News and Views

December 19, 2018
Oakland didn't build much new housing from 2009 to 2016, but in the last two years the city has experienced a historic housing construction boom. According to the Oakland Mayor's Office, as of December, there were 8,641 units of housing under construction in The Town, with another 7,898 units in the pipeline (approved or proposed). When those apartment buildings and high-rises are completed, Oakland not only will have a new skyline, but the city will have easily surpassed it regional housing goals for the next five years.
  • Affordable housing
Adrianne Todman remembers sitting across the table from landlords and hearing what they really thought of the Washington, D.C., Housing Authority. "We asked, 'What drives you nuts?'" Todman says, and the landlords had been willing to answer.
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing
A Miami campaign called Smash the Slumlords started years ago when low-income tenants were fighting absentee landlords who had let their property devolve into a moldy, leaky health hazard. But the name reflects the fighting spirit that is needed to get any sort of affordable housing done in a hot real estate market.
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing
Tiffany Brown tells Spectrum New 1 when she rewinds back to 2008 her life was full of chaos. Addiction, homelessness and not being able to see her children on a regular basis haunted her life. A decade though later she's reinvented herself and what she sees for her future.
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing
December 18, 2018
Since the publication of his book Evicted in 2016, sociologist Matthew Desmond has become the best-known chronicler of a quiet epidemic sweeping the United States today: eviction. Drawing on the book’s fine-grained account of how eviction plays out in Milwaukee, the country’s most segregated city, he has since sought to assemble a more panoramic, national picture of this crisis as the founder of the Eviction Lab, based at Princeton University.
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
Beginning in January, landlords who rent three or more units in unincorporated Marin will be required to have a “just cause” for evicting tenants. The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an ordinance that creates the new requirement. Supervisors did so after years of lobbying by housing advocates who called for them to take more effective action to address the critical shortage of affordable housing in Marin. “I am supportive of the ordinance as drafted; I think it’s been very carefully crafted,” said Supervisor Katie Rice.
  • Eviction
  • Marin
More than 50 people rallied in front of San Rafael City Hall on Monday demanding city officials adopt tighter renter protections as a planned 65 percent rent increase in the Canal area threatens to displace many long-term tenants. The rent hikes were sent to residents by the new landlord of a 28-unit apartment complex on Dec. 1. Many residents received notices that their rent would increase by $900 or more, effective Feb. 1.
  • Rent increases
  • Marin
December 18, 2018
The City’s transit agency is telling RV dwellers to drive off into the sunset. It’s a major reversal for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which previously pushed back against banning oversize vehicles where homeless people slept. Now, with The City exploring new ways to help that specific homeless population, the SFMTA is preparing signage saying “no” to oversize vehicles on specific city streets. And the tiny street where the latest round of the battle over homeless residents living in RVs began, De Wolf Street, is among them.
  • Affordable housing
  • San Francisco
Despite the booming economy, homelessness in the United States rose slightly for the second year in a row, with spikes in high-rent cities like New York and Seattle, according to an annual report released on Monday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Affordable housing
An East Hollywood apartment building had a stripped roof for ongoing repairs when rains hit Southern California in early December, so it's now life with water stained walls and floors, but without ceilings and cabinets for tenants. "This is not right for us," said Matilda Castillo, who, like her neighbors, has chosen to remain, even though her unit now lacks a functioning kitchen.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Los Angeles
San Francisco loses more than one existing affordable housing unit for every two it creates. That’s according to data from a biannual San Francisco Planning Department analysis of the city’s affordable housing stock over the last 10 years. Presented to the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee earlier this week, the report underscores the rapid disappearance of existing affordable housing, even as the city scrambles to develop new below-market-rate units.
  • Affordable housing
  • San Francisco
After their landlord allegedly blew a deadline written into a legal settlement, tenants of a Soundview building are asking a court to have an administrator tackle the maintenance issues they say have been plaguing them for more than a year, including a complete lack of cooking gas, shoddy elevator service and leaks.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
The Marin County Board of Supervisors Tuesday will consider adopting an ordinance that requires just cause for terminating a tenant's rental agreement. If approved, the ordinance will take effect Jan. 17, 2019. It would apply to all properties with three or more units in the unincorporated areas of the county. It stipulates reasons for when a tenancy can be terminated or a renter evicted.
  • Eviction
  • Marin
December 15, 2018
“Philadelphia needs to treat its people who live here so much better. You know, I never liked speaking in front of people, but everything I’ve been through, living here for thirty years, I think it’s my right to speak for other families and other people who are going through what I’m going through. […] Y’all have six thousand children in foster care a year and asking for three hundred more families. But what about the three hundred families those children belong to who probably was wrongfully evicted from their homes? So I think y’all should think about that.”— Ricci Rawls
  • Beyond California
  • Eviction
December 14, 2018
Cities where a lot of people spend more than one-third of their income on rent are more likely to experience homelessness crises, according to a new report by a team of researchers from the University of New Hampshire, Boston University, and the University of Pennsylvania. The report, which was released on December 11 and was sponsored by the real estate website Zillow, analyzed 386 real estate markets across the country and found that increases in rent prices in less affordable areas make the homelessness rate rise faster.
  • Affordable housing
A 98-year-old woman is being evicted from her Ocean Beach home after living there for nearly three decades. Betty Morse moved into her tiny Ocean Beach cottage back in the late 1980’s. After her husband died, she needed a place she could afford. “I was by myself, but I managed,” Morse said. “I could walk to work.” Morse said the rent was about $100 when she moved in. “It was a beautiful place to live because you could walk to the beach and watch the sunset,” she said.
  • Section 8 Discrimination
  • Eviction
  • San Diego
Fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the US housing market is anything but fair. In stark contrast to the racially and economically integrated neighborhoods envisioned by 1960s-era reformers, the United States housing market today is characterized by striking inequality: precipitously rising rents accompanied by high rates of eviction and homelessness in US cities, along with exploding luxury construction marketed to the wealthy.
  • Tenant organizing
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
When Congress enacted a powerful new tax incentive that encourages investors to funnel capital gains into economically distressed areas, community leaders immediately began sounding alarm bells fearing gentrification. The concerns are particularly acute in already fast-growing tech hubs like Seattle and San Francisco.
  • Affordable housing
At the corner of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street in East Harlem, in front of a closed Pathmark grocery -– “Pat ark” is all that remains of the name -- real estate broker John McGuinness paints a vision of the near future. The Pathmark transforms to a Trader Joe’s or a Fairway. Then come condos and affordable rentals, retail, offices.
  • Beyond California
When Amazon announced last month that it plans to open one of its two new corporate hubs in Crystal City, Virginia elected officials were exuberant. Gov. Ralph Northam called the company’s decision “a big win” for the state, and Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said it affirmed the county’s commitment to various priorities: “sustainability, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and diversity.” The swath of Northern Virginia where Amazon is set to move even got a new, unofficial name—“National Landing”— heralding its future.
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing

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