–August 21, 2013
Dozens gathered today outside the Fresno Inn to demand justice for the tenants that live there. Accompanied by CCEJN, Communities for a New California, the Brown Berets, and others, Tenants Together sought organizing action against the Fresno Inn management. This action in response to a questionable eviction notice that the residents received a few days ago. The notice gave residents 3 days to evict the premises claiming that the site would be used for Cal Trans construction of the California High Speed Rail. This claim has since been denied by Cal Trans.
Residents at the Fresno Inn, a month to month rental motel, claim that this isn’t the first illegal action they have seen from management. Earlier this month they received a 60 day eviction notice that was retracted the same day. Furthermore, Tenants Together claim that these residents are forced to live in uninhabitable conditions. Residents with disabilities are often placed in 2nd story rooms that are not ADA compliant. Residents also claim that the units are infested with pests and have no proper air conditioning.
KMPH 26 broke this story and since then Tenants Together has submitted a formal demand to management to retract their eviction notice and to invest in making improvements to the place in order to make it habitable. Residents are asking for justice as they are uncertain what they will do if they are forced to move out. Many residents with children say they have nowhere else to go and seek assistance to relocate if they are forced to do so.
Ome Quetzal Lopez, on the ground activist of Tenants Together demanded justice for the residents calling Fresno Inn Management a ‘slumlord’ who should be focusing on improving the living situation of tenants rather than lying to them and accepting money for the provision of uninhabitable conditions.
Tenants rights are an important environmental justice issue since most residents who are affected by environmental hazards and cumulative health impacts are also residents living in impoverished communities. Residents are encouraged to report uninhabitable living conditions to our FERN/KEEN networks as a solid piece of environmental degradation and cumulative health risk. CCEJN is supportive of the work of Tenants Together and will continue the fight against slumlords in our communities.