Town hall meeting addresses housing conditions in Holyoke

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Tenants Union of western Massachusetts, along with Neighbor to Neighbor held a housing town hall meeting Monday night in Holyoke.

“Landlords are charging an exorbitant, amount of rent and they don’t do their part,” said one resident at the meeting.

According to the groups some residents of Holyoke are living in unsafe housing conditions, struggling to make rent, or being pushed out of the city altogether. Many uniting tonight in an effort to find real housing solutions. 22News stopped by the gathering to speak with union leaders.

“People deserve to have a voice and tenants deserve to have rights,” expressed Dannuel Rivera, co-leader of the Tenants Union of Western Massachusetts. “People should not be living in squalor conditions with landlords charging them an arm and a leg, and not responding to maintenance requests as well.”

Real housing solutions discussed during Monday’s meeting included; a tenant bill of rights, an office of tenant protections in Holyoke, and an ordinance banning ownership of housing by corporate investment and hedge funds.