News and Views

A powerful landlord’s group has sued to block a rent-control law passed by voters in the Bay Area city of Richmond this past fall, the group’s second fight in a month over voter-approved measures many believe could address the area’s housing crisis.
  • Rent control
For tenants in Jared Kushner’s buildings, seeing their landlord get a top position in the White House is as nightmarish as Donald Trump becoming president is for most New Yorkers. "It’s disgusting. It’s insane. It’s ludicrous," Mary Ann Siwek, who’s lived at 170 East 2nd Street for more than thirty years, said after Trump, Kushner’s father-in-law, tapped him to be an official senior adviser. "I don’t know how to tell you how despicable this man is."
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
Just days before Christmas, Bernadette Bohan was at home in the Mission District warehouse where she lives when a fire inspector showed up at her door. Someone had filed a complaint against the Box Factory, an arts space Bohan has run and lived at since 2008, in the wake of a warehouse fire in Oakland that killed three dozen people last month. “I had a scary feeling getting a complaint,” Bohan said, remembering that the complaint left her with a “lump in her throat” during her trip to the East Coast over the holidays.
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • San Francisco
January 11, 2017
Rents continue to skyrocket. People continue to get evicted. Poor residents and people of color continue to be pushed out of the city. People are moving here faster than new units can be built.
  • Rent control
  • Beyond California
  • Eviction
To show how the legal skirmish over Measure V could have played out differently, Mountain View's rent control advocates are pointing across the Bay to the city of Richmond.
  • Rent control
  • Santa Clara
In releasing a state spending plan for the next fiscal year, Gov. Jerry Brown revisited efforts to increase new housing through legislation that would streamline permitting and create incentives for local governments to meet housing goals.
  • Affordable housing
January 6, 2017
Richmond, CA—This morning the California Apartment Association moved to file a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Measure L, the rent control and just cause for eviction ordinance that was passed by 64% of Richmond voters this November, and went into effect on December 30th, 2016. The City Attorney’s Office in Richmond mounted an effective defense against the TRO, and it was rejected at 10:30am this morning by Judge Raddick at the Martinez courthouse.  
  • Rent control
  • Contra Costa
December 21, 2016
(photo from Burnt Ramen protest on 12/20/16 in Richmond)   On December 30th, 2016  Richmond, CA's new rent control and just cause protections will go into effect. We need to ensure that tenants in Richmond at risk of eviction know of these protections and have access to the resources to understand them.
  • Rent control
  • Eviction
  • Contra Costa
December 8, 2016
Today Causa Justa :: Just Cause, a community tenants’ rights organization in Oakland and San Francisco, and Tenants Together have released the following joint statement in response to the “Ghost Ship” warehouse fire in Oakland and the current wave of evictions in Oakland and beyond:
  • Retaliation/harassment
  • Tenant organizing
  • Housing conditions/habitability
  • Eviction
  • Alameda
A major test of rent control as a way to solve the Bay Area’s affordable housing crisis met mixed results at the polls last week. Initiatives to establish formal rent-control programs appear to be on track to pass in Mountain View and Richmond but failed in San Mateo, Burlingame and Alameda. All were placed on the ballot by citizens who collected enough signatures.
  • Rent control
Now that Measure V has passed, Mountain View officials are trying to figure out how to implement a citywide rent-control program, a complicated endeavor that could require creating a new branch of staff at City Hall. Mayor Pat Showalter is reportedly calling for a special meeting to consider an urgency ordinance to prevent a potential backlash of evictions before rent control takes effect, by enacting just-cause protections for tenants.
  • Rent control
  • Santa Clara
“Now we have to work to overturn the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act at the state level in order to have truly effective renter protections,” Vann said. In the race for the at-large City Council seat, Kaplan won with 53.25 of the vote, defeating challengers Peggy Moore (19.58 percent), Bruce Quan (16.67 percent), Matt Hummel (6.60 percent) and Nancy Sidebotham (3.73 percent).
  • Rent control
  • Alameda
November 10, 2016
More than 8,000 people in San Francisco have been evicted from their homes over the past four years, but hundreds of those residents may have been wrongfully evicted, according to an analysis by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit. Landlords can legally evict their tenants for one of 16 reasons, including failure to pay rent and housing too many roommates. One of the fastest growing evictions, however, allows landlords to kick out their tenants if they, or, in some cases, their relatives, want to move into the home.
  • Eviction
  • San Francisco
Landlords renting property in unincorporated Marin are now prohibited from discriminating against people using Section 8 housing vouchers and other third-party housing subsidies. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to adopt a “fair housing” ordinance after conducting a second reading and public hearing on the new law.
  • Section 8 Discrimination
  • Marin
November 9, 2016
A Trump presidency is alarming to California as a whole, and to California renters in particular. The majority of California tenants are women and from communities of color.
  • Rent control
  • Eviction
Tenants of an apartment complex in Redwood City, California, sued its new owner in Federal Court this week, claiming the company bought the property with the intent of kicking out Latinos and appealing to young white and Asian workers in the tech industry. The Buckingham Apartments Tenants' Association sued 180 Buckingham Property and its parent company, Trion Properties, claiming they violated the Fair Housing Act by buying a Latino-dominated apartment complex intending to evict them to make way for white tech workers.
  • Eviction
  • San Mateo
Blanca Retano is one of many Richmond tenants to experience a significant shake-up in their monthly rent this year. This past April, her landlord bumped it up $300-a-month, which jumped the price of her two bedroom to $1,400. She wants to move, but she says it's difficult to find a place for her husband and four kids for less than $2,000 a month. "It's unjust," she told the Express in Spanish, via a translator. She said the landlord doesn't pay attention or fix things, either, which makes it worse. "Hay cosas destruidas, ratones, cucarachas — tenemos muchos problemas con animales."
  • Rent control
Leketha Williams was out of options. When the Oakland, California, mother was evicted and became homeless in May of 2010, she had just enough money to book a hotel for her and her two sons, then aged seven and 12. In the following weeks, she worked to get her children to school on time each morning before carrying all of their belongings from one temporary home to the next, often forced to make dinners for the family out of hotel microwaves.
  • Eviction
  • Alameda
The Sebastopol City Council, worried about pre-emptive rent hikes as it embarks on a study of tenant protection measures expected to last weeks or months, will consider adopting an emergency moratorium Tuesday that would temporarily cap rent increases at about 3 percent a year. The emergency proposal would require four of five council members to vote for approval. If adopted, it would take effect immediately for 45 days, with the possibility of successive time extensions totaling two years altogether.
  • Rent increases
  • Rent control
  • Sonoma
San Mateo and Burlingame residents are boasting some pretty valuable votes this election as more than $1 million has been raised and spent to win them over in a heated battle regarding rent control. Thursday marked the deadline for advocates on both sides to submit campaign finance forms that revealed large amounts of money are being funneled into these two relatively small-city elections. San Mateo’s Measure Q and Burlingame’s Measure R have garnered significant attention from donors across the country and at home.
  • Rent control
  • San Mateo

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