Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Prop. 98 is An Attack on Real People - Meet Donna Matthews!

Prop. 98 Is an Attack on Real People
Profiles of the types of people who will be harmed by Proposition 98 - the landlords’ deceptive attack on renters, rent control, and renter protections.

Donna Matthews, 83, lives in Plantation on the Lake mobile home park in Calimesa, Riverside County and is facing an eviction threat over a disputed trash bill. Donna’s original agreement specified that a garbage bin and trash pick up would be provided as a part of her rent. Out of nowhere, 22 years later, Donna received a bill for $73.80 claiming she was two months behind on her trash bill. But Donna has never paid rent late and the trash fee was part of her rent. The landlord gave Donna 10 days to pay the fee or leave the park. Under protest Donna paid the fee, but her landlord is still trying to evict her through the court process. Right now, Donna is protected by strong mobile home tenant protection laws which protect against unfair evictions. But if Prop. 98 passes, those protections are threatened, and the landlord will likely try to evict Donna again. Also, because Prop. 98 eliminates rent control once a tenant moves out, the landlord will have a new financial incentive to try to get rid of Donna so he can raise the rent. Donna is a fighter and she refuses to be intimidated by her landlord. The Prop. 98 threat has inspired Donna to fight the greedy landlords and inform the mobile home park residents of Calimesa to vote No on Prop. 98 in June.

“What people don’t realize is that both the mobile home parks owners and mobile home owners have an investment. Without rent control it will be one investor taking advantage of another investor. We won’t have the bargaining power or the money that the owners will have. The landlords will raise the rents as high as they want. The rents will be so high and nobody will be able to rent the space. We would lose the value in our homes. If we lose our only nest-egg, where will we go?” -- Donna Matthews, 83, Calimesa