Beyond California

'They Answer to Their Stockholders': Local Family Suing Wall Street-Backed Landlord

When Lisa Ginter and her husband, Paul, moved their family into a rental home in the MuraBella neighborhood in the spring of 2013, they thought they had found a dwelling where they could be comfortable.

The landlord, after all, was a large corporation called Invitation Homes that had been buying up homes in the wake of the recession and turning the properties into rentals.

East New York Mitchell-Lama Complex Sues Feds. City, Landlord in Federal Court

Two years ago, City Limits wrote about an affordable housing preservation deal under Mayor Bloomberg that tenants and advocates say was disastrous and non-transparent, leading to skyrocketing rents and evictions for many tenants. Those tenants, with the support of Legal Services Corporation A and the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, have now filed a class-action federal lawsuit against the owner as well as the federal and city agencies who signed off on the deal.

Tenants Say Portland's Renter Relocation Protections Aren't Enough

Just over a month ago, affordable housing advocates applauded Portland City Council for passing a new, "emergency" policy that would require landlords pay tenants between $2,900 and $4,500 in moving expenses under certain circumstances. The policy, which applies to any tenant who receives a no-cause eviction or faces a rent hike of 10 percent or more, is meant to act as a buffer to keep tenants from slipping into homelessness after a rental shakeup.

But a recent apartment sale has tenants telling the city it's not enough.

The Right to Rent Control

On March 20, voters in nine Chicago wards were faced with a simple question at the end of their ballot: “Should the state repeal the ban on rent control?”

Such a simple query belies the intense amount of organizing that has galvanized housing activists and changed the debate around Chicago’s housing problems. After more than a year of fighting to get the measure on the ballot, the outcome of the vote speaks to the frustration many people feel about rising housing costs in Chicago: 75 percent of voters supported the measure.

For Many Black Washingtonians, Gentrification Threatens Housing and Health

By many measures, the revitalization of neighborhoods across Washington, D.C. has been a windfall for the city. Fueled by higher tax revenues and property values, the city is awash in construction cranes, new libraries, restaurants and retail, and more than 70 miles of bike lanes—all welcomed signs of gentrification in the nation’s capital.

Lost in the city’s waves of new amenities and newer, more affluent inhabitants are the longtime Washingtonians who have been pushed out or who are fighting to stay in the city.

Activists Say Airbnb Makes New Orleans Housing Shortage Worse

Airbnb and other platforms for short-term rental listings are exacerbating the housing crisis in New Orleans, says a new report from the Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative (JPNSI). The analysis in the report falls in line with similar findings in other cities — a substantial chunk of short-term rentals are controlled by operators with multiple properties, suggesting that landlords are choosing to put units on Airbnb and other sites, eschewing long-term tenants.

Ruling Against Seattle Law Hurts Renters, Advocates Say

A judge’s ruling against Seattle’s first-come, first-served law for renters means a harder time finding housing for people who tend to be discriminated against, say supporters of the law who are reeling from the decision.

“We’re very disappointed in the ruling and hope there’s an appeal,” said Merf Ehman, executive director of Columbia Legal Services, which pushed for the City Council to adopt the law in 2016.

Miami Has a Four-Year Backlog of Overbuilt Luxury Condos Amid Affordable Housing Crisis

By nearly every metric, Miami-Dade County is one of the most difficult places to live if you don't make a ton of money. The county's median income is a staggeringly low $44,000, compared to the $80,000 median income in a comparably expensive city such as Seattle. That means Miamians wind up spending a higher percentage of their incomes on rent than residents of any other city in America.

Fight for Renters' Rights Goes To Colorado's Capitol

The tenant-landlord relationship has always been tenuous, with horror stories on both sides: nosy landlords who get up in your business, refuse to fix a leaky refrigerator or broken windows. Tenants who steal appliances, ruin carpet and fail to pay rent for months.

Those are the exceptions, but some disputes can end in evictions or lawsuits that sour the relationship with those who follow.

Seattle City Council Votes To Impose Moratorium on Rent-Bidding Websites

The Seattle City Council voted Monday to impose a one-year moratorium on rent-bidding platforms, which allow landlords to take competing bids from prospective tenants and then sign leases with the highest bidders — a little bit like eBay, but for apartments.

The council began looking at the platforms after the board of directors of the Associated Students of the University of Washington approved a student-senate resolution calling on the city to ban them.

Help build power for renters' rights:

Sign up for alerts