News and Views

Dozens of renters gathered in Vancouver on Sunday to voice their concerns and find strategies for more secure and affordable housing. They were at the first annual convention for the Vancouver Tenants Union at the Russian Hall. The union launched in April with the hope of signing up thousands of members to be a collective voice for residents facing eviction and unfair rent increases. "We sort of came together to launch the Tenants Union with a few demands," said organizer Kell Gerlings.
  • Tenant organizing
  • Beyond California
San Diegans are rallying behind rent control. On Sunday, the group San Diego Tenants United held a march in Point Loma advocating for affordable rent and against "slumlords." Organizers say tenants of The Village Apartments have been asking management to make changes for months about several problems including cockroaches in units and harassment by a maintenance manager. San Diego Tenants United offers free information sessions about renters' rights in both English and Spanish.
  • Tenant organizing
  • San Diego
November 26, 2017
It’s been a year since the Fall River Catholic Diocese took over the homeless shelter on Winter Street, but shelter coordinator Karen Ready can’t get over the number of older people who are ending up on the mattresses at St. Joseph’s House. “I’m a little bit alarmed at how many elders are coming to shelter and what we can do,” Ready said. “It’s a very bitter pill for me to swallow.”
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing
Rent rates have spiked across so much of Bedford-Stuyvesant that even non-attorneys are finding a way to profit off evictions. Richard Cabello, who spent 26 years working in real estate, claims to have launched the first business dedicated solely to helping landlords navigate and expedite the eviction process. His firm Quick Evic’s revenue has exploded since Cabello launched it out of a suitcase in 2015.
  • Beyond California
  • Eviction
Future residents of the proposed teacher housing complex slated for development in the Sunset District could have their tenancies capped at seven years, the San Francisco Examiner has learned. In an effort to address school district vacancies and high teacher turnover as a result of San Francisco’s high rents, The City and the San Francisco Unified School District joined forces in developing the Francis Scott Key Annex — a district-owned plot of land at 1351 42nd Ave. — into up to 150 affordable homes specifically for educators.
  • Affordable housing
  • San Francisco
How much will you pay for your next apartment? With Rentberry, that all depends — on how much you’re willing to bid. The new real estate website is shaking up the Bay Area’s housing market by encouraging potential renters to bid on homes the way they would on designer handbags or celebrity autographs on Ebay.
  • Rent increases
  • Finding/applying for rental housing
As Senate leaders move closer to taking a floor vote next week on their version of the Republican tax reform measure, Los Angeles County leaders have directed their lobbyists in Washington, D.C. to oppose provisions of their proposal.
  • Affordable housing
  • Los Angeles
Organizers with San Diego Tenants United say the time for rent control in San Diego is now and that too many people are being displaced by rising rent costs. They've gathered over 8,000 signatures on a change.org petition to implement rent control in the city. "People are getting priced out of their homes, they're getting displaced, to the degree where you're seeing mass displacement," said organizer Rafael Bautista. "We're making homeless people by not creating rent control in San Diego."
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • San Diego
Flanked by cameras, the activists marched into the glossy lobby of the downtown building and demanded to speak to the general manager. The Olive Street building, they argued, had been approved by the city as condominiums and then turned into an “illegal hotel.” The website for Level Furnished Living advertises luxury suites that rent for hundreds of dollars a night. After a string of people recounted their housing woes, they handed over a letter for company executives.
  • Demolition/conversion of rental housing
  • Los Angeles
Adrian Bonilla lived in a shared house in this Silicon Valley town with his wife and two grandchildren until earlier this year, when the rent for their bedroom jumped to $1,200 from $900 a month. Mr. Bonilla attributed that rise to Facebook, which is based nearby and was growing. So Mr. Bonilla, a 43-year-old mechanic and Uber driver, bought a 1991 recreational vehicle and joined a family-oriented R.V. community on a quiet cul-de-sac. They lived there until last week, when Mr. Bonilla received an eviction notice.
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
  • San Mateo
As Bay Area residents and others flock to Sacramento to escape the housing crisis, low-income renters in the capital find themselves on shaky ground. In its first-ever analysis of gentrification in the city, UC Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project found that an astonishing 95,000 low-income households live in Sacramento neighborhoods that “are already undergoing or are at risk of becoming hotbeds of displacement.
  • Rent increases
  • Sacramento
The 2018 ballot is shaping up to be a voter referendum on rent control in Los Angeles County. Affordable-housing advocates already have filed a proposed ballot initiative that would allow for the creation of new rent-controlled units in California for the first time in 20 years. And local activists in four cities in Los Angeles County — Inglewood, Long Beach, Glendale and Pasadena — have filed or are preparing to file rent-control ballot initiatives they hope to put before voters in November 2018.
  • Rent control
  • Los Angeles
The main adversaries over the Measure V rent control law -- the Mountain View Tenants Coalition and the California Apartment Association -- are both facing investigations by the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
  • Rent control
  • Santa Clara
Political compromise, like beauty, lies very much in the eye of the beholder. That was made excruciatingly clear late last week, when a special task force made up of landlord and tenant representatives voted in favor of a handful of measures designed to provide greater protection to renters living in the City of Santa Barbara. Although the final vote was unanimous, there’s still deep disagreement among the factions about just how much the landlords gave up and how much the tenants stand to gain.
  • Rent increases
  • Eviction
  • Santa Barbara
Following steps taken by tenant advocacy groups in Long Beach and Glendale, a Pasadena group has filed preliminary paperwork to place a rent control initiative on an upcoming ballot. The Pasadena ballot measure would limit rent increases, force the city to adopt just-cause eviction policies — which limit the reasons a landlord can evict a tenant — and establish an independent rental housing board.
  • Rent control
  • Los Angeles
The Pasadena Tenants Union will soon begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative to cap rent increases at 4.5 percent per year and require landlords to pay moving costs if a tenant is evicted without adequate cause. Union members started the process last week, and they’ll need more than 12,000 signatures to get the charter amendment before voters in Nov. 2018. The group is pushing for an initiative because they found little support from city leaders, according to Nicole Hodgson, a member of the union and one of the filing parties.
  • Rent control
  • Los Angeles
California Gov. Jerry Brown’s extension on the price-gouging ban stimulated much debate and confusion at the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board meeting Tuesday night.
  • Rent increases
  • Alameda
For everyone who has ever passed one of this city’s sprawling homeless encampments and wondered how to help, Mayor Libby Schaaf has an answer — open your door to someone in need of shelter.
  • Affordable housing
  • Alameda
emperatures in the Central Valley are dropping at fall gives way to winter. But for many families that also means enduring another winter in substandard housing, a problem that the City of Fresno says it has been working to fix since the passage of a new rental inspection ordinance in February. That ordinance was supposed to set up a process for city inspectors to check most rental housing units in town to build a database and make sure living conditions are healthy and safe.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Fresno
The Pasadena Tenants Union said on social media that it is behind the filing of papers last Wednesday notifying City officials of the intended public circulation of a petition supporting a new City Charter Amendment which would create rent control in Pasadena. The “notice of intent to circulate” the petition was signed by three people who did not state their affiliation with any group. On Friday, on Facebook, the Pasadena Tenants Union acknowledged it had “filed for Rent Control and Just Cause in the City of Pasadena for the November 6th, 2018 election.”
  • Rent control
  • Los Angeles

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