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Affordable Housing

AHF Says Rental Affordability Act Hits 500,000 Signatures

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Rental Affordability Act Hits Another Major Milestone with 500,000 Signatures

SACRAMENTO — In less than three months, California rent control advocates have gathered more than 500,000 voter signatures in favor of the Rental Affordability Act, the statewide ballot measure that allows local communities to expand rent control.

The Rental Affordability Act allows local governments to expand their rent control policies to housing that is more than 15 years old, allows local governments to limit the rent increase for a new tenant who moves into a vacated unit and exempts single-family homeowners of one or two homes from any rent control law.

In addition to the 503,737 signatures, a recent poll conducted by A/B Consulting and commissioned by AIDS Healthcare Foundation found that 75 percent of likely and extremely likely voters support the Rental Affordability Act.

AHF says that voters are sending a strong message to state legislators that they want real rent control in California. The Legislature may be forced to hold hearings no later than 131 days before the November elections.

“Californians want urgent, long-term solutions for the housing affordability crisis.” — René Christian Moya

“Californians want urgent, long-term solutions for the housing affordability crisis,” said Housing Is A Human Right Director René Christian Moya. “The Rental Affordability Act allows real rent control in California, and protects middle- and working-class residents from predatory landlords, whose unscrupulous actions have fueled gentrification and the housing affordability crisis.”

Housing Is A Human Right and AIDS Healthcare Foundation are leading the effort to place the initiative on the November 2020 ballot.

The California State Legislature recently adopted AB 1482, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019. The bill sets a precedent for state action against skyrocketing rents by providing a minimum standard of protection statewide. Proponents feel that the bill does not go far enough.

State restrictions remain intact, preventing cities and counties—including Los Angeles and San Francisco—from enacting stronger rent control policies.

Advocates are urging state legislators to act more urgently and come up with substantive legislation that truly protects tenants from predatory landlords, such as repealing or reforming the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995, the state law that places onerous restrictions on local rent control policies.

“New York State legislators passed sweeping, statewide tenant protections this year,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Yet California politicians continue to give tenants inadequate half measures. It’s insulting and outrageous—the housing affordability and homeless crises continue to turn people’s lives upside down.”

California voters can visit an AIDS Healthcare Foundation location to give their signature for the Rental Affordability Act.

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Affordable Housing

Senior Tenant Sues Santa Monica Landlord to Stay in Her Home

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photo by Benjamin Massello

SANTA MONICA (Santa Monica Daily Press)– A 72-year-old woman with disabilities who has lived in the same Santa Monica studio for 38 years has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against her landlords.

In the suit filed Monday, St. James v. Bills, tenant Zandra St. James charges that her landlord violated state law by refusing to accept her housing choice voucher to offset her monthly rent. As a result, St. James faces eviction.

St. James’ apartment is rent-controlled, but with annual incremental increases. The rent has risen to the point that it now demands more than 90 percent of her monthly Social Security disability check.

She was awarded a housing choice voucher in 2019 and immediately sought to use the subsidy to help pay her […]

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Affordable Housing

Apply for Affordable Senior Housing at LGBT Center’s McCadden Campus

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LOS ANGELES — The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out that applications for new affordable senior housing will be accepted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Senior Services program for the forthcoming McCadden Campus senior housing site, which will offer 98 new, affordable, low-income units designed for people who are ages 62 and over.

The LGBT Center’s McCadden Campus senior housing is anticipated to be completed in fall 2020 and will feature studios and one-bedroom rentals.

There will be fully accessible units for people with mobility hearing, and/or vision disabilities. Future residents will be welcomed into the LA LGBT Center’s wide range of community programming specializing in HIV+ wellness, gender identity, and LGBT social and cultural support.

Other services will include meals, case management, employment training, and more.

The new senior housing site will be located adjacent to the Center’s Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Senior Center at the Anita May Rosenstein Campus on N. Las Palmas Avenue in Hollywood, just east of the City of West Hollywood, and is a project of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Thomas Safran & Associates.

The City of West Hollywood contributed $2.1 million to the project from the City’s local housing trust fund. Applications will be accepted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center until Wednesday, March 4.

There will be three opportunities for community members to submit applications in person in the City of West Hollywood:

  1. Monday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard; and
  2. Wednesday, March 4 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

The City of West Hollywood has a decades-long commitment to providing social services, health education, and information to community members in-need and to improve quality of life. The City’s Social Services Division and Strategic Initiatives Division budget more than $5 million annually to support programs that impact thousands of people in West Hollywood through local nonprofit organizations.

The City’s Aging in Place/Aging in Community program was launched in 2016 to improve the quality of life and well-being of older adults in the City. For additional information, please visit weho.org/aging.

The City of West Hollywood’s Rent Stabilization & Housing Division promotes equity and inclusion through access to housing, and by working to change the underlying systems leading to and perpetuating disparities.

The Division provides a breadth of information and services to both tenants and property owners, including housing counseling and information materials. The City facilitates the development of new housing with an affordable component, the rehabilitation of existing housing for lasting affordability, and the development of mixed-use projects that include affordable housing units. For additional information, please visit weho.org/housing.

For more information about programs and services for seniors in the City of West Hollywood, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Social Services Division at (323) 848-6510 or visit www.weho.org/wehocares.

For more information about McCadden Campus senior housing, please contact the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Senior Services program by calling (323) 860-5830 or visit http://mccaddencampus.

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Affordable Housing

CA Lawmakers Say Limiting Development Fees Combats Housing Crisis

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Photo by Sacha T'Sas

SACRAMENTO (AP) — In their latest bid to combat California’s affordable housing crisis, state lawmakers on Monday announced a package of bills to limit development fees that can add tens of thousands of dollars to the price of a new home.

However, local governments depend heavily on the fees, which typically are used to pay for schools, roads and parks. Lawmakers said they were discussing those needs but have not yet decided how the fees might be replaced.

The fees are “vital to local government’s ability to pay for the infrastructure that residents living in new developments need,” Chris Lee, legislative representative for the California State Association of Counties said in a statement. He said counties are glad to […]

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