OAKLAND – Surrounded by dozens of legislative leaders, working families and rent advocates in the East Bay, on Tuesday Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a series of bills to fight a key cause of our state’s housing crisis – rent gouging and evictions. Central to the package is AB 1482 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to establish a 5 percent annual rent cap, plus inflation, coupled with just-cause protections – the strongest renter protections in the nation.
“About a third of California renters pay more than half of their income to rent and are one emergency away from losing their housing,” said Governor Newsom. “One essential tool to combating this crisis is protecting renters from price-gouging and evictions. The bills signed into law today are among the strongest in the nation to protect tenants and support working families.”
Passing a strong renter protection package was a top priority for the Governor. In his first week in office and again in his State of the State address, he called on the Legislature to come to an agreement on a series of bills to protect renters from rent gouging and unfair evictions.
“We need new rules to stabilize neighborhoods and prevent evictions, without putting small landlords out of business,” said Governor Newsom in his State of the State Address. “I want the best ideas from everyone in this chamber. Here is my promise to you, get me a good package on rent stability this year and I will sign it.”
Governor Newsom kicked off his statewide rent and housing production tour in Oakland and signed several pieces of legislation into law to combat the housing and cost-of-living crisis.
Housing affordability has been a top priority for Governor Newsom. The state budget signed in June made a historic $1.75 billion investment in new housing and created major incentives – both sticks and carrots – to incentivize cities to approve new home construction. The budget also provided $20 million for legal services for renters facing eviction as well as $1 billion to help cities and counties fight homelessness.
The high cost of housing and rent has also been the focus of executive action. In the first weeks of his administration, Governor Newsom signed an executive order that created an inventory of all excess state land in order to find parcels to develop into affordable housing, launching partnerships with six California cities in April to develop affordable housing on that land and, last week, announcing the first Request for Proposal on state-owned land will be issued in the City of Stockton.
In addition to AB 1482, the Governor signed the following measures to protect tenants against discrimination and eviction:
- SB 329 by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants who rely upon housing assistance paid directly to landlords, such as a Section 8 voucher, to help them pay rent.
- SB 222 by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) underscores that housing discrimination on account of military or veteran status is unlawful in California by explicitly stating so within the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In addition, by defining a Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) voucher as a source of income for purposes of FEHA, the bill prohibits landlords from discriminating against a tenant on the basis that the tenant pays part or all of the rent using a VASH voucher.
- AB 1110 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) requires landlords to give 90 days’ notice to a tenant before imposing rent increases of more than 10 percent.
- AB 1399 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) closes a loophole in the Ellis Act wherein landlords evict all the tenants from rent-stabilized units in a property, claiming they are leaving the rental market, when they have no plans for the property and are actually trying to raise rent in the stabilized units. The bill clarifies that once any unit is returned to the rental market, the entire property is considered back on the rental market.
- SB 644 by Senator Steven Glazer (D-Orinda) lowers the amount that a landlord can charge service members for a security deposit on residential rental housing.
- AB 1487 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) establishes the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, which will increase affordable housing by providing for enhanced funding and technical assistance at a regional level for new affordable housing production, affordable housing preservation, and tenant protection.
The Newsom Administration has also enforced state housing law – putting more than forty cities on notice that they were out of compliance with state housing requirements and in jeopardy of legal action. In August, the Governor unveiled a proposal to create a permanent fund to provide legal support to Californians facing eviction or foreclosure.
Governor Newsom will continue his rent and housing tour with stops in San Diego and Los Angeles tomorrow. He will take action on bills intended to spur housing production.
Senior Tenant Sues Santa Monica Landlord to Stay in Her Home
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 […]
Apply for Affordable Senior Housing at LGBT Center’s McCadden Campus
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:
- 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
- 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.
CA Lawmakers Say Limiting Development Fees Combats Housing Crisis
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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This Just In…
- Beverly Grove Man Charged for COVID Relief Loan Fraud
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day
- WeHo Webinar: Loneliness, Isolation, Depression, and Anxiety During Pandemic
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