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Several months into the pandemic, COVID-19 has spawned 40 million cases across the globe and caused one million deaths. In the U.S. alone, a quarter-million coronavirus fatalities are expected by year’s end. Also in the U.S., gross domestic product sank 11% from the fourth quarter to the second quarter — the biggest drop in economic activity ever seen in the United States. At one point, the unemployment rate approached 15%. Renowned economist Christopher Thornberg reviewed these “eye-popping” numbers Wednesday during the California Apartment Association’s Orange County Outlook 2020 virtual event.

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Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, economist Peter Linneman this week explained why single-family home sales have performed better than he’d expected and some reasons he’s bullish on multifamily. Linneman offered an economic analysis and some predictions during Wednesday’s Walker Webcast: Magic 8 Ball for the Markets, hosted by Willy Walker, chief executive officer and president of Walker & Dunlop. Linneman previously predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would torpedo home sales, and while sales indeed dropped in April and May, it wasn’t the collapse that the economist initially anticipated. He said his earlier assessment missed the phenomenon of “involuntary… Read More

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Renowned economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg, founding partner at Beacon Economics, presents an economic outlook during CAA’s Orange County Outlook event. A copy of Dr. Thornberg’s presentation slides can be downloaded HERE.

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Supporters of extreme rent control have released “misleading” TV commercials promoting Proposition 21, according to fact checks by news media organizations throughout California. Proponents of Prop 21 are attempting to bring back the radical forms of rent control that proliferated in California in the 1970s and ’80s. Their advertising, however, fails to accurately describe the measure or the chilling effect it would have on affordable housing production. KCRA-TV, Northern California’s largest station, called two ads supporting Prop 21 on TV ads “misleading.” Among its criticism: ads say that homelessness would be reduced yet there is no provision in Proposition 21… Read More

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The city of Davis has unveiled a grant program to support residents at risk of displacement due to non-payment of rent related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Tenant Based Rental Assistance Grant Program also aims to offset corresponding lost revenue experienced by landlords. Funds are being awarded to Davis rental households on a first-come, first-served basis upon receipt of a complete application. Yolo County has issued a similar program in support of the unincorporated and the other incorporated areas of Yolo County. The program provides a one-time rent and utilities relief grant directly to landlords on behalf of low-income… Read More

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The city of Sacramento wants community input as it updates its housing strategy for the next eight years. To gather that feedback, the city has created a Virtual Community Plan Area Workshop. The workshop includes multiple-choice surveys asking residents to choose the best policy options to achieve the following: Increase overall housing production Increase affordable housing production Advance equity and inclusion Protect residents from displacement Each survey includes about a half-dozen policy actions, and survey participants are asked to choose their favorite three. On the anti-displacement survey, for example, potential policy actions range from enhancing rent stabilization and eviction protections… Read More

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The list of California newspapers urging voters to reject radical rent control on the Nov. 3 ballot continues to grow. The Desert Sun, Chico Enterprise-Record, the Los Angeles Sentinel and La Opinión, are among the latest papers to editorialize against Proposition 21. “It’s almost identical to Proposition 10 on the November 2018 ballot,” the Chico Enterprise-Record notes. “That lost 59 percent to 41 percent, and there really