More than half of Santa Fe's renters are cost burdened with their monthly rent payments, according to the Right to the City Alliance.
The Right to the City, a New York-based umbrella organization of social justice groups across the country, this month released "Rise of the Renter Nation: Solutions to the Housing Affordability Crises." Using 2012 statistics from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the report finds that 53 percent of Santa Fe's renters meet the federal definition of "cost burdened," meaning they pay at more than 30 percent of their income to rent.
Slightly more than 30 percent of the city's renters are "severely burdened," meaning they pay more than half of their income for rent. The report argues that the latest frontier of the housing crisis disproportionately affects renters and advocates for a "renters' bill of rights" to tackle the problem.
Chainbreaker Collective, a local cooperative that works for affordable and sustainable transportation (and a member of the Right to the City Alliance), recently kicked off a campaign to draft a Santa Fe renters' bill of rights. Chainbreaker Executive Director Tomás Rivera says the goal is to hold several community meetings over the next few months to "get folks in the neighborhoods to give real feedback about problems and solutions."
Rivera says roughly 50 people showed up to the June 14 kickoff event in the Hopewell-Mann neighborhood, which is where Chainbreaker is headquartered and will be placing much of its focus. Chainbreaker plans to write a bill of rights based on community input and eventually take key ideas from it to City Council.