News and Views

A 98-year-old woman is being evicted from her Ocean Beach home after living there for nearly three decades. Betty Morse moved into her tiny Ocean Beach cottage back in the late 1980’s. After her husband died, she needed a place she could afford. “I was by myself, but I managed,” Morse said. “I could walk to work.” Morse said the rent was about $100 when she moved in. “It was a beautiful place to live because you could walk to the beach and watch the sunset,” she said.
  • Section 8 Discrimination
  • Eviction
  • San Diego
Fifty years after the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the US housing market is anything but fair. In stark contrast to the racially and economically integrated neighborhoods envisioned by 1960s-era reformers, the United States housing market today is characterized by striking inequality: precipitously rising rents accompanied by high rates of eviction and homelessness in US cities, along with exploding luxury construction marketed to the wealthy.
  • Tenant organizing
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
December 14, 2018
Cities where a lot of people spend more than one-third of their income on rent are more likely to experience homelessness crises, according to a new report by a team of researchers from the University of New Hampshire, Boston University, and the University of Pennsylvania. The report, which was released on December 11 and was sponsored by the real estate website Zillow, analyzed 386 real estate markets across the country and found that increases in rent prices in less affordable areas make the homelessness rate rise faster.
  • Affordable housing
When Congress enacted a powerful new tax incentive that encourages investors to funnel capital gains into economically distressed areas, community leaders immediately began sounding alarm bells fearing gentrification. The concerns are particularly acute in already fast-growing tech hubs like Seattle and San Francisco.
  • Affordable housing
At the corner of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street in East Harlem, in front of a closed Pathmark grocery -– “Pat ark” is all that remains of the name -- real estate broker John McGuinness paints a vision of the near future. The Pathmark transforms to a Trader Joe’s or a Fairway. Then come condos and affordable rentals, retail, offices.
  • Beyond California
When Amazon announced last month that it plans to open one of its two new corporate hubs in Crystal City, Virginia elected officials were exuberant. Gov. Ralph Northam called the company’s decision “a big win” for the state, and Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said it affirmed the county’s commitment to various priorities: “sustainability, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and diversity.” The swath of Northern Virginia where Amazon is set to move even got a new, unofficial name—“National Landing”— heralding its future.
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing
Families who receive housing aid in Baltimore and San Jose may soon have a better shot at finding an affordable place to live. That’s good, because right now, their odds are slim-to-none.
  • Section 8 Discrimination
  • Affordable housing
A settlement agreement is expected as soon as next month in a years-long legal dispute over a landlord’s attempt to evict tenants living illegally in units designated for office space, the San Francisco Examiner has learned. Residents living at 1049 Market St. received eviction notices in 2013 from the building’s owner, who had received a notice of violation for allowing tenants to live in units designated as commercial space only, as had been the practice for years.
  • Eviction
  • San Francisco
Many popular carpet brands, including those widely used in affordable housing projects, contain toxic chemicals that put people’s health at risk while in use and when the carpets are disposed of, according to a new report by three environmental advocacy groups.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
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.
  • Rent increases
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
  • Los Angeles
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.
  • Eviction
  • Merced
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.
  • Eviction
  • San Francisco
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.
  • Rent control
  • Affordable housing
  • Los Angeles
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.
  • Eviction
  • Santa Cruz
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.
  • Rent increases
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
  • Sacramento
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.
  • Rent control
  • Costa Hawkins Act
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.
  • Rent control
  • Costa Hawkins Act
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.  
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Rent control
  • Costa Hawkins Act
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?
  • Costa Hawkins Act
  • San Francisco
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.
  • Affordable housing

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