200 residents demand rent control in Michigan Capitol Caucus ⋆ Michigan Advance

Michigan renters voiced their concerns at a “rent is too high” rally outside the state capitol building on a hot Tuesday afternoon.

About 200 attendees came to Lansing to hear stories of rising rents, unsafe living conditions, and organized efforts to address Michigan’s rising cost of living. On a national level, experts say wages remain stagnant as rents rise.

Michigan is among the top 10 states with the highest rent increase from 2022 to 2023, according to Rent.comwith rents increasing on average by over 8%, with the median rent coming to $1,366.

Rats, cockroaches, and mold are all unwelcome and unpaid companions to many of its residents McKinley Justin Yuan, a resident of Washtenaw County, said the apartments are in Washtenaw County. Meanwhile, the McKinley Tenants Association says the department owns 60% of the workforce housing in one of Michigan’s most populous counties, making it It is “impossible” for people like nurses and teachers to live in Ann Arbor.

“(The association) has people who have holes in the walls, and others who have collapsed ceilings in certain rooms, and we haven’t heard anything from the management,” Yuan said. “We have a basic human need for shelter and no amount of investment or no amount of profit can exceed that.”

Former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and current University of Michigan trustee Ron Weiser is the founder of McKinley Corporation. His seat on the University of Ann Arbor board of directors has been called into question in the past due to a potential conflict of interest as a high-volume owner in the area.

Yuan calls him “the modern feudal lord”.

A call to Weiser at McKinley was not immediately returned.

The Very High Rent Coalition organized a rally on Tuesday featuring speakers from various housing groups and program leaders across the state.

The coalition is calling for a series of policy changes, including ending Michigan’s statewide ban on rent control, so that local municipalities can set limits on rent prices that would keep residents out of the area.

The coalition and several speakers also supported the legislative effort tenants’ bill of rights Which aims to overturn the ban on rent control, as well as a just cause for evictions and the right to a safe living environment.

People are hurting, Detroit Tenants Action and tenants organizer Tennessa “Mrs. Tea.” Detroit Action is a state advocacy group that advocates for housing and economic justice for Detroiters.

Sanders said a person can quickly lose their home as rent prices rise and that can have long-term consequences.

“We have people who, when our members come in, say, ‘Hey, Shay, you’ve lost everything you’ve got. “This trash can has been pulled out and we have nothing to go to,” Sanders said. “They lose everything: birth certificates, identity cards, clothes, and more. What are we going to do about this rent being too high? These children need to get what they need, and these mothers, especially the elderly. Oh, my God.”

Accessing affordable housing is hard enough, but for people with disabilities, it can be nearly impossible, said Eric Welsby, Detroit’s director of Disability Advocacy, leading to situations like wheelchair users living in rentals where they can They get to their bedroom on their chair.

“They’re paying very high rents in places where they can’t actually live,” Welsby said. “We need a good wage. We need affordable housing. We need accessible housing. We need neighborhoods and communities that welcome us all.”

Access to fair wages is another problem faced by Michiganders with disabilities, Welsby said. Rebecca Cassin, executive director of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, added that women, who on average earn less than men nationallyStruggle to thrive without rent control.

“Has anyone ever moved in here?” Casson said. “It’s expensive, it’s miserable, and if you’re going to have to move every year because your landlord can put your rent up 50 or 60% if they feel like it… that’s too much.” “. . “The fact that we don’t have control over rents in Michigan or even that we’re allowed to control rents is disgusting and disproportionately hurts women.”

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