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Alicia Carvajal, housing counselor, Legal Aid Society of Santa Clara County, adressing the crowd.

Sandy Perry
Special to El Observador
On June 29, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara (HACSC) submitted a revised Moving to Work Plan that removed its controversial proposed “rent reform”. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) immediately approved the revised plan.
“Rent reform” was dropped after repeated protests by tenants and housing advocates, because it would have raised rents for many of the poorest residents of Silicon Valley. Tenants argued that since their incomes had not increased, and since prices of food, gasoline, and other necessities were all going up, there was no way they could afford a rent increase as well. Seniors and disabled felt especially targeted since they were already affected by budget cuts coming from Sacramento.
In spite of this good news, some tenants cautioned that we dare not relax our vigilance. The HUD letter to HACSC pointed out that it expected them to draw up a new rent reform proposal in the coming year. Tenants must actively participate in this process if they hope to prevent rent increases in the future.
Finally, regardless of the outcome of the November election, the Federal government is preparing a “fiscal cliff” this winter to justify cruel cuts to housing, health care, and other basic human services. Tenants need to ORGANIZE NOW if they want to prevent further cuts in housing and all the other programs they need to survive. Call (408) 691-6153 if you want to get involved.

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