News and Views

A landlord has agreed to pay more than $1 million to tenants who were evicted after a fire swept through their illegal apartments in a warehouse space in the Inner Mission District in 2014, the first legal settlement related to the rash of fires that have displaced residents in the neighborhood over the past four years.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • San Francisco
Glendale affordable housing advocates have been forced to start over on a ballot initiative which would have forced limits on rent increases throughout the city, After turning in 11,000 signatures to the Glendale City Council on Oct. 3, the Glendale Tenants Union learned on Oct. 11 that the City Clerk had rejected their petition because it did not comply with state election laws.
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • Los Angeles
The race is on for the chance to become the home of Amazon's second headquarters. The Greater Sacramento Economic Council announced the region's bid for Amazon's second headquarters Wednesday morning outside Golden 1 Center. Sacramento is among a number of cities -- San Diego, Houston and Minneapolis to name a few -- competing for the headquarters. Amazon says they'll hire as many as 50,000 employees with an average annual salary of more than $100,000. Proposals are due midnight Thursday.
  • Rent increases
  • Sacramento
California’s statewide tenants’ rights organization warned on Wednesday that double-digit rent increases following recent wildfires violate Penal Code 396, the state’s anti-price gouging laws. The cap on rent increases was triggered by the Governor’s declarations of states of emergency in nine counties due to wildfires. Tenants Together is holding a webinar at 10am-11am on October 26, 2017, for media, policymakers, lawyers, and organizers on the issue. To sign up for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/RentBan
  • Rent increases
Stacey Falls, a science teacher at Santa Cruz High School, has been keeping a nervous eye on rents in recent years, as she’s watched friends and colleagues move away. Falls, who sat on the high school’s hiring panel, says Santa Cruz High won’t even consider candidates who would have to relocate to Santa Cruz “because it would be too challenging.”
  • Rent increases
  • Affordable housing
  • Santa Cruz
Steve Kalmbach was in a meeting in the conference room at his Pleasanton office when he looked through the glass windows to find a crowd of unwelcome visitors in the reception area. Some were his tenants from a Deep East Oakland neighborhood — there to protest his doubling of their rents. “He got really angry and didn’t want to talk to us so we put fliers all around his office,” said Jorge Rojas who rents a two-bedroom house on 76th Avenue with his wife, two children and two dogs. The cops showed up and told the tenants to leave.
  • Rent increases
  • Alameda
Palo Alto's foray into rent stabilization blew up at the starting line Monday night after the City Council majority struck down a proposal from three council members to strengthen the city's tenant-protection laws.
  • Affordable housing
  • Santa Clara
A landlord with buildings all throughout New York City flouted housing discrimination laws and made it extra tough for families with small kids to find places in their properties, according to a Brooklyn federal lawsuit filed Monday. The Parkoff Organization allegedly lied to African-Americans about availability and rental rates in at least one Brooklyn apartment, turned back applicants with public rent assistance elsewhere and made children undergo unnecessary lead tests.
  • Beyond California
  • Discrimination
The fast-moving fires that ripped through Northern California last week worsened a problem North Bay officials have struggled with for the past two years: A severe housing shortage that is pushing poor and working class residents out as prices continue to rise.
  • Affordable housing
The day before a Bay Area affordable housing complex opened up its waiting list, seniors formed a line at the entrance of the building, which quickly spilled into the street. The older adults stayed all day—despite sun so intense that staff supplied water—and camped overnight, recalled Priscilla Haynes, the executive director of the Santa Clara Methodist Retirement Foundation.
  • Affordable housing
Rent stabilization for mobile home parks may soon return to the city. The Vallejo City Council voted 6-0 during its Oct. 10 meeting to hold on first reading an ordinance which would protect those living in mobile home parks from excessive rent increases. To make the action final, the council must approve an ordinance for a final time at a future meeting. Then 30 days after the final vote, the ordinance becomes active. The move comes after city officials discovered it had inadvertently repealed its rent stabilization ordinance for mobile home parks in April 2016.
  • Rent control
  • Solano
Today, the “housing package” passed by the state Legislature was signed by Governor Brown. Two bills - SB 2 and SB 3 - will raise desperately needed funds for affordable housing. AB 1505, known as the “Palmer Fix” and previously vetoed by Governor Brown, will at long last restore the authority of local government to require a percentage of affordable housing units in new rental housing developments. Together, these bills will help get back some of the affordable housing funding that California has lost thanks to drastic cuts under the Brown Administration.
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Affordable housing
We're blown away.
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • Costa Hawkins Act
  • Ellis Act
  • Affordable housing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maria Zamudio, Causa Justa :: Just Cause 805-617-6359 - maria.i.zamudio@gmail.com   Momentum Grows for Rent Control: Hundreds to Attend Statewide Tenant Conference
Legislation sponsored by the California Apartment Association to impede voters from passing local ballot measures on key land use issues is dead for this year, thanks in part to the growing power of California’s tenant rights movement. The bill was tabled yesterday by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Now you’ve pissed off grandma.” “Correct the folly! Reinstate rent control.” “No loophole! Rent control.” So read some of the mostly hand-made signs held aloft by a couple dozen senior citizens and veterans gathered in front of Vallejo City Hall on Monday in protest of the city’s inaction in re-instating a rent stabilization ordinance accidentally repealed last year. People like Sandra Wickers, 83, who has lived in a Vallejo mobile home park for 28 years, and Marie Dunham, 84, who has made the same park her home for 40 years, were there Monday.
  • Rent control
  • Solano
“I’m paying $950 [for rent per month] there, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed [that it doesn’t go up],” said Cat Mendoza on August 26. She lives off of 44th Street in City Heights, just a couple blocks away from the “Know Your Tenants Rights/Conozca sus Derechos de Inquilino” meeting that she attended with three others. “It’s increased from $700 [per month],” said Mendoza, 32, “and it’s comparatively lower than certain areas — but we still have a lot of stuff that needs to be fixed.”
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • San Diego
State leaders have finally woken up to the affordable housing crisis raging throughout California. A slew of housing bills were introduced this year with different approaches to the problem. The governor and real estate companies sought deregulation of high-priced housing construction, while affordable housing and community advocates pushed for what families being priced out of neighborhoods need most urgently: funds to build more homes that low-income people can afford and removal of state constraints on local affordable housing and anti-displacement policies.
  • Affordable housing
A new state law designed to battle bedbugs requires California landlords to provide tenants with written information about these blood-sucking, tenacious pests and how to report suspected infestations to the landlord. The disclosure requirement took effect for new tenants July 1 and will apply to existing tenants Jan. 1.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
Erin Blackwolf is a veterinary technician with two kids, two cats and a dog living in a 280-square-foot rental in Felton that costs $1,400 a month. Since November, Blackwolf, 41, who is divorced, has been looking for a two-bedroom rental for $1,800 but landlords are wary of pets. “I’m not willing to let my best friends go,” she said. She looked on Craigslist, where she found scams. She posted on Facebook, trying to team up with another family, but found landlords uninterested.
  • Rent increases
  • Santa Cruz

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