News and Views

With California courts poised to restart eviction and foreclosure proceedings on September 1, Governor Gavin Newsom has scrapped Assembly Bill 1436 in favor of an eleventh-hour legislative deal that may still lead to waves of eviction and displacement during the coronavirus pandemic.  
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Eviction
  With California courts poised to restart eviction and foreclosure proceedings on September 1, Assembly Bill 1436, the last hope in the State Legislature to prevent a catastrophic displacement crisis, faces a steep challenge. AB 1436, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), would prevent foreclosures and evictions for inability to pay rent in full during the COVID-19 pandemic and for a year thereafter. The bill must clear the State Senate and the Assembly by Monday, August 31, the last day of the legislative session.   
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Eviction
A Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled Friday to pull a citizen’s initiative charter amendment from the ballot after the City of Sacramento sued to remove it. The ballot measure, which would have enacted rent control in Sacramento if approved by voters, was validated by over 50,000 signatures from Sacramento residents.
  • Rent control
  • Litigation
  • Legislative victories/defeats
October 8, 2019
Who: United Tenants of Villa Medanos   What: Antioch City Council meeting where tenants will call on council for protections against eviction, harassment, and rent increases by developer and landlord Reliant   When: Tuesday, October 8th – tenants will be available for interviews at 6:30pm   Where: 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch, CA  
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
June 4, 2019
On Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Senate Bill 529 (María Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles), which aimed to prevent landlord retaliation against tenants who form tenant associations, failed to pass the California Senate by one vote. The measure, sponsored by Tenants Together, required 21 votes to pass the Senate.  
  • Tenant organizing
  • Legislative victories/defeats
Today, Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’ rights, announced its sponsorship of Senate Bill 529, which aims to protect California tenants from retaliation by their landlord for organizing collectively. The bill would prevent evictions of tenants participating in a tenant association or rent strike.
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Tenant organizing
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
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 1, 2018   Contact: Shanti Singh, shanti@tenantstogether.org, 415-495-8100 x7  
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Eviction
One statistic is always missing from any debate on California housing: the number of tenants facing eviction annually. Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’ rights, recently obtained and analyzed eviction data from the state’s Judicial Council. Although the Judicial Council collects eviction data, its annual reports do not set forth its eviction data. Given the statewide displacement crisis, Tenants Together requested the raw eviction data which gives an important window into the scope of the crisis.  
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Eviction
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Shanti Singh, shanti@tenantstogether.org   District Attorney Files Felony Charges for Election Fraud Against Signature Gatherers Paid by the California Apartment Association  
  • Rent control
California’s statewide renters’ rights organization today announced its formal support for a proposed state ballot measure to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and allow cities to pass stronger tenant protections. “Tenants Together and our member organizations across the state have been fighting for years to pass local rent control laws and dismantle state barriers like Costa-Hawkins and the Ellis Act,” noted Dean Preston, Executive Director of Tenants Together. “Costa-Hawkins has been a complete disaster and it needs to be repealed now.”  
  • Costa Hawkins Act
California’s statewide tenants’ rights organization warned on Wednesday that double-digit rent increases following recent wildfires violate Penal Code 396, the state’s anti-price gouging laws. The cap on rent increases was triggered by the Governor’s declarations of states of emergency in nine counties due to wildfires. Tenants Together is holding a webinar at 10am-11am on October 26, 2017, for media, policymakers, lawyers, and organizers on the issue. To sign up for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/RentBan
  • Rent increases
Today, the “housing package” passed by the state Legislature was signed by Governor Brown. Two bills - SB 2 and SB 3 - will raise desperately needed funds for affordable housing. AB 1505, known as the “Palmer Fix” and previously vetoed by Governor Brown, will at long last restore the authority of local government to require a percentage of affordable housing units in new rental housing developments. Together, these bills will help get back some of the affordable housing funding that California has lost thanks to drastic cuts under the Brown Administration.
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Affordable housing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maria Zamudio, Causa Justa :: Just Cause 805-617-6359 - maria.i.zamudio@gmail.com   Momentum Grows for Rent Control: Hundreds to Attend Statewide Tenant Conference
Legislation sponsored by the California Apartment Association to impede voters from passing local ballot measures on key land use issues is dead for this year, thanks in part to the growing power of California’s tenant rights movement. The bill was tabled yesterday by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Santa Rosa, CA—Last night the campaign to repeal Santa Rosa rent control, which was passed by Santa Rosa City Council in 2016, defeated the grassroots ballot initiative “Measure C” to defend rent control. In the same night, the Alameda City Council approved the addition of a just cause for eviction policy, a major win for tenants. Now landlords in Alameda have to cite a fair reason to evict tenants. The win in Alameda highlights the resilience of tenant activists and will inspire other cities in the midst of rent control campaigns.  
  • Rent control
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Eviction
Concord, CA—On Tuesday, May 2nd, the city of Concord plans to approve the implementation of a rent mediation program. Mediation is non-binding, so unlimited rent increases will continue to be legal. Tenants and their allies oppose the mediation program because these programs are ineffective at stopping rent gouging.
  • Rent increases

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