News and Views

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  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Tenant organizing
The real-estate industry-backed effort to undermine Mountain View rent control failed to gather enough signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. The so-called “Mountain View Homeowner, Renter, and Taxpayer Protection Initiative” would have placed a poison pill in the 2016 Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act, also known as Measure V, effectively eliminating the applicability of rent control to tenants across the city.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg came out Thursday against an effort to put rent control on the ballot in Sacramento this November. “Their initiative is a threat,” Steinberg said. “If it got on the ballot and it passed, I think that would be a problem.” Housing advocates and labor groups have been gathering signatures to put a renter protections measure in front of voters this fall.
  • Rent control
  • Sacramento
Sacramento’s escalating rents could result in the City Council enacting a rent control ordinance, possibly to head off a rent control ballot measure that could appear before voters in November. The California Apartment Association posted an item on its website this week saying Mayor Darrell Steinberg would introduce such an ordinance for a vote as soon as next Tuesday’s City Council meeting, or at the meeting on June 19.
  • Rent control
  • Sacramento
Tuesday’s California primary election brought good news for renters and tenant activists, and potential headaches for budget hawks as voters approved Proposition F, a new law that will provide a lawyer for every SF tenant facing possible eviction. According to the proposition’s text: This measure would require the City to establish, fund and run a program to provide legal representation for all residential tenants in San Francisco whose landlords are attempting to evict them from where they live.
  • Civil Gideon
  • San Francisco
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Thursday he opposes a rent control ballot measure being pushed by the powerful Service Employees International Union labor union and is instead drafting an ordinance with protections for renters he plans to bring to the City Council this summer.
  • Rent control
  • Sacramento
In November, California voters could repeal a controversial 1995 housing law that limited rent control across the state. Cities like Berkeley, which has one of the most comprehensive rent-control policies around, will face decisions about what to do with their housing if the law is repealed.
  • Costa Hawkins Act
  • Alameda
It was a bloodbath on the Assembly floor last week. The victims: California’s poor and working class. The winners: big corporate interests — banks, landlords, and polluters. For those who are quick to criticize the US Congress but think California’s Democrat-controlled supermajority legislature is much better, think again: when it comes to corporate control, Sacramento is caught in the tight grip of corporate lobbyists.   A trio of tenant bills on the floor last week paints quite the picture:  
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Eviction
Movements for renter power are gaining strength. Even just a few years ago discussion of any type of rent regulation was a non-starter. Now, new rent control laws are passing and a measure is headed to the ballot to repeal Costa Hawkins, the industry created state law that severely limits local rent control.
  • Rent control
  • Costa Hawkins Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 1, 2018   Contact: Shanti Singh, shanti@tenantstogether.org, 415-495-8100 x7  
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Eviction
One statistic is always missing from any debate on California housing: the number of tenants facing eviction annually. Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’ rights, recently obtained and analyzed eviction data from the state’s Judicial Council. Although the Judicial Council collects eviction data, its annual reports do not set forth its eviction data. Given the statewide displacement crisis, Tenants Together requested the raw eviction data which gives an important window into the scope of the crisis.  
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Eviction
May 29, 2018
For many renters living in southeast Greensboro, N.C., changing addresses is an all-too-familiar endeavor. The mostly low-income residents in these communities of concentrated poverty often can’t afford to pay the monthly rent and are ultimately evicted. “We have economic and racial segregation, a concentration of social issues with bad outcomes, and families that are stretched to the limit who routinely are finding themselves in eviction court,” says Stephen Sills, who directs the Center for Housing and Community Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
  • Eviction
Prospective tenants in Novato who are turned away by landlords solely because they have Section 8 vouchers won’t have legal protection from the city — at least not yet. Guidelines that county officials hope will be adopted by each of Marin’s cities and towns were struck down by the Novato City Council on Tuesday, citing concerns that the scope of those regulations may have been too broad.
  • Section 8 Discrimination
  • Marin
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.
  • Beyond California
  • Housing conditions/habitability
On his way to a doctor’s appointment, Steve Schneider sits at a bus stop in North Park on Tuesday afternoon surrounded by trendy coffee shops, tattoo parlors and mustachioed hipsters sipping craft beer. The 68-year-old has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years, but in just the last four, he’s seen his rent jumped from $850 to $1,275. As an epileptic on a fixed income, he cannot drive and has recently started to fear he may have to move and lose access to transit.
  • Affordable housing
  • San Diego
An array of bills aimed at easing California’s housing crisis, from banning fees on “granny flats” to pushing housing development on BART property, cleared a key hurdle on Friday, while others died quietly in fiscal committees. One such fatality was a proposal to help teachers and other middle-income tenants live closer to their jobs , one of many bills aiming to shore up the supply of badly needed affordable housing for low- and middle-income families. California housing officials estimate that shortfall has ballooned to a staggering 3.5 million homes.
  • Affordable housing
Crossing the Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge on a brisk spring morning in Rochester, New York, the first thing one sees is a small tent city scattered about the banks of the Genesee River. It’s a sprawl of black tarps, folding chairs, and a charcoal grill, all set up on private land. The property’s owner, a cable company called Spectrum, has attempted for some time to tear it down, urging local officials to clear the encampment.
  • Affordable housing
When Rosalina Hernández and her husband moved into their studio apartment on Los Angeles Street in South Central LA 15 years ago, the place was just for the two of them and the baby they were expecting. Back then, it wasn’t too hard to find what they needed: an apartment they could afford with just a bit more space.
  • Affordable housing
What happens when one’s home is taken away? That’s a question that far too many people have had to ask themselves when faced with eviction, and one that looms in “Evicted,” a new exhibition at Washington, D.C.’s National Building Museum.
  • Eviction

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