My name is Valorie McIntosh and I am for the repeal of Costa-Hawkins. I am very blessed and fortunate to live in a place that I can afford. I live in The Lazy J Mobile Home Park in Arcata, CA, with two roommates. I am a single senior on social security and my income is below poverty line. So, if I were forced to move and live alone, I definitely would not be able to afford my rent.
Many of my neighbors live alone here, are also low income, and really struggle to pay their rent and afford the basic necessities of life. These are people who are not only my neighbors, but also my friends. The fact that they are forced to struggle to survive while in their “Golden Years”, breaks my heart. They shouldn’t have to struggle here or anywhere else in the U.S.A.!
I was introduced by a neighbor to MHAction who was going around my mobile home park explaining to any of us seniors who were interested and willing to listen about a petition that we could sign in order to put The Affordable Housing Act on the CA state ballot for the upcoming November elections. I had never heard of the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act that would need to be repealed so that communities could address the issues of affordable housing and implement rent control ordinances. Listening to my fellow manufactured homeowners made me want to be involved in the fight to enable local cities to protect tenants from skyrocketing rents and make CA a place where people can afford to live.
Before meeting the leaders of MHAction, I had written a few editorials for my local newspapers speaking of homelessness issues, and lack of affordable housing in my area. So, The Affordable Housing Act showed me the way to actually fix the problem, not just bring it up for discussion in an editorial. I was thrilled! Actions speak so much louder than words!
The lack of affordable housing in my area is a huge problem for me and many others. I am fortunately not being forced to move, but I would love to have my own small place to live. So, I am on every waiting list there is for low income housing in my area. I’m also on the waiting list for Section 8. The problem is that because there are so many other people in the same boat as I am, the waiting lists for low income housing are 3-5 years long. That’s a lot of waiting that many of us are forced to do.
As I said, I am fortunate to have a place to live in that I can afford. But what happens if your spouse dies, or you have major medical bills, or you lose your job, or your landlord raises your rent so much that you can no longer afford it and don’t have a savings because you live paycheck to paycheck and you lose your home? You sometimes become homeless, or end up couch surfing with friends, or maybe even temporarily placed in a homeless shelter because there is just not enough affordable housing.
Thanks to MHAction and many other hard-working activists from all over the state of CA, in my opinion, we are set to win the fight to stop the corporate landlords of all residential rentals in the state from raising rents so high that none of us can find a place to live in that we can afford. I have lived in many states of our country and discovered that affordable housing and corporate landlords are also an issue in many other states. My hope is that every state will get on board with similar initiatives and stop their own corporate landlords from charging sky high rents too. Let us as Americans exercise our rights to better our quality of life with affordable housing that we all have the right to enjoy and repeal Costa-Hawkins now!