Dear Editor: Progressive Dane joins Affordable Housing Action Alliance in vigorously opposing Senate Bill 107 and Republican legislative efforts to eliminate municipal authority to regulate landlord tenant matters. SB 107 rolls back over a decade of improvements in housing access and tenant protection in Dane County and the city of Madison.
Over the past several years, we have fought hard to reduce housing barriers for marginalized groups. We have achieved important fair housing protections for Section 8 recipients, people with arrest and conviction records, and people refusing to disclose Social Security numbers. SB 107 seeks to eliminate local equal opportunity ordinances that provide additional protections to people beyond the state open housing law. Moreover, SB 107 threatens our minimum income ordinance and showing and re-rental restrictions that reduce the breaking of leases due to pressured early renewals.
In a yearlong, grass-roots effort, a People’s Affordable Housing Vision was developed that seeks to expand low-income housing opportunities, ensure dignity and a path to stable housing for the homeless, provide greater accountability for violations of local housing laws, and increase local government resources to support housing programs. The vision includes various policy proposals also threatened by SB 107.
We urge the Legislature to preserve local government’s authority to regulate landlord tenant matters in order to address poverty, homelessness, residential segregation, and substandard housing. PD and AHAA will continue to support grass-roots activism, civic engagement, and creative policy solutions to increase access to safe, adequate, fair and affordable housing for all.