San Jose: Renter Advocates on Hunger Strike Until Vote

After 24 hours with no food and with about 100 more to go, hunger striker Jocelin Hernandez on Saturday said it’s a small price to pay to bring attention to an issue that’s too often dodged: renters’ rights in a housing market so hot that it’s frying people out of their homes.

“This isn’t a political issue anymore — it’s a health issue,” Hernandez said. “We’ve tried everything else and are hoping this will get them to pay more attention.”

San Jose City Council to Consider 'Just Cause' Renter Eviction Rule

Despite ranking as one of the costliest rental markets in the nation, San Jose is the last major Bay Area city that lets landlords evict renters without citing a reason — but that could change under sweeping new tenant protections city leaders will consider Tuesday.

Amid mounting pressure from renters, tenant groups and housing activists — including stories of hundreds of renters being kicked out of The Reserve apartments and dozens more evicted at the hands of one landlord — elected leaders are expected to approve some changes.

The Largest Effort to Expand Rent Control in Decades Is on Hold in Sacramento

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a Los Angeles tenant advocacy group, said that despite the delay, the bill’s introduction in itself has created the possibility of changes once considered far-fetched. Before AB 1506, the only repeal bill submitted was one in 2000 that never came up for a vote, according to Bloom’s office.

“It’s the beginning of a groundswell,” Gross said.

San Jose: Protesters Call for Stronger Renter Protections Against No-Cause Evictions

Holding powerful signs and photos of displaced renters, dozens of angry tenants and housing advocates took to the streets Thursday to send a powerful message to City Hall — stop letting landlords evict people for no reason.

“If we don’t get no ‘just-cause,’ they don’t get no peace,” they chanted, walking from Shasta Avenue to the local offices of the California Apartment Association, which has opposed policies that require landlords to provide a legitimate reason for evictions.

In 13 Years, Pasadena's Tenant Protection Rules Only Protected 91 Tenants. Now the City Is Trying to Fix That

Pasadena’s City Council fixed a loophole in the city’s Tenant Protection Ordinance this week and expanded the number of renters who qualify, but the ordinance still does not offer protections to most of the tenants in the city.

Roughly one-half of Pasadena’s residents rent their homes, but only 91 tenants have benefitted from the Tenant Protection Ordinance in the last 13 years.

The average rent in Pasadena is $2,515 per month, according to a report released in March.


L.A. Landlords Exploiting Immigration Fears to Threaten Tenants

In immigrant-heavy neighborhoods like Boyle Heights, community groups have seen a marked uptick in landlords exploiting immigration fears to threaten tenants since the election. Unscrupulous landlords who threaten to call immigration authorities on undocumented tenants are not a new phenomenon, but, as first reported at CityLab, there appears to be a growing trend across California of landlords capitalizing on immigration fears to illegally raise rents or evict tenants.

In California, Landlords Threaten Immigrant Tenants with Deportations

Shirley Gibson’s client was in jeopardy. A mother of three living in San Mateo County in California, the woman had obtained a restraining order against her children’s father for domestic abuse. Her landlord took the opportunity to demand that she sign a new, higher lease. She pleaded with him to let her take the document to an attorney.

“Legally, a victim of domestic violence isn’t required to agree to new lease terms or agree to pay more rent, just because they’re a victim,” says Gibson, directing attorney for the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County.

Rents Rise Anew in Long Beach, Which Cracks the Top 10 List of Cities with Steepest Hikes

Did they raise the rent?

If you live in a Long Beach apartment or rental home, the answer just might be an emphatic, “Yes!”

According to Apartment List, a San Francisco-based online group that analyzes trends in rental housing, Long Beach last month cracked its list of the 10 large U.S. cities with the steepest rent increases over the past year.

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