News and Views

About 15 Glendale residents — mostly renters and at least one property owner — gathered last week for the third time to form the early makings of a group called the Glendale Tenants Union, an organized voice for tenant issues to professionally counter landlords in a city where about two-thirds of its residents are renters. The meeting was led by former Glendale City Council candidate and renter Mike Van Gorder, along with fellow renters Karen Kwak and John Bagdzhyan, in the community room at Fire Station 21, near downtown.
  • Tenant organizing
  • Los Angeles
By many measures, the effort to convert old elevated railway on Chicago’s Northwest Side into a signature park has been a smashing success. The 2.7-mile recreation trail, known as The 606, built on old Chicago & Pacific Railroad line has been praised as a model use of public space since it opened two years ago. It's regularly packed with bikers, joggers and walkers.
  • Beyond California
A Santa Monica tenant facing an eviction threat after installing a Ring doorbell on her front door will be allowed to stay in her home and keep the device, thanks to an intervention by the CEO of Ring himself. Ring is a Santa Monica-based home surveillance company lead by Jamie Siminoff. Shortly after the Santa Monica Daily Press published a story about a single mom receiving an eviction notice for installing a Ring camera, Siminoff gave Jessica Katz a call.
  • Eviction
  • Los Angeles
A plan for 10,000 new housing units in the North Bayshore development set to feature a huge new Google campus has been slashed to include as few as 1,500 units. A draft plan released by the city in October called for creation of three new neighborhoods totaling 154 acres with 9,850 housing units, 20 percent of them classed as “affordable.”
  • Santa Clara
In the expensive housing markets of northern California, a growing number of cities are making it tougher for landlords to displace tenants by requiring they justify their evictions. Now Los Angeles, with its own housing affordability crisis, may follow their lead. The City Council's housing panel on Wednesday advanced a proposal that would bar evictions except for just cause — such as when tenants don't pay rent, become a nuisance or damage property. Right now, landlords of market-rate properties in L.A. don't have to give a reason for removing tenants.
  • Eviction
  • Los Angeles
Low-income renters who are displaced from their homes tend to experience many adverse impacts in other areas of their lives, a recent study that focused on San Mateo County residents shows. Such displaced renters are left with fewer job options and health services, longer commutes and greater environmental and safety concerns, according to a study by researchers Justine Marcus and Mirian Zuk with U.C. Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies.
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
  • San Mateo
In a first step toward addressing the production and preservation of affordable housing in Milpitas, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a 45-day moratorium on demolition permits for below-market rate units.
  • Demolition/conversion of rental housing
  • Santa Clara
June 19, 2017
Gov. Cuomo has ordered a multiagency investigation into whether landlords across the state are discriminating against immigrants — including asking them to prove their citizenship or face eviction. The Daily News reported exclusively on Sunday night that 23 apartments in a building on 42nd Ave. near Junction Blvd. in Corona, Queens had received such a letter. “If you fail to comply, we may have to terminate your lease and may have to evict you from the apartment,” the notice read.
  • Beyond California
Veronica and her three small children live in a modernist building in a quiet, working-class Barcelona neighborhood. The apartment is perfect for the young family, except for one thing: They are living there illegally. Veronica, who declined to give her last name for fear of eviction, is among the thousands of people squatting in vacant apartments throughout Spain.
  • Beyond California
If you’re a renter in California concerned about the high cost of living here, or looking to purchase your first home, your prospects aren’t looking up. Projections show rents will continue to surge, especially for low- and middle-income people in places like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, and home prices will become increasingly expensive, according to an economic analysis in the Anderson Forecast from the University of California, Los Angeles, released this month.
  • Rent increases
  • Affordable housing
A coffee shop that opened last week on a busy commercial strip in Boyle Heights has prompted days of protest from groups opposed to it as a symbol of creeping gentrification in the neighborhood. A crowd of activists set up a picket line at the entrance to the shop on Thursday, urging would-be customers not to enter and taunting those who did with words like “sellout,” “colonist” and “collaborator.” They have returned every day since.
  • Affordable housing
  • Los Angeles
The appalling destruction of Grenfell Tower and the lives of so many who lived there has exposed what society, in its heart, already knows: our housing cannot continue to be subject to the market’s desires, needs or fluctuations. If some housing is regarded as being more valuable, more desirable, corners will always be cut in the places where there is less financial return. The same goes for people: the most disadvantaged always suffer most from the mistakes of the powerful.
  • Beyond California
Los Angeles ranked among the top cities for "cost-burdened" renters in the latest "State of the Nation's Housing" report from Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies. Greater L.A., including Orange County, was grouped with Miami, New York, Daytona Beach, Riverside and Honolulu when it comes to metros with the biggest rent problems.
  • Rent increases
  • Affordable housing
  • Los Angeles
June 16, 2017
It’s becoming harder for urban-dwelling Texans to find an affordable home to buy or decent place to rent as house prices outpace salaries, the income gap between renters and owners continues to widen and the number of high-poverty neighborhoods increases.
  • Beyond California
Gentrification and a callous disregard for public safety led to the fire that claimed the lives of 17 people.
  • Beyond California
On Monday, San Diego’s City Council dealt a blow to Mayor Kevin Faulconer after voting 5-4 against bringing a higher hotel tax to a public vote. The move, supported by Faulconer, would have brought in an additional $10 million annually toward reducing the city’s deepening homelessness crisis. The defeat hasn’t shaken all advocates, amid reports that Faulconer’s office didn’t have a concrete spending plan for that total.
  • Affordable housing
  • San Diego
Santa Rosa, CA—Last night the campaign to repeal Santa Rosa rent control, which was passed by Santa Rosa City Council in 2016, defeated the grassroots ballot initiative “Measure C” to defend rent control. In the same night, the Alameda City Council approved the addition of a just cause for eviction policy, a major win for tenants. Now landlords in Alameda have to cite a fair reason to evict tenants. The win in Alameda highlights the resilience of tenant activists and will inspire other cities in the midst of rent control campaigns.  
  • Rent control
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Eviction
Michelle Dillon couldn’t move out. The 32-year-old southern Seattle resident first started looking for a new apartment when her landlord raised the rent in 2015. It began with a $50 hike and kept climbing. By December 2016, the cost of her modest dwelling had ballooned from from $1,360 to $1,650 a month. “I was making about $1,200 a month,” says Dillon, who worked for a nonprofit in the city at the time. “After I paid rent and all my bills, I had about $200 left over for groceries.” This wasn’t sustainable.
  • Beyond California
A landlord group is set to sue the city of Seattle in hopes of reversing a new law that allows renters to pay smaller move-in fees and pay their deposit in installments. The City Council in December voted unanimously to cap move-in fees at apartments and other rentals, hoping to bring relief to tenants already dealing with rising rents.
  • Beyond California
Joann Nieves spent the first week after her eviction sleeping in her Chevy pickup with her three young sons. “It was kind of uncomfortable,” said Jacob, 11, her oldest. To her youngest, 6-year-old Anthony, “it was scary.” Things have improved since then. Nieves, 36, now sleeps on an air mattress on the living room floor of her boyfriend’s mom’s house in Santa Ana, while her sons share a bed in one of the bedrooms. Each morning, she drives her sons to Anaheim so they can stay in the same school, then stops off on her way home to check out apartments for rent.
  • Finding/applying for rental housing
  • Eviction

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