News and Views

Nearly half the renters in the Bay Area struggle to meet high housing costs, despite an influx of wealthier workers into the market, a new survey found. A study by Apartment List, a rental website, found nearly 1 in 4 renters in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and surrounding areas were severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on rent. About half of Bay Area renters are considered economically burdened, spending over 30 percent of their paychecks on shelter.
  • Rent increases
  • Affordable housing
Federal Cuts Undermine Local Efforts It’s only been two months since California passed fifteen housing bills to address its affordable housing crisis, and the federal government is again up to its old tricks. The GOP tax bill reduces investment in affordable housing by $22 billion, while the massive cuts in HUD funding remain part of the budget proposal. We have seen this scenario before.
  • Affordable housing
The tax plan proposed by Congressional Republicans will likely decimate production of new affordable rental housing, even as housing shortages across the country are driving rents higher and taking ever-larger shares of Americans’ incomes. The plan released last week by the House Ways and Means Committee preserves a well-regarded program called the Low Income Housing Tax Credit — but effectively guts it. That’s because about half of all low-income housing credit development is done in conjunction with private activity bonds, a financing method that the plan scraps.
  • Affordable housing
A new study suggests lower-income renters in Vallejo are being replaced by higher-income ones. The Apartment List study finds that more than half of Vallejo renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. This is significantly fewer than just a few years ago, indicating that the area’s economic demographics may be changing. “As the U.S. renter population nears 44 million households — or 37 percent of U.S. households — and rents increase nationwide, rental affordability remains an important concern,” according to the latest Apartment List report.
  • Affordable housing
  • Solano
For the next six months, Oakland landlords won’t be able to raise rents on properties under rent control after making repairs to them. Oakland and San Francisco are the only two cities in the state that have “substantial rehabilitation exemptions” to rent stabilization ordinances, according to a report supporting the moratorium proposed by City Council members Dan Kalb and Rebecca Kaplan. Council members voted Tuesday to impose the moratorium on granting the exemptions.
  • Rent control
  • Alameda
President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, which controls both houses of Congress, are pushing their agenda of massive tax cuts for the wealthy. This comes at a time when most Americans are living in or near poverty and housing is increasingly expensive. One regressive policy that is being revisited is the mortgage interest deduction (MID). The MID is a tax benefit that benefits rich, predominantly white, households and does not benefit lower-income, rent-burdened households.
  • Affordable housing
Housing advocates are seeking to take the issue of rent control directly to voters after they say repeated calls on local leaders to enact basic renter protections in Long Beach have gone unanswered. Housing Long Beach Executive Director Josh Butler, along with other community activists, walked into City Hall Wednesday morning to start the process to qualify a ballot measure for the November 2018 election. “Sixty percent of Long Beach residents currently rent their homes, and they deserve stability,” Butler said in a statement.
  • Rent control
  • Los Angeles
The third-largest city in the United States, Chicago, is home to more than 2.7 million people, 22 percent of whom were living in poverty as of 2016. In some communities on the South Side and West Side of the city, the poverty problem affects between 40 to 60 percent of residents. Among the many issues facing these 1.3 million Chicagoans with incomes at or below the poverty line, finding and keeping an affordable place to live is one of the most pressing—and increasingly difficult as the city transforms.
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
With property values steadily rising throughout Los Angeles, it isn't too surprising that building owners and landlords are looking for ways to charge 2017 market-rate rents on some of the approximately 624,000 rent-controlled units in the city — that estimate coming from the rent control division of the city's housing agency.
  • Relocation payments
  • Los Angeles
Portland voters decided overwhelmingly Tuesday not to adopt a form of rent control. With all precincts reporting Tuesday evening, Question 1 on the city ballot was defeated by a nearly two-to-one margin. According to unofficial results, the vote was 13,466 to 7,595, or 64 percent to 36 percent, against the rent stabilization ordinance. Thirty-seven percent of the city’s 56,205 registered voters turned out to cast ballots.
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
Another proposed solution is for the city to seek grant opportunities for new housing development. But the City Council is not running a small local nonprofit organization reliant on grant funding. The City Council is responsible for the sixth largest city in the U.S., with the fourth largest homeless population. The fact that the City Council proposes grants as a solution to the affordable housing crisis is concerning, given the severity of our housing and homelessness crisis.
  • Affordable housing
  • San Diego
Chris Raudenbusch lost his rental home and just about everything he owned when a wildfire swept through his Santa Rosa neighborhood in October. "My girlfriend was renting the house. I had just recently moved in to help her with the rent because her roommate had left," Raudenbusch said. "We grabbed, grabbed the animals and took off. We had no warning -- no nothing."
  • Rent increases
  • Sacramento
As the main breadwinner, Martha Simmons has always worked hard to support her family. But when her landlord raised the rent of the home she rents with her adult daughter, Charitie Bolling, who is disabled, Bolling’s husband and their three small children at 1140 Ingerson Ave., the 60-year-old was forced to take on three security jobs just to stay afloat. “Right now, I’m working seven days a week, 16 hours a day to keep roof over our head,” said Simmons, whose $3,300 rent was raised to $4,700 last year.
  • Costa Hawkins Act
November 6, 2017
After rent stabilization measures received mixed results around the Bay Area in the last election, voters in Pacifica will have their turn on Tuesday. Volunteers who have been campaigning since the summer hope to convince homeowners, a group that makes up the majority of the city’s population, to vote for Measure C, which would limit how much landlords could raise rents. Gloria Stofan, a resident since 1966, volunteers with Fair Rents 4 Pacifica. She said that, after speaking to four people, two said they’d vote no on Measure C, one said yes and one was undecided.
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • San Mateo
State officials are taking action against a Queens landlord who threatened tenants with eviction unless they could show they were in the country legally, the Daily News has learned. The State Division of Human Rights plans to file a formal complaint Monday against Dr. Jaideep Reddy, the owner of a Corona building where residents received notices telling them to provide, among other things, proof of their immigration status.
  • Beyond California
  • Discrimination
Last Tuesday we mobilized to attend the first-ever State Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee informational hearing on “The Housing Affordability Crisis: Exploring the Effects of Renter Displacement” and asked you to contact your local state representatives to demand the repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Costa Hawkins Act
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
October 31, 2017
From September 18-24th, over one hundred organizations took part in over 55 coordinated actions and assemblies across the country for the #RenterWeekOfAction. While the week itself was striking, the brewing and growing national housing justice movement behind it signals a dramatic shift in the fight for safe, secure, sustainable, affordable housing for all people in the country.
Philadelphia is taking steps to protect renters from unfair evictions amid what Mayor Jim Kenney has described as a “housing crisis due to a shortage of safe and affordable housing.”
  • Beyond California
  • Eviction
he petition filed at the beginning of this month to introduce a form of rent stabilization in the city of Glendale hit an administrative setback last week as the city clerk’s office deemed the filing of more than 11,000 signatures invalid due to compliance issues with state election codes.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Los Angeles
With renters becoming 60 percent of city residents and median rent on Craigslist pushing $3,000 per month, students at UC Santa Cruz are talking with community members about a rent control campaign in 2018. A representative of the Santa Cruz Tenant Organizing Committee announced the campaign at the end of “No Place Like Home,” showcasing a survey of 1,737 renters around the county by UCSC faculty and undergraduate researchers attended by 600 people at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Thursday night.
  • Rent control
  • Santa Cruz

Help build power for renters' rights:

Sign up for alerts