News and Views
December 13, 2018
It was a stifling mid-August afternoon when Jennifer learned she had until the end of the year to move out of her cramped studio apartment in the East Village of downtown Long Beach. She suspected the eviction was coming. For the past year, she had been looking for a new place as her landlord slowly remodeled her modest building, the place she’s called home for more than 13 years. He knew she could not pay the increase in rent, so he told her it was time to go. Jennifer, who is in her 50s, qualified for Section 8 low-income housing and searched futilely for an opening in the area.
Several tenants at a Merced mobile home park say they unnecessarily got eviction notices about two weeks before Christmas. Tenants said a representative of Storz Management Company, which manages the Sierra Portal park just off of Highway 140, put up at least 18 eviction notices on Monday at the park designed for people 55 years old or older.
In all directions, from the corner where I live in the Mission, there are signs. “For Sale,” and “Open House” advertisements appear at a regular, relentless speed, and often foreshadow the removal of families, artists, immigrants and low-income residents. So much more than a mere list, these are people, part of a community, and naming the trend of evictions, mysterious fires and small business closures as simply “inevitable change,” ignores the racial and economic casualties underlying the phenomenon of gentrification.
December 13, 2018
Los Angeles has adopted sweeping regulations that will restrict how long people can rent out their homes using Airbnb, as well as which properties they will be allowed to list with the home-sharing service.
December 4, 2018
A planned tenant housing relief measure was put on hold by city officials Tuesday in the face of potential litigation. The Santa Cruz City Council had scheduled a special meeting with two items on its agenda this week, scrambling to fit in some final legislative acts prior to the term expiration for three of seven members this month. Both a proposed 90-day minimum eviction notice requirement from landlords and lengthier decision on rules to ease development of homeowners’ secondary granny flats, however, were taken off the agenda after brief public comment for each.
November 11, 2018
Sacramento’s relative affordability has attracted streams of people fleeing the high rents and housing prices in the Bay Area. Along the way, California’s capital city has become less affordable.
November 8, 2018
The defeat of a ballot measure that would have allowed for the expansion of rent control across California has buoyed landlords and left tenants pinning their hopes on the state’s new governor for relief. Proposition 10 failed resoundingly with nearly 62% of voters rejecting the initiative as of results tallied Wednesday. The initiative would have repealed the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which bans cities and counties from implementing more aggressive forms of rent control. The result means those prohibitions remain in place.
Proposition 10, the proposed initiative to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, was stymied at the state ballot Tuesday thanks to an unprecedented $74 million in real estate industry opposition money, but there were also victories for rent control at local ballots across California.
Tenants Together has issued an open letter calling on the California Apartment Association and other groups representing California landlords to publicly condemn a rash of unethical and retaliatory rent hikes, evictions, and voter intimidation tactics to undermine support for Proposition 10, repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, and its presence on the November 2018 ballot.
August 16, 2018
San Francisco’s YIMBY Action is facing a difficult choice, one that may define the group for years to come. Will the champions of “build, build, build” endorse Proposition 10, the state ballot prop that would repeal rent control advocate’s most pernicious roadblock, Costa Hawkins?
August 16, 2018
Proposals to force Bay Area cities to allow housing development at BART stations and to help those squeezed by the new federal cap on tax deductions were among the bills to survive the latest round of cuts Thursday at California’s Capitol. “Building housing near major transit hubs just makes sense,” said Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, who is carrying the BART bill, after his hotly debated Assembly Bill 2923 cleared Thursday’s committee hurdle.
August 15, 2018
This past February, Elizabeth McGriff, a resident of Rochester, New York, moved back into her home at 618 Cedarwood Terrace. It was no small act, following a foreclosure local housing activists deemed unjust, prompting more than five years of bank negotiations, eviction blockades, rallies, acts of civil disobedience, prayer services, lockouts and a “live-in,” in which McGriff and others moved back into the house after sheriff’s deputies removed her belongings.
The newest fight for state-level tenant protections was ignited by an old pamphlet.
Kathy and Kim Suszczewicz thought they would gain peace of mind when they moved into a three-bedroom rental home in a neat north Phoenix neighborhood in 2016. The family was rebuilding from losing their life savings, car and house after Kim was diagnosed with an aggressive blood cancer that required years of treatment and lost his engineering job.
Menlo Park is in the process of developing an ordinance that, if passed, could require landlords who evict tenants without cause or impose rent increases over a certain level to give cash to those displaced. While the city's Housing Commission discussed the terms of such a potential ordinance on Aug. 8, it left some matters still unresolved. The plan is to conduct public outreach before the matter is brought to the City Council, according to Clay Curtin, interim housing and economic development manager.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday moved to impose temporary rent caps on mobile homes. The vote comes amid a broader, controversial push to remove barriers to rent control across California in response to rising housing costs. In a 3-1 vote, supervisors approved temporary caps on so-called space rents — the price park owners charge residents to keep their homes on the premises. The ordinance, which will come back for final approval next month, would be in effect for 180 days and limit rent increases to 3% a year for leases of 12 months and less.
August 14, 2018
Back in spring, Berkeley’s rent board jumped out in front of San Francisco on a vote that could bring the most significant change to California housing in decades. A grassroots campaign had just announced it had gathered enough signatures for Proposition 10, a statewide November ballot measure to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. The 1995 state law took power from local governments, restricting their ability to enact or expand rent-control laws. In San Francisco, voters could face a similar measure next year.
It's been an exciting and challenging summer for California tenants. The good news: through our collective power, we are fighting back. Here's just a slice of the work Tenants Together and our members, partners, and allies are doing this summer!
July 17, 2018
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Landlord Attack on Rent Control Fails to Qualify for 2018 Ballot Mountain View Rent Control Measure Survives Deceptive Repeal Campaign
July 11, 2018
The real-estate industry-backed effort to undermine Mountain View rent control failed to gather enough signatures to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. The so-called “Mountain View Homeowner, Renter, and Taxpayer Protection Initiative” would have placed a poison pill in the 2016 Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act, also known as Measure V, effectively eliminating the applicability of rent control to tenants across the city.