News and Views

A group of residential hotel owners filed suit against the city of San Francisco Monday seeking to block recently approved legislation intended to make it harder for them to rent rooms to tourists. The legislation, introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin and approved by the Board of Supervisors in February, extends the minimum stay for single-room occupancies dictated in The City’s 1981 SRO ordinance from a week to 32 days in most cases. It also steps up penalties and enforcement for hotels violating city rules.
  • Affordable housing
  • San Francisco
One week after San Jose leaders approved a new law to stop landlords from ousting renters without cause, city records show nine people found eviction notices on their doors — and advocates say dozens more are at risk. Now, city lawmakers are considering immediate enforcement of the new policy against no-cause evictions. The City Council on Tuesday will decide whether to adopt an “urgency ordinance” to enact the rules right away — a move supported by Mayor Sam Liccardo, though he voted against the law last month. The measure appears to have the eight votes needed to pass.
  • Eviction
  • Santa Clara
Grassroots efforts to establish rent control in more California cities could get a boost from the California Apartment Association’s decision to abandon its lawsuits seeking to overturn voter-approved rent-control laws in Richmond and Mountain View. The association, which represents landlords, posted on its website late Friday that it has “suspended its legal efforts” to overturn Measure V in Mountain View and Measure L in Richmond.
  • Rent control
Grassroots efforts to establish rent control in more California cities could get a boost from the California Apartment Association’s decision to abandon its lawsuits seeking to overturn voter-approved rent-control laws in Richmond and Mountain View. The association, which represents landlords, posted on its website late Friday that it has “suspended its legal efforts” to overturn Measure V in Mountain View and Measure L in Richmond.
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
Renters in East LA are planning a march Thursday to demand rent control protections in unincorporated areas of LA County. The Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action, in conjunction with Union de Vecinos and the LA Tenants Union, is organizing the event. Leading the marchers will be Roberto Perez and Carolina Rodriguez, two East LA renters who challenged a 63 percent rent increase in court—and won. A jury decided the rent increase wasn’t justified, as the unit was “uninhabitable.”
  • Rent control
  • Tenant organizing
  • Los Angeles
The California Apartment Association has announced it is dropping its legal challenges to rent control measures in Mountain View and Richmond. The decision was discreetly posted late Friday to the CAA's website. In suspending the lawsuits, CAA officials emphasized that they remained wholeheartedly opposed to rent control. But the decision to abandon the legal challenges was described as a strategic move to take the fight elsewhere.
  • Rent control
  • Santa Clara
Santa Rosans begin voting next week to determine whether the city should implement rent control in a special election that is shaping up to be the most divisive and expensive in the city’s history. A sharply split City Council passed the controversial policy last fall, seeking to address soaring rents and a spike in evictions. In response, local landlords and the statewide organizations that support them funded a petition drive that suspended the law and forced a referendum on the issue.
  • Rent control
  • Sonoma
A year after a group of Latino residents seeking relief from soaring housing costs in the Monument Boulevard neighborhood spurred a debate over rent control, city leaders have established a process for tenants to appeal large rent increases. Under the rent review program, tenants of all buildings with three or more units who receive a rent increase of more than 10 percent in a 12-month period may seek mediation. If the landlord and tenant fail to reach agreement, either party may request a public hearing before a panel that will deliver a nonbinding decision.
  • Rent increases
  • Contra Costa
A proposed law could prevent landlords from threatening undocumented immigrants by telling them they'll contact immigration authorities if they don't move out. The bill that's being considered in Sacramento, would protect illegal immigrants from facing questioning from a landlord concerning immigration status, under the newly proposed measure. The legislation would also prevent landlords from threatening to report tenants to immigration officials.
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Discrimination
Santa Rosa voters face a decision on whether to adopt rent control in Sonoma County's largest city. Here are answers to some of the most frequent questions about Measure C. Who would be affected by Santa Rosa’s rent control law? Anyone living in an apartment built before Feb. 1, 1995, would be covered by rent control and just-cause eviction rules. People who rent single-family homes, duplexes or owner-occupied triplexes would not be covered. How many people is that?
  • Rent control
  • Eviction
  • Sonoma
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
April 28, 2017
Tenants Together monitors legislation in Sacramento that impacts California renters. We are currently monitoring dozens of bills in an unusually crowded state docket. There are hundreds of bills in the legislature this year as the state attempts to address our housing crisis. We are also supporting bills to protect tenants more broadly from threats at the federal level. Click on the bill name to see the text and follow its status as it moves through the legislature.   Currently, TT supports the following bills:
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Legislative victories/defeats
  • Costa Hawkins Act
In October 2015, Scherrie and Langston Donaldson received a cryptic notice from their landlord, labeled “preferential rent credit removal.” At first glance, they weren’t sure what to make of it. “As you know, we have been billing you at a preferential rent for your 2013-2015 lease,” it read. “Unfortunately, at this time we are no longer able to extend this courtesy to you.”
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
It’s been over a month since San Francisco strengthened its law protecting SRO housing, and it’s already working. Introduced by Supervisor Aaron Peskin last December and later co-sponsored by Supervisors Cohen, Kim, Safai, and Sheehy, the new law was designed to stop the common but illegal practice of renting residential SRO rooms to tourists by the week. Now the law is crystal clear that residential units cannot be rented for less than 32 days.
  • Demolition/conversion of rental housing
  • San Francisco
Housing activists in Pasadena are asking the leaders of Fuller Seminary to re-read the Bible, especially this passage from Jeremiah: “Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness and his upper rooms without justice.” The theological school is pushing a plan before the city’s Planning Commission this Wednesday that would destroy almost 200 units of affordable housing and replace them with 307 units of luxury housing. The prophet Jeremiah would be outraged. And so should all people of conscience in Pasadena, regardless of their religion.
  • Affordable housing
  • Los Angeles
It’s been well over a month since Measure S was defeated, but concerns raised by the contentious ballot initiative are still fresh in the minds of L.A. politicians. Two lawmakers, Council member Mike Bonin and Council member Bob Blumenfield, are asking the city to throw its weight behind a California state assembly bill amending the Ellis Act so that every tenant would receive a one-year notification prior to eviction.
  • Ellis Act
  • Los Angeles
It’s no secret that the Bay Area has become increasingly unaffordable for many workers because of the soaring cost of housing. But a recent study gives a glimpse into just how much the region’s sky-high rents are gobbling up the paychecks of one core segment of its work force: teachers.
  • Affordable housing
The following is a Truthout interview with Peter Moskowitz, author of How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood. Mark Karlin: How do you define gentrification?strong
  • Affordable housing
To Yountville leaders trying to learn how much local housing is dirty or dilapidated – or being used as illegal tourist getaways – compiling a list of all the town’s rentals has seemed a logical step. But a proposal to require landlords to register their units with the town has stirred pushback from property owners fearing another part of the plan – mandatory inspections of all units, whether owned by scofflaws or those sticking to the law.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Napa
Amid skyrocketing rents and a housing crisis, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday signed and praised a new law that aims to strengthen enforcement of the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The law will require landlords who demolish rent-controlled units under the Ellis Act to either replace them one-for-one with affordable units or make 20 percent of new units affordable, depending on which is higher.
  • Relocation payments
  • Rent control
  • Ellis Act
  • Los Angeles

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