San Mateo Housing Story #3: Dian Fjelstad’s Story

Fifteen years ago I moved to San Mateo from Palo Alto and found that the rich diversity of the community confirmed my reasons for living here. Over the last few years, however, I’ve watched the city’s demographics rapidly change as residents and renters have been pushed out due to financial greed. When my own rent was raised by 54% last year, my budget, as a retired social worker became what economists’ label as cost-burdened for housing. It was then that I learned that renters like myself have no legal protections from massive rent increases and can be evicted for no reason. I support renter protections because they’re a reasonable and fair way to achieve balance between business and people’s needs for housing security.

—Diane Fjelstad, retired social worker

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