Beyond California

Seattle-Area Rents Drop to a Level That's Still Far from Affordable for Most

According to Mike Rosenberg, the Seattle Times business reporter, rents in King and Snohomish counties are finally falling "significantly" for the first time in a decade. By significant, he means a 2.9 percent drop "as compared to the prior quarter." Rosenberg suggests that the market is removing some power from landlords and transferring it to renters because the number of empty apartments is growing. All of this sounds like supply and demand have not been de-linked and deformed by unknown forces.

Washington Renters' Protections May Be On the Way

It was a car accident that catapulted Gina Owens into advocacy. In 2000, Owens was working as a medical assistant and activism wasn’t on her radar, but a collision left her with disabilities that prevented her from continuing with her job. The landlords of her Central District apartment were understanding … for a time. They allowed her to pay about 75 percent of her $475 rent as she searched for new work. She survived on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families prior to earning disability payments. But she was evicted from her apartment once the backlog on her owed rent reached $1,000.

Rent Control Gets New Lease on Life from Two Democratic Gov Candidates

Rent control, until now the domain of Chicago’s far political left, could be going mainstream with two major Democratic candidates for governor endorsing the concept.

State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston and Chicago businessman J.B. Pritzker each say they would support legislation to lift a statewide ban preventing local governments from limiting how much rent landlords can charge.

Lifting the ban, which was enacted by the Legislature in 1997, would allow home rule units such as the city of Chicago to enact ordinances controlling rent increases.

Lawmaker Wants to End Washington's Ban on Rent Control

Washington cities are prohibited from regulating rent prices, but one lawmaker wants to change that. Democratic state Representative Nicole Macri says she'll propose a bill in 2018 to end the rent control ban.

Macri, a resident of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, says it's time for lawmakers to take dramatic action and give local communities more control over rental housing. She lives near an elementary school where many students don't have permanent housing.

Wisconsin Bill Would Change Tenant, Landlord Regulations, Limit Municipal Power

Tenant rights advocates are pushing back against a bill aimed at standardizing housing regulations across Wisconsin municipalities.

Senate Bill 639 addresses the relationship between property owners and municipal government including landlords' repair costs, credit background checks and building inspections. A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Capitol in room 411 South.

Bed-Stuy Provides Fertile Ground for Eviction Company Quick Evic

Rent rates have spiked across so much of Bedford-Stuyvesant that even non-attorneys are finding a way to profit off evictions.

Richard Cabello, who spent 26 years working in real estate, claims to have launched the first business dedicated solely to helping landlords navigate and expedite the eviction process. His firm Quick Evic’s revenue has exploded since Cabello launched it out of a suitcase in 2015.

Aging Homeless Pose New Challenges on Cape

It’s been a year since the Fall River Catholic Diocese took over the homeless shelter on Winter Street, but shelter coordinator Karen Ready can’t get over the number of older people who are ending up on the mattresses at St. Joseph’s House.

“I’m a little bit alarmed at how many elders are coming to shelter and what we can do,” Ready said. “It’s a very bitter pill for me to swallow.”

'What Will Happen to Me?' Vancouver Tenants Gather at Union Convention

Dozens of renters gathered in Vancouver on Sunday to voice their concerns and find strategies for more secure and affordable housing.

They were at the first annual convention for the Vancouver Tenants Union at the Russian Hall.

The union launched in April with the hope of signing up thousands of members to be a collective voice for residents facing eviction and unfair rent increases.

"We sort of came together to launch the Tenants Union with a few demands," said organizer Kell Gerlings.

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