Thursday, June 30, 2011

What is WATR?

The Wisconsin Alliance for Tenants' Rights is a coalition of tenants, landlords, housing advocates, and other concerned citizens who have united to defend and improve tenants' rights in Wisconsin.

We have come together to fight SB 107, a bill that prohibits municipal governments from making regulations designed to protect tenants. This rolls back decades' worth of progressive legislation won in Madison, a city recognized as having some of the best tenant protections both in the state and in the country; and it prevents similar legislation from being drawn up here and across the state.

The bill includes measures that would:
  • Allow landlords to require that prospective renters earn more than three times their rent in monthly income.
  • Reduce housing options for low-income Madison residents, further concentrating poverty and segregating communities.
  • Eliminate privacy protections for tenants.
  • Abolish regulations that safeguard housing rights for persons with arrest and conviction records, disproportionate affecting communities of color.
  • Repeal ordinances that prevent security deposit disputes.
  • Remove limits on security deposits.
In a period when working people are suffering more than ever before, with rampant homelessness and foreclosure, we need to protect and strengthen tenants' rights.

SB 107 is only a spur to action. This bill is just one symptom of a much deeper assault on our rights as tenants and as workers in Wisconsin. For this reason, it is imperative that tenants throughout the state unite!