Letter to the Editor: Renters need relief from harassment

CONCORD, CA (May 19, 2022) — I’ve been the pastor at St. Bonaventure Parish for two years now. During that time, I’ve worked with renters throughout our community. Recently, I’ve heard troubling stories of harassment from landlords.

One landlord threatened their tenant with a gun. Another broke into their tenant’s home in the night, screaming obscenities and ransacking a dresser for rent money.

The problem is widespread. In fact, a survey of Concord tenants by the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy found 16% experienced landlord harassment—especially distressing because the vast majority were women with children.

Working with community and tenant groups, I’ve urged the Concord city council to adopt an ordinance to stop this harassment. That ordinance, advanced by the council’s housing committee in March, will go before the full city council soon.

I call on the city council to pass this law. A handful of offenders repeatedly harass their tenants. Without this ordinance, those few are unlikely to change their behavior. I urge you to write to the city council to support the new ordinance. Thank you.

— Fr. Lawrence D’Anjou, Pastor at St. Bonaventure Parish

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