefs and expectations we have as a community of scholars.” The content of the Handbook, then, should reflect the values, beliefs, and expectations of the community. The writers and signers of this document believe that the fall 2019 changes to the handbook do not reflect the purpose, and that those changes should be revoked or revised. Not reflective of community The off-campus locations where students choose to live has little to do with the “values, beliefs and expectations we have as a community of scholars,” and student privacy should be upheld. Limiting where students may live questions their judgement and treats them as children in need of protection, rather than the scholars they are. The Institute already holds a stance on the living conditions of underclassmen, but the August 29 revision extends rules to upperclassmen and even to graduate students. Many of these people are fully capable of making their own decisions. It is unclear what community the policy changes were aimed to reflect. The changes are not representative of the people affected - clearly not Greek-affiliated students or even students at large. They are not something any of the student governing bodies approve of: neither the student government for undergraduates nor the graduate council. And, worse, it is not something that experts in the domain endorse. The Greek deans are no long with the Institute! The only possible supporters are a small subset of staff or faculty. Poorly Deployed The rule change could have been deployed with more finesse. This is not a complaint against the spirit of the rule, but a complaint about the implementation of the rules. This rule came out at the beginning of the year, after students had already signed their lease agreements and made housing plans for the year. There is no grandfather clause or rollout plan, other than a one-semester grace period, so planning for these changes is not merely impractical, but impossible. The option of living in Greek housing is a well-reputed feature of RPI. Students who planned on taking advantage may now have sorely limited options. The benefits When writing about a policy change, we should consider the benefits of the change. From the Institute’s perspective, this reduces potential for students to commit GDA by drinking underage, abusing drugs, or performing acts of sexual assault. By reducing the area where these bad things tend to happen, the Institute can reduce occurrences. Further, students will be moving into more nurturing environments like school housing and off-campus apartments. Empirical data regarding whether removing a Greek organization’s house reduces incident counts is challenging to gather. While important to note, the lack of empirical backing is not our problem with this decision. Removing students from Greek housing will not put them into more nurturing environments. As numerous students and alums will testify, as they did at the Greek Life Open Forum, Greek organizations were a driving factor in their scholastic endurance. Greek affiliation is known to increase retention, especially among lower achievers. Living in Greek housing provides an option that is conducive to education, character building, and community service. None of which should be reduced or eliminated. Open to abuse This rule is clearly open to abuse. The school has put at least one fraternity on emergency suspension without real grounds to do so (Pi Kappa Alpha). Thankfully, there is reprieve stating that students “may remain in residence until the end of the then-current academic semester,” but this protection is insufficient. If the Institute revokes an organization’s recognition status at the end of the semester, students must vacate before the following semester! The effect this eviction will have on students is undue and likely more severe than that of continuing to live in disallowed housing. Another open abuse path stems from the Institute's ability to sit on reacceptance documents. For a case study, we can look at the local Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter. They were suspended during spring 2018 until spring 2019. In spring 2019, the Greek organization submitted documents asking for re-recognition. The Institute did not respond for approximately six months after the final submission. An unrecognized Greek organization can remain unrecognized at the whims of a single administrator, even one with conflicts of interest. Damaging to students The burden this rule bestows on displaced students is heavy. Finding a mid-year lease is no trivial task, especially if students want a fair price or want to escape their year-long lease contracts. Further, housing troubles will be exacerbated because many students may be forced to vacate at the same time. Hundreds of students might suddenly be fighting for rentals that the local market is not designed to support. Similarly, more students will need parking that the Institute does not support. On top of this, many students [see Greek Life Open Forum] would be unable to support their education due to costs incurred by this new rule. Attending the institute may become financially nonviable for students from low income families. This rule works to remove less privileged students from our community. Forcefully targeted There’s only one context in which this rule makes sense; killing or culling Greek life at RPI. If the rule had other purposes, it would have been deployed differently to have some semblance of representation of students or some safeguards against damage and abuse. Thus, we should understand this new policy for what it is; a deathblow to any Greek organization the Institute decides is out of line or, more specifically, outside the control of the Institute. A Greek organization without a house or an ability to host events or recruit is merely a groupchat – a few friends who sometimes do things together. Revise the August 29 changes to the student handbook so we can keep living in our houses.
