Our take on the state of the region

Antioch renters are organizing for CHANGE: New report

Author: Chris Schildt

“Housing insecurity is a threat to our basic humanity,” says Rocheall Pierre, an Antioch resident and member of the East County Regional Group (ECRG). “Antioch’s housing system is broken.”

Today, Urban Habitat is proud to announce the release of a new report, Antioch CHANGE: A Community Housing Assessment of Needs, Gaps and Equity in Antioch, California, in partnership with First 5 Contra Costa, ECRG, and Healthy and Active Before 5. The report depicts the housing experiences of over 1,000 Antioch residents gathered by ECRG parent leaders in a community-driven survey and lays out policy recommendations for permanent tenant protections: rent control, just cause for eviction, and tenant anti-harassment.

Key findings in the report include:

  • On average, respondents paid 63% of their monthly income on rent, leaving little for food, medicine, childcare, and other basic necessities.
  • 79% of renters are worried about rent increases, while 68% are worried about being able to pay their current rent.
  • One in 5 renters surveyed live in corporate-owned homes, making them more likely to face rent increases, unfair evictions, and harassment by landlords.
  • Latino and Black residents and families with young children are hardest-hit.

Antioch has the highest rate of evictions of any city in the Bay Area. This month, renters are facing 30% rent hikes from an unscrupulous corporate landlord, underscoring once again the need for strong local rent protections and tenant organizing to stand up to corporate abuse.

Around the region, low-income communities of color are fighting back against predatory landlord interests to win lasting protections and create stable, prosperous homes for all. Last week, renters and their allies in Concord won a strong anti-harassment ordinance, after fighting back a weaker, landlord-supported ordinance. Today, we stand with Antioch residents in demanding that city leaders reject a status quo that leaves thousands of renters subject to rent hikes, evictions, and harassment, and embrace strong rent control, just cause for eviction, and tenant anti-harassment policies.