News and Views

On Thursday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo endorsed SB 50, the proposed new law that aims to create more dense housing near major transit lines in California, as did the mayor of Stockton, Michael Tubbs. Introduced in December, the bill, written by SF-based State Sen. Scott Wiener, is a follow-up to the very similar but unsuccessful SB 827. According to Wiener’s office, the bill “eliminates hyper-low-density zoning near transit and job centers.”
The city of San Jose is closely monitoring mobile home evictions after complaints came from residents saying they are getting pushed out for minor infractions. Last summer, Karen Carpenter got an eviction notice from the Winchester Ranch mobile home park where she has lived for six years. The reason? “Minor clutter, some old paint cans and some weeds,” she said. Carpenter admits that she was sick last summer and couldn’t get outside to work during her first seven day notice.
  • Eviction
  • Santa Clara
Leaks, excessive debris, a lack of heat and hot water, broken front doors – rent-stabilized tenants in Greenpoint say their landlord is trying to push them out of their homes with constant construction projects that have resulted in poor and unsafe living conditions. The construction-related issues at 97 and 99 Clay St., a cluster of four buildings with a combined 25 apartments, have prompted a mass exodus of tenants, according to George Manatos. Now, only five tenants remain.
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Beyond California
  • Eviction
Patrick Greene could soon see his rent double. The 70-year-old man lives with his wife, Karen, in a two-bedroom apartment in Montgomery, Alabama. He pays $460 a month for the apartment, and the rest of his $940 rent is normally covered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Due to the stalemate in Washington, D.C., however, his landlord informed tenants that she hasn't received the government funds. "We literally have no idea what's going to happen," Greene said, adding that he and wife live off around $1,500 a month.
  • Rent increases
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
January 16, 2019
As Seattle’s median income has continued to rise in recent years, high-rent burdens have plagued lower-income renters, some of whom are falling behind on rent. A September 2018 report by the Seattle Women’s Commission and the Housing Justice Project of the King County Bar Association showed that 86.5 percent of the nearly 1,500 Seattle residents who faced eviction proceedings in 2017 had failed to pay their rent.
  • Beyond California
  • Eviction
The Committee to House the Bay Area (CASA) process has come to a close. The proposal will now move forward through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and the state legislature. The policies that come out of this process will impact housing, development, and displacement in the whole Bay Area and perhaps even the state.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
Hundreds of local renters are getting nervous after finding out their federal housing subsidies have expired in the wake of the government shutdown. After three decades working as a legal secretary, Sandra Anderson retired but couldn't afford to live in San Diego. Fourteen years ago, she moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Columbia Tower downtown, which gets subsidies directly from the Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD. "I love it! I couldn't afford to live anywhere else," said Anderson.
  • Rent increases
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
Just before Christmas, Tracy heard a sharp knock on the door of the Chittenden County home she shares with her two young boys. A sheriff's deputy handed the 28-year-old nursing assistant a legal notice indicating that she was being evicted from her apartment for nonpayment of rent and needed to be out by January 3. "It was like, 'Merry Christmas! Find a new home,'" recalled Tracy, who declined to be identified by her real name for fear of further jeopardizing her housing.
  • Eviction
Half of California’s renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing— housing experts call it “rent burdened.” A third of the state’s renters are considered “severely burdened” because they spend half of their paycheck on rent. And rents in the state keep going up. So, what rights do tenants have when the landlord asks for more? KPBS’s Amita Sharma reached out to two experts for their perspective.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Eviction
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, Jan. 15, to spend $5 million to prevent housing discrimination, including drafting an ordinance to prohibit landlords from denying renters who use Section 8 vouchers. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl recommended doing more to enforce and expand protections offered by federal fair housing laws in place for decades.
  • Section 8 Discrimination
  • Los Angeles
Rents are likely to rise faster for older, class-B apartments in 2019 than for any other class of apartment property. We expect Class-B to continue to have the strongest average rent growth, as it has through recent history,” says Andrew Rybczynski, senior consultant at research firm the CoStar Group.
  • Rent increases
Dozens of families are facing the risk of homelessness after receiving eviction notices from one of Britain’s biggest and most controversial buy-to-let tycoons. Fergus Wilson is giving 90 households in Ashford, Kent two months to get out after he decided to sell his 700 property portfolio in the county estimated to be worth more than £200m. He is expected to issue hundreds more evictions in the coming months before retiring to “take life easy”.
  • Beyond California
  • Eviction
Gov. Kate Brown supports a bill that would limit how much Oregon landlords could increase rents and eliminate no-cause evictions of long-term tenants, her office said Friday. Brown believes those ideas “are innovative and will give renters some peace of mind,” spokeswoman Kate Kondayen said. The endorsement increases the likelihood Oregon will enact notable tenant protections amid a housing shortage after failing to pass similar laws in 2017.
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
Adrianne Todman remembers sitting across the table from landlords and hearing what they really thought of the Washington, D.C., Housing Authority. "We asked, 'What drives you nuts?'" Todman says, and the landlords had been willing to answer.
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing
A Miami campaign called Smash the Slumlords started years ago when low-income tenants were fighting absentee landlords who had let their property devolve into a moldy, leaky health hazard. But the name reflects the fighting spirit that is needed to get any sort of affordable housing done in a hot real estate market.
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing
December 19, 2018
Oakland didn't build much new housing from 2009 to 2016, but in the last two years the city has experienced a historic housing construction boom. According to the Oakland Mayor's Office, as of December, there were 8,641 units of housing under construction in The Town, with another 7,898 units in the pipeline (approved or proposed). When those apartment buildings and high-rises are completed, Oakland not only will have a new skyline, but the city will have easily surpassed it regional housing goals for the next five years.
  • Affordable housing
December 18, 2018
The City’s transit agency is telling RV dwellers to drive off into the sunset. It’s a major reversal for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which previously pushed back against banning oversize vehicles where homeless people slept. Now, with The City exploring new ways to help that specific homeless population, the SFMTA is preparing signage saying “no” to oversize vehicles on specific city streets. And the tiny street where the latest round of the battle over homeless residents living in RVs began, De Wolf Street, is among them.
  • Affordable housing
  • San Francisco
Tiffany Brown tells Spectrum New 1 when she rewinds back to 2008 her life was full of chaos. Addiction, homelessness and not being able to see her children on a regular basis haunted her life. A decade though later she's reinvented herself and what she sees for her future.
  • Beyond California
  • Affordable housing
December 18, 2018
Since the publication of his book Evicted in 2016, sociologist Matthew Desmond has become the best-known chronicler of a quiet epidemic sweeping the United States today: eviction. Drawing on the book’s fine-grained account of how eviction plays out in Milwaukee, the country’s most segregated city, he has since sought to assemble a more panoramic, national picture of this crisis as the founder of the Eviction Lab, based at Princeton University.
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
Beginning in January, landlords who rent three or more units in unincorporated Marin will be required to have a “just cause” for evicting tenants. The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an ordinance that creates the new requirement. Supervisors did so after years of lobbying by housing advocates who called for them to take more effective action to address the critical shortage of affordable housing in Marin. “I am supportive of the ordinance as drafted; I think it’s been very carefully crafted,” said Supervisor Katie Rice.
  • Eviction
  • Marin

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