News and Views

September 23, 2016
Advocates for the implementation of a rent control policy joined the like-minded in 45 other cities nationwide, taking to the streets of downtown as part of a national day of action on Thursday, September 22.
  • Rent control
  • San Diego
On Thursday, just days after city officials adopted Denver’s first dedicated affordable housing fund, community organizers marched to demand rent control from state lawmakers.
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
Five Bay Area cities will be voting on whether to implement rent control in November, but a California law has long-restricted rent control statewide. Five cities, five ballot propositions all with the goal of stopping big rent increases and protecting tenants. The proposition in Burlingame says they’ve suffered from unreasonable rent increases, in San Mateo it says exorbitant rent increases, in Mountain View, excessive rental increases, in Richmond it says housing has reached a crisis level, and in Alameda, it says high rents are an immediate threat to the public.
  • Rent control
  • Costa Hawkins Act
Curtis Jeter recalls fearing for his future when his new landlord told him he must move from his South Los Angeles apartment because the building in the gentrifying neighborhood would no longer be for rent. In early August, when Los Angeles developer CIM Group offered the West Adams resident $8,000 if he left his rent-controlled unit within 30 days, Jeter quickly signed a buyout agreement.
  • Eviction
  • Los Angeles
September 23, 2016
Hundreds of tenants and advocates marched through several Boston neighborhoods Thursday afternoon as part of a nationwide rally calling for regulations to protect low- and middle-income residents from being forced out by rising rents. Across from City Hall, organizers from the Right 2 Remain Coalition delivered a symbolic human rights violation citation and eviction notice to the Greater Boston Real Estate Board, accusing the industry group of thwarting affordable housing efforts.
  • Tenant organizing
  • Beyond California
San Diegans marched to city hall to hand over 5,000 petitions calling for rent control and 200 code compliance complaints against slumlords. Renters and activists gathered at 4th and Broadway in downtown San Diego Thursday afternoon. They said they were fed up with slumlords and were demanding action. This rally is part of a national day of action, calling for a freeze on all rent increases and a national livable rent standard to keep rents to 30 percent of a families' income.
  • Rent increases
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Affordable housing
  • San Diego
September 22, 2016
The lack of affordable housing across the country has gained increasing attention in recent months. A report released earlier this year by the personal finance website SmartAsset found that in 12 of the top 15 US cities, rents had increased from 2015 to 2016. In some places, rent prices skyrocketed; San Francisco, Seattle and Miami all had increases of over 7 percent. In Los Angeles, average rental rates went up 17 percent.
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
More than 110 million people in the United States are renters – a reflection of how the American dream of owning a home has increasingly become a fantasy. And many of those renters who cannot afford to buy a house are straining to pay rents that consume more and more of their incomes. According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, one-quarter of renters in the U.S. pay more than half of their earnings on housing.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • Eviction
  • Affordable housing
In a dramatic meeting in mid-September, the Richmond City Council rejected an emergency 45-day moratorium that would have stopped the evictions and high rent increases, a major force that is driving out of this Easy Bay city hundreds of medium and low income residents. The timid resolution proposed by councilwoman Gayle McLaughlin, was defeated with a vote of three against and four in favor. It needed a super majority.
  • Eviction
  • Contra Costa
What if I told you about 110 million Americans, the majority of them eligible voters, facing one of the country’s greatest challenges, who have never been formally organized on a mass scale? What if I told you that, if molded into a political force, they could swing elections, change state and local laws, and force action to resolve a crisis? And what if I told you that the first nationwide effort to build this movement begins today?
  • Tenant organizing
Protesters picketed the offices of the California Apartment Association in Santa Rosa on Thursday to call attention to what they say are fraudulent efforts by petition gatherers trying to overturn the city’s new rent control law.
  • Rent control
  • Sonoma
As housing costs increase across the state, a slim majority of Oregon voters support repealing the statewide ban on rent control — with the most support being in the Portland area. According to a new poll by DHM Research, 52 percent of statewide voters support eliminating the existing ban on rent control. Support is highest in the Portland area, where 58 percent support a change in Oregon laws to allow cities and counties to enact their own rent control policies.
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
Seeking to protect Los Angeles renters from unscrupulous landlords, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted to require landlords to tell tenants of their rental rights during so-called “cash for keys” deals. Under the new law, landlords seeking to remove tenants from rent-controlled properties with cash offers must now draw up buyout agreements with those renters. A copy must be filed with the city. Additionally, tenants may back out of the agreement for any reason within 30 days.
  • Relocation payments
  • Los Angeles
September 21, 2016
WHEN ELENORE WILLIAMS' family of seven moved into a new apartment in 2013 and found it infested with fleas, she says, management’s response was to give her a bottle of Hot Shot insect killer spray. “The landlord did not make repairs,” Williams wrote in court documents. “[The] dishwasher hasn’t worked [in] over a year, my son caught a skin disease called PLEVA from the fleas biting him... Mold in [the] bathroom has not gotten done, which caused my son to [begin] taking a steroid inhaler.”
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • Eviction
September 16, 2016
The article, “Rent control spreading to Bay Area suburbs, to economists’ dismay,” (Sept. 10, 2016), to our dismay does not quote a single economist who has evaluated the ballot measures in question. In fact, economists have not objectively studied rent control as it exists in California. Decades ago economists weighed in on New York’s “classic” rent control and haven’t taken a serious look at the policy since.
  • Rent control
September 14, 2016
Good news! Governor Jerry Brown just signed AB 2819* to protect the privacy, credit, and reputation of tenants who are involved in eviction lawsuits.
  • Credit blacklisting
Nearly 400 tenants eduated on their rights so far... by Sara Linck-Frenz, Hotline & Volunteer Coordinator
The recent decision by federal housing officials to reject a local measure aimed at easing the effects of San Francisco’s housing crisis on low-income and minority residents will further displace some of the city’s most vulnerable communities, the city’s top lawyer said. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) denial of San Francisco’s neighborhood preference plan “is wrong as a matter of law and public policy,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera wrote in a letter to HUD Secretary Julián Castro on Thursday.
  • Discrimination
  • Affordable housing
  • San Francisco
A writ of possession (eviction notice) lay on top of the kitchen counter inside apartment 44 of a multi housing complex located at 2995 Mountain Avenue in San Bernardino. Left behind were empty bottles of liquor, several packages of top-ramen soups, and graffiti with the statement, “YB Nation” scrawled on the walls throughout. Weeks ago on June 6, the apartment’s occupant Branden Ross was evicted, according to San Bernardino County court documents. He’s among several dozen residents who have been removed by property management company MR Investments in the past year and a half.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • San Bernardino
The Glendale City Council will try to tackle the issue of fast-rising rents by securing tenants longer leases to avoid having to suddenly move because of a rent spike and possibly requiring landlords to pay for moving expenses. The direction to city staff came Tuesday night during the latest discussion on the topic of rent affordability.
  • Rent increases
  • Los Angeles

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