News and Views

In 2017, with virtually no fanfare, the appellate division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court wiped out a critical piece of West Hollywood’s rent stabilization ordinance. The provision allowed tenants to get reimbursed for attorney fees when victorious in standing up for their rights during eviction proceedings. Because of this provision, tenants in West Hollywood were more likely to have a lawyer with them and, consequently, were some of the least likely tenants in California to be evicted and become homeless.
  • Eviction
One day after Orange County supervisors voted to spend more than $70 million to house the homeless, residents in three prosperous cities expressed alarm about a proposal to set up "camp" shelters in their communities. Besides creating permanent housing, the officials' plans call for possible camps in Irvine, Laguna Niguel and Huntington Beach on county-owned land. The Irvine City Council voted unanimously late Tuesday to sue the county to stop the proposal.
  • Affordable housing
  • Orange
"I was surprised by the lack of empathy,” Carrie Merino said. “I would say, ‘I’m a single mom with three kids and I have a job so I can pay the rent. I just don’t have three times the amount of income you require to qualify.’ ”
  • Affordable housing
The Wisconsin Legislature has passed a Republican bill to protect landlords. The Senate passed the measure 18-14 Tuesday. It allows local governments to inspect rental properties only in blighted areas with numerous complaints, decreasing values or increases in single-family home conversions to rental units. If an inspection doesn't reveal a violation or the violation is fixed within a month inspectors couldn't return to the property for five years. Inspection fees would be waived in either case.
  • Beyond California
  • Housing conditions/habitability
The Seattle City Council voted Monday to impose a one-year moratorium on rent-bidding platforms, which allow landlords to take competing bids from prospective tenants and then sign leases with the highest bidders — a little bit like eBay, but for apartments. The council began looking at the platforms after the board of directors of the Associated Students of the University of Washington approved a student-senate resolution calling on the city to ban them.
  • Beyond California
  • Finding/applying for rental housing
Faced with the mounting possibility that a rent control ordinance could get the required amount of signatures to qualify for the ballot this November the Long Beach City Council is taking proactive measures to address questions that surround the proposed policy.
  • Rent control
  • Los Angeles
The Board of Directors of Pasadenans Organizing for Progress voted unanimously Tuesday to fully endorse the Pasadena Tenants Union initiative campaign to amend the Pasadena City Charter to establish rent control. The Amendment would also establish a Rental Housing Board and establish just cause eviction criteria according to which tenants may be evicted.
  • Rent control
  • Costa Hawkins Act
  • Los Angeles
Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker said Tuesday that she and Centro Legal de la Raza have filed suit against a landlord who they allege attempted to illegally increase his tenant's rent by pretending he had moved into the downstairs unit of a duplex. Parker said such schemes have become common as Oakland's housing crisis persists, with some landlords using sham "owner move-ins" as a tactic to evade Oakland's just cause for eviction and rent control laws.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Eviction
  • Alameda
“Rent control is a moral, ethical, and human issue,” said tenant organizer Walter Senterfitt Tuesday evening, in laying out his position at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Pasadena/Foothills Chapter Forum on rent control. Continued Senterfitt, “Rent control is a human right,” as he laid out a brief history of rent control in Southern California. Senterfitt was joined at the speakers table by Allison Henry of the Pasadena Tenants Union and attorney Frank Broccolo.
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • Los Angeles
A City Council request for answers about how rent control could impact Long Beach and its government brought both sides of the issue out to state their cases Tuesday night. Fourth District Councilman Daryl Supernaw brought the matter to the council, saying the city needs answers before a petition drive puts rent control on the ballot. The move was in response to a petition drive organized by Housing Long Beach. The proposition, which is in the signature-gathering stage, would impose rent control citywide.
  • Rent control
  • Los Angeles
A San Diego group is calling for the city to take emergency action to help control the ever-rising cost to rent. San Diego Tenants United plans to speak to the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee during public comment Tuesday. The tenant group will ask the committee to invoke a government code that would slow the rate of rent increase. The group says San Diego policymakers have made it easier to build housing over the last year and now it’s time to start protecting renters.
  • Rent control
  • San Diego
March 20, 2018
Over the last 15 years, criminal activity nuisance ordinances (CANOs) have proliferated throughout the country. CANOs are local laws that penalize property owners if there are repeated incidents of criminal activity on or near their property over a set period of time.
  • Eviction
A real estate analytics firm has some good news for Bay Area landlords — and bad news for tenants: Rents began rising again last year after a brief “cooling off period” in late 2016. “The Bay Area region should register one of its best rent performances since at least mid-2016,” the Texas real estate analytics firm RealPage wrote in a new report for the real estate industry.
  • Rent increases
The battle over rent control in the state and in Sacramento is heating up. A local housing coalition is pushing for rent control and just cause in the city, while five industry groups have announced opposition to the measure. There's also a campaign across the state to repeal a decades-old law that limits where local governments can enact rent control. Volunteers are already collecting signatures to get a rent control related initiative on the California ballot in November.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Eviction
  • Sacramento
California’s newest housing law is about to be tested. Last week, developer West Berkeley Investments (a subsidiary of Blake Griggs) cited SB 35 when filing its application for a controversial project that’s been tied up in zoning and environmental review for the last half-decade. The law allows the developer to bypass local oversight in exchange for making 50 percent of the units affordable, Berkeleyside reports. It’s the first to cite the law since it was enacted in January, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • Affordable housing
  • Alameda
For many low-income Americans, a safe and affordable home is becoming increasingly hard to find. According to The Gap, a new report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released earlier today, at a time when more and more Americans are burdened with above-average housing costs, the Trump administration seeks to cut federal programs that provide housing assistance and support and strengthen public housing infrastructure.
  • Affordable housing
Residents in an apartment complex in Concord claim they are being pushed out by poor living conditions and high rent increases. On Monday, KRON4 spoke with the affected families who took their concerns to City Hall. They are families who say they're living in poor conditions, facing no-cause evictions and unfair rent increases. Stopping by City Hall in Concord, they dropped off papers to have city inspectors tour their apartments and force their landlord to make repairs to problems that the tenants say have long been ignored.
  • Rent increases
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Contra Costa
Residents at an East Bay apartment complex complain they are living in filthy conditions infested with roaches, bed bugs and mold. The tenants living at the Parkhaven Apartments on Clayton Road in Concord are demanding that city officials take action. A group of tenants went to Concord City Hall to make themselves heard on Tuesday, but it turned out the city is already working on the problem. It’s not just one cockroach or bed bug. They are all over.
  • Rent increases
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Contra Costa
The Vallejo City Council on Tuesday will get its first look at proposed amendments to the city’s mobile home rent control ordinance. Last October, the council reinstated rent and vacancy control in the city’s mobile home parks after the original ordinance was mistakenly repealed in June 2016. Changes before the council on Tuesday include creation of a five person ad-hoc committee to hear complaints related to the ordinance, and limiting rent increases for new tenants at fair market rents.
  • Rent control
  • Solano
Every year in Milwaukee, thousands of eviction notices are filed. The state Senate is expected to take up legislation later this month that critics say unfairly favors landlords -- and would increase the number of evictions. Republican proponents maintain it’s about ensuring quality housing for tenants in the most affordable way to landlords.
  • Beyond California
  • Eviction

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