Yesterday another Renter's Commission Subcommittee Meeting was held at City Hall. This time they presented the responses from the previous meeting which I covered in the previous blog. It was surprising or maybe not so much to see how the subcommittee presented the findings.
The goal of the of the Renter's Commission per the committee is to increase renter representation on City Boards and Commissions. It is also the goal per the committee to elevate renter's issues in citywide discussions. Examples of other commissions presented included Seattle, WA, Portland OR and San Francisco, CA. This time the committee however did acknowledge that within the San Antonio Housing Commission which already exists there is a similar committee performing similar roles with 2 of 5 seats held by renters.
As the meeting continued prior to additional comment, it was determined that there were 3 other committees operating within the city through which they could already assign oversight. What was most concerning was the committee's presentation of previous meetings (Jan 22, 2020) public comments.
Remember that I said only 1 tenant had been present to speak up versus dozens of landlords, property managers, Realtors, etc. Here is how that was translated:
-Desires for better representation of renters
-Desires for more "pro-renter" policies
-Desires for a mix of renters, landlords and others to be part of a possible Renters Commission
-Concerns about Seattle model and the recommendations from that commission
So even though only 1 person spoke to the first 2 items, that weighed heavily on this presentation. Afterwards it was time for public comment and again it was all landlords, property manager, Realtors, etc. This is not a fight that we will stop engaging in until our voices are heard. Tenants desire fair treatment and decent housing but not at the exclusion of landlord rights as well.
It appears that the Housing Committee is looking t o create this commission but we will continue to be your voice. I will keep you posted on developments and let you know how we are doing.