The Santa Barbara Rental Housing Mediation Task Force (RHMTF) is trying to save two part-time positions and their voluntary Board which are on the City Council’s chopping block. The City of Santa Barbara budget will be up for vote today/ Thursday, June 2nd, from 9:00am-12:00pm in the City Council Chambers.
According to RHMTF… The program has been providing mediation between landlords and tenants since 1976.This is an essential service that resolves conflicts without costly legal challenges. By eliminating staff available to conduct client office visits, and only allowing over the phone information makes RHMTF services less accessible to people with disabilities. RHMTF is a benefit to both landlords and renters, we cannot lose this valuable resource. Tenants depend on this service and many have benefited and were able to avoid homelessness as a result.
Below is their appeal letter:
Dear City Council,
The Rental Housing Mediation Task Force (RHMTF) provides an essential service to residents of Santa Barbara through mediation for landlords and renters. In Santa Barbara, 60% of residents are renters. The RHMTF has provided mediation through an all-volunteer board since 1976. This program makes a huge impact on residents at risk for homelessness and saves the city money by avoiding lengthy court trials.
The City Housing and Redevelopment Manager, Brian Bosse has presented the City of SB with a recommendation that the RHMTF cut two part-time staff, leaving only one full-time staff, and eliminating the mediation services and “disbanding” the all-volunteer Board who provides the mediation services.
Please join me in supporting this vital service for the residents of Santa Barbara and ensuring that RHMTF is funded through the general funds RHR has identified or other City Resources.