Petition to Mayor Bill de Blasio
#Not62: The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx
Did you know that the Bronx is ranked the unhealthiest county of all 62 counties in New York State? Since 2009, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Ranking Report has ranked the Bronx 62 out of New York State’s 62 counties in health outcomes. In response to this, several groups have come together with Bronx residents to build a collaborative effort to improve the health of our borough. “#Not62 – The Campaign for A Healthy Bronx” is a call to action by the Bronx Borough President’s Office, the Institute for Family Health/Bronx Health REACH, Montefiore Health System, and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bronx Health Action Center. As the only borough of New York City’s five boroughs—a city with a budget of $92.5 billion for the fiscal year 2020—ranked at the very bottom in health outcomes in New York State, it is unacceptable and inexcusable that the Bronx is not a top priority for the Mayor. In comparison, Manhattan (New York County) is ranked 5th, Queens 8th, Brooklyn (Kings County) 17th, and Staten Island (Richmond County) 28th. Let’s ensure that Bronxites have the best possible health outcomes. The health of the Bronx is a reflection on New York City. As New Yorkers, let’s demand justice and equity for a fellow borough! Please sign onto this petition to demand that the Mayor prioritize the health of the Bronx! Share #Not62 on your social media to raise awareness, follow @bronxnot62 on Instagram, and tell us what you are doing to be healthy! 62 WILL NOT DO!! WE CAN DO BETTER!! WE MUST DO BETTER!!
Petition to Stephen Logan
Santa Cruz wants a sports complex with housing at the Capitola Mall
The new owners of the Capitola Mall are interested in reinventing the mall to bring in more customers and more business. Vice president of development Stephen Logan and architect David Geiser are "trying to figure out what would attract more people to the county’s only mall... when 96 percent of shoppers today shop online." (Capitola Mall: Merlone Geier asks what would work) In a unique opportunity, the mall owners actually want to know what the community desires. An indoor sports complex featuring a hockey rink, soccer fields, and more is our answer. This would be complimentary to retail and housing projects, and wouldn't need to take up the whole mall. A hockey rink would be the centerpiece, but imagine all the creative uses beyond hockey:- lacrosse- indoor soccer- martial arts- roller derby- volleyball- batting cages- basketball- tournaments- birthday parties- public skate - yoga, zumba, etc- summer camps- charity events- craft fairs- concerts- other community events A local hockey rink has been missing from our community since 2009 when the Scotts Valley center closed. Since then, hockey players have been forced to travel to Marina or South San Jose to play, or give up the sport. Let's help them stay local, while supporting new businesses and community engagement in the middle of the county. As a hockey player, I am tired of the long, dangerous drives to do what I love. I miss the community and friendships forged through sports that such a complex provides. Sign this petition and add your voice in support of a sports complex in the heart of Santa Cruz County. Most importantly, complete their survey and reply that if you could change the mall, you would add a sports complex with a hockey rink, soccer fields, and whatever else you want!https://www.capitolamallsurvey.com/ https://www.facebook.com/CapitolaMallSportsComplex/ Endorsed by:Bob Slawinski - former owner of the Scotts Valley Sports CenterTravis Hawkins - professional roller hockey player, Team USA member, sports program managerWes Koenig - Santa Cruz County Lacrosse AssociationUCSC Ice Hockey TeamUCSC Men's SoccerKaplan Volleyball No Attitudes Allowed VolleyballLax EmpireJordan Dodge, sanctioned martial arts promoter
Petition to NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Premier Doug Ford, MPP Bob Bailey, Minister Lisa Thompson
End Tarion’s new home warranty monopoly NOW: Give Ontarians a choice!
