Beyond California

Seattle Moves to Ban Criminal Background Checks for Renters

Seattle wants to make it easier for formerly incarcerated people to find a home. Today, the City Council is likely to pass a new ordinance that, with few exceptions, would prohibit landlords from screening potential tenants based on past convictions or arrests. With an average of 85 people per month being released from prison and into homelessness in Washington, the Fair Chance Housing ordinance is a new approach for a city grappling with housing and homelessness crises. [UPDATE: The City Council approved the ordinance unanimously.]

Residents Told to Leave Homes Owned by Investment Firms

Tenants of a south Co Dublin apartment complex have objected to being told to leave their homes by the agent for the two global investment firms that own the block.

PwC, which is acting as receiver for the companies that own St Helen’s Court in Dún Laoghaire, has issued the 17 families and tenants who live in the block with notices to vacate their homes so the complex can be refurbished. They will have an opportunity to re-rent an apartment after the work has been completed, according to the receiver’s letter.

Philadelphia's Vanishing Affordable Housing

Few facets of our society offer a better display of the depravity of capitalism than the housing industry.

Recently, the Grenfell Tower tragedy killed hundreds of poor people and displaced hundreds more in London. In the United States, we have also seen the displacement of thousands, if not millions, in the wake of the financial crisis. While entire city blocks lay vacant, people sleep on the street or bounce from place to place in search of permanent housing.

Rent Hikes Slow Around the Country, But Surge Again in Seattle. What's Going On?

Finally, after several years of punishing rent hikes, the pain is finally coming to an end for renters across the country.

Except in Seattle.

New reports show that rents throughout the Seattle area continue to surge at among the highest rates in the country. Meanwhile, other pricey cities like New York and San Francisco are now seeing rents drop, while the average U.S. rent has basically remained flat.

New Tenant Protections Are Likely to Die in the Oregon Senate

As Oregon continues to grapple with an affordable housing shortage, the Oregon Senate appears ready to kill renters' best hope for new protections in this year's legislative session.
Over the weekend, speculation began spreading online that Democratic senators didn't have the support to pass House Bill 2004. With the clock running out on this year's legislative session, it looks like the legislation will die in committee.

"I can confirm that there is not a path forward for House Bill 2004," says Rick Osborn, a spokesman for Senate Democratic leadership.

Solution to Help Tenants Avoid Eviction Lags in Maryland

For nearly two decades, Judge Marcia Sikowitz has presided over landlord-tenant disputes in one of New York City's busiest housing courts.

In a borough where rapid gentrification has sent rents soaring, Sikowitz says, she has heard it all — and said it all. When a renter who was representing himself in an eviction proceeding would ask her advice, the judge had a rote retort: "I'm not your lawyer and I can't tell you what to do."

Students Set Up Investigation Service Into Glasgow's Rip-Off Landlords

UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW students fed-up with high rents for rubbish flats and financial malpractice by rogue landlords are taking matters into their own hands by establishing a vetting service of local accommodation lets.

A voluntary network of students organised by the university’s Student Representative Council have established a “Private Accommodation Viewing Service (PAVS)” to check that advertised accommodation “is safe to live in”. Armed with a check-list of enquiries, landlords will be questioned on the return of deposits and the safety of student flats.

As Cities Look to Get Greener, Lower-Income Residents Fear Gentrification

By many measures, the effort to convert old elevated railway on Chicago’s Northwest Side into a signature park has been a smashing success.

The 2.7-mile recreation trail, known as The 606, built on old Chicago & Pacific Railroad line has been praised as a model use of public space since it opened two years ago. It's regularly packed with bikers, joggers and walkers.

Homelessness in Spain Is On the Rise, and Owners Are Getting Rough as They Try to Get Squatters Out

Veronica and her three small children live in a modernist building in a quiet, working-class Barcelona neighborhood. The apartment is perfect for the young family, except for one thing: They are living there illegally. Veronica, who declined to give her last name for fear of eviction, is among the thousands of people squatting in vacant apartments throughout Spain.

Cuomo Orders State Investigation Into Landlords Discriminating Against Immigrant Tenants

Gov. Cuomo has ordered a multiagency investigation into whether landlords across the state are discriminating against immigrants — including asking them to prove their citizenship or face eviction.

The Daily News reported exclusively on Sunday night that 23 apartments in a building on 42nd Ave. near Junction Blvd. in Corona, Queens had received such a letter.

“If you fail to comply, we may have to terminate your lease and may have to evict you from the apartment,” the notice read.

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