Why has Doug Ford changed his tune since he became premier? Why has he not ended Tarion's monopoly? Could it be that he is now more interested in catering to builders/developers than protecting Ontario's consumers? Tarion has been studied for decades - the problems are well known. Numerous media reports show that there are many serious problems resulting from the legislation and how Tarion is administering the legislation. Unfortunately, on Feb. 20, 2019, Minister Walker announced that his government needs up to another 9 or 10 months to make a decision on whether to end Tarion's monopoly. This was such a disappointment! As the Ford government stalls, each month the Ford government is FORCING approximately 5,000 families who purchase newly built homes to also purchase a warranty from the monopoly Tarion - a mandatory warranty that many agree is little to no good. What happened to Ford's slogan "for the people"? Justice Cunningham, who was hired by the Ontario Government to conduct an independent review of Tarion, ultimately concluded that Tarion basically needs to be dismantled. Justice Cunningham laid out a comprehensive plan forward, with 37 recommendations, including ending Tarion's monopoly: "...I am recommending the introduction of a competitive multi-provider model for warranty protection. Introducing competition should encourage continuous improvement and innovation. This in turn can lead to better consumer outcomes such as enhancements in warranty protection beyond minimum amounts..." (Tarion Review Final Report, Dec. 16, 2016). It's time for Ontario to catch up to other provinces like Alberta, BC and Manitoba and offer a CHOICE of warranty providers! Sign this petition to ask Premier Ford to end Tarion’s monopoly and offer a number of warranty providers in Ontario -- like Justice Cunningham recommended -- and like other Canadian provinces are doing. It's time for Ontario to catch up!
Petition to Richmond CA City Council
Oppose Richmond's TOPA Ordinance!
ATTENTION ALL RICHMOND RENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS, HOMEOWNERS, AND CONCERNED RESIDENTS Be aware of the legislation your elected officials are looking to push forward! Richmond's city council has recently voted to develop and pursue a Tenant's Opportunity to Purchase (TOPA) ordinance. Its proponents say TOPA is another "tool" to protect low income tenants from displacement by granting them first right of refusal to negotiate a purchase with the owner prior to the building hitting the open market. However this is far from the innocent, well-meaning ordinance it’s being advertised as. The 14 page proposal presented by the council would be the biggest violation of private property rights we've seen. Richmond has already adopted what is arguably the strictest rent control ordinance in the state. Now the council proposes to push the limit even further: Not only does Richmond want to control rents, this ordinance aims to control how owners are able to sell their property, to whom they can sell, and control the PRICE owners can sell their property for. Hundreds of small time owners have already been crippled by the regressive nature of Measure L, forcing many to sell due to fear and financial duress. Homeowners who had hoped to rent their homes for retirement income or while they worked out-of-state now realize they can no longer reclaim their homes without paying large owner move-in fees and possibly incurring large legal fees if challenged. Now this ordinance attempts to punish all property owners even further, at the expense of our city's future and for the gain of third party special interest groups. A brief summary of the proposed ordinance is listed below: -Allows for the sales price of the property offered to tenant(s) or their third-party assignees to be set by the City through a "city trained" appraiser. -Prevents a property from going on the market for sale until every renter waives his or her rights in writing, creating lengthy, unpredictable time periods in which a sale, or lack thereof, can be controlled by the tenant or the tenant's third-party assignees. -Any property purchased through this ordinance would then grant the city the power to convert purchased properties to "permanently affordable" standards by controlling its future renters, rent levels, and allowable property value for 99 years. -Allows tenants to transfer these rights to a third party "non-profit" organization or tenants group for each potential sale of property, enabling these "non-profits" to acquire discounted property, then gain the benefits, regulation exemptions, and tax benefits not available to the private sector. -Third-party assignees are afforded a potential exemption from these permanently affordable housing requirements. -Any owner who is found in violation of the regulatory process could be fined $1000/per day per unit. -Owners may not be able to exit the rental business and use their property for other purposes without first offering the building for sale to tenants. -Applies to any size building including single-family residences. This ordinance is not a progressive way to promote ownership opportunities for existing tenants. There is currently no law that prevents nor discourages a sale between tenant and owner. Richmond has existing organizations that offer financial education and help facilitate home ownership for low-income residents. This proposal is simply a blatant attempt to facilitate the seizure of private property through a coercive set of regulations. We can not let this action by the city council fly under the radar. It is imperative we tell the Richmond city council, in as many ways as possible, that we completely oppose this proposed ordinance including by signing this petition. [Note: No need to give money to change.org for promotion; please just share the link] Click HERE for a copy of the TOPA ordinance as well as email info to contact council directly www.aurhp.org
Petition to San Diego City Council and Mayor's Office
Implement Rent Control in San Diego
It is time for San Diego to implement rent control to protect its residents’ quality of life. Renters are experiencing substantial rent hikes that are not consistent with salary increases, and hard-working San Diegans face the stressful situation every year of being forced from their home if they don’t pay exploitative rent increases. When searching the rental market for a new place to live, people have some ability to compare options and even possibly negotiate with some success. However, when they are already living in a rental unit and it is up for lease renewal, the landlord clearly has the upper hand. Not only does the apartment management company have easier access to sometimes proprietary information about the market, but also they can substantially raise the rent because they know the cost and hassle of moving for the tenant can be substantial. Moving is time consuming, from the housing search, to packing, to hiring movers, and to settling into a new home and sometimes new schools. In addition, the financial cost of moving can be quite high, it creates an unstable home life, and it can take an emotional toll from being uprooted from one’s own home just because the landlord thinks they can fill it with another renter willing to pay more. This system creates a lose-lose situation for renters – pay whatever the landlord asks or endure the hardship of a move. Moreover, the current system discourages renters from making valid complaints for fear of reprisals at lease renewal time in the form of a higher rent hike. This is not a system that ensures a good quality of life for renters. Either they must give in to exploitative rent hikes that steal an increasing amount of their income or they must suffer from instability, lost productivity, and stress from moving frequently. Housing is central to quality of life, and the system is currently favoring landlords over tenants. The rental market is also reducing the standard of living for San Diego residents. Over 50% of San Diego households rent housing and they spend 44% of their income on it (compared to 30% for the country). Rents have increased 25% over the past decade and are expected to increase by 19% in just the next 5 years. In 2014, rents in San Diego increased 5-6%, the highest rent growth in more than a decade, and 2015 has experienced 9% increases. Meanwhile, household income is rising only less than 1% a year and has even decreased a total of 6% since 2009. With some of the most expensive housing in the country (San Diego was recently labeled the least affordable city in America by Realtor.com), buying a home is out of reach for most San Diegans, and renting is the only realistic option. While San Diegans are hurting, large corporations that own the apartments are winning big. For example, Essex Property Trust that owns and manages 13 complexes in San Diego saw an annual increase in profit of 7.4% at its properties in 2013, a total profit increase of 14% in 2014 to over $200 million, and its top two executives receiving compensation of $3.4 million a year (a 136% increase over the past 4 years). Similarly, the Irvine Company, which owns and manages 12 complexes in San Diego, has seen recent annual growth of 8.7%, and its Chairman Donald Bren has made $3 billion over the past three years (an increase of 25%), making him the 30th richest American with a net worth of $15.2 billion. Rent control (or “rent stabilization”) is needed to remedy this inequality between landlord and tenant and to protect the majority of San Diego households who are renters. Rent control laws exist in 15 other cities in California, including the three largest cities in the state besides San Diego – Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco. Vacant units can still be subject to pure market forces (“vacancy decontrol”), but it is time to protect the renter from exploitative rent increases for their current apartment homes. The San Diego County Apartment Association has used its deep pockets and team of lobbyists to effectively represent the interests of landlords to our local government, and it is time for us, the people of San Diego, to now petition our representatives – the City Council and the Mayor – to pass rent control measures. 10 Facts about Rent Control in California Please fill out our brief survey! Please remain subscribed to Change.org e-mails related to this petition to learn about updates regarding this petition and how we all can ensure that change does indeed happen. Your e-mail and address is not shared with the petition author or recipient. If you would like to contact our growing San Diego Tenants United movement to get more involved, for media inquiries, or anything else, please email email@example.com. Renters should also fill out our survey and like our Facebook page. Please share your stories and comments in the section below! Your full name will only be displayed below if you choose to leave a comment. Other actions you can take include: Write a review (e.g., Yelp) about your rental Talk to your neighbors Share this petition! Contact your representative Understand and stand up for your legal rights as a tenant Footnotes* Cover graph: CBRE Econometric Advisors and RealPage, Sept 2014, http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/sep/18/rents-housing-supply-downtown-units-forrent/#comments-module  http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_13_1YR_B25106&prodType=table http://www.zillow.com/research/q2-2015-rent-mortgage-affordability-10268/  http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/sep/18/rents-housing-supply-downtown-units-forrent/ http://timesofsandiego.com/business/2014/12/31/san-diego-rents-rose-average-55-per-month-2014/http://files.zillowstatic.com/research/public/rental/ZRI.San%20Diego.395056.pdfhttp://rebusinessonline.com/demand-for-apartments-grows-in-san-diego/http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/aug/15/real-estate-housing-corelogic-zillow-midyear/ http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/sep/18/san-diegans-income-still-below-great-recession-lev/ http://www.realtor.com/news/least-affordable-cities/ http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/apr/16/rising-housing-prices-stagnating-wages-are-harming/ http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/2015/01/21/the-eternal-question-for-sd-businesses-should-i-pay-or-should-i-go/ http://markets.on.nytimes.com/research/stocks/fundamentals/financials.asp?type=is&symbol=ESS http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/people/person.asp?personId=20594349&ticker=ESS http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/40/40241.html http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bren-645922-county-irvine.html http://www.forbes.com/profile/donald-bren/?list=rtb http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/appendix2.shtmlhttp://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Rent_Stabilization_Board/Home/Other_Rent_Control_Jurisdictions.aspx
Petition to Oluwatobi Thomas, Sheila Miller, Todd Lee, Tyrone Garrett, Bandele McQueen, Tsega Bekele, John Falcicchio, Polly Donaldson, Trayon White, Drew Hubbard, Angie Rogers, Christopher Donald, Mayor Muriel Bowser
Help the residents of Cascade Park improve conditions of 132 units of affordable housing!
Soon the Executive Office of the District of Columbia will weigh its options to fund certain projects out of its $130M housing fund using Federal and local resources. We need to ensure that The Residents of Cascade Park Apartments in the great Ward 8 are a priority. We have some critical needs to address and this is your chance to help longstanding, multi-generational families afford to continue living a decent quality of life in The District. A property assessment has identified the place we call home being in need of urgent action to correct hazardous physical and environmental conditions. The improvements require a significant capital investment. We need your support to secure the resources necessary to complete these improvements AND keeping rents affordable. We will benefit tremendously by receiving HPTF funding to do the following: 1. Preserve 132 family sized units of Affordable housing to meet the housing needs for low income District residents 2. Invest in Cascade Park apartments through stabilization, rehabilitation, improvement and modernization through capital repairs. 3. Create job opportunities: temporary (construction) and permanent (property management). 4. Assist the property owners in their desire to address the critical condition needs of an aging property to provide adequate living conditions including, consistent hot water with plumbing upgrades, reliable heating in cold winter months through HVAC upgrades, utility bill relief in a rising cost of living economy and ending the pest infestation. In the DMPEDs Closer July 2019 edition the Mayor of the District of Columbia said “As we continue to build more housing, especially more affordable housing, we must also be strategic in preserving the affordable homes our families already live in – that’s what the Housing Preservation Fund allows us to do. Today, we’re highlighting the preservation of more than 1,000 homes, but what we’re really celebrating are the families and residents who are now able to stay in our city because these homes will remain affordable,” We couldn’t agree more! We don’t want to be the last, the least and the left out. Please sign our campaign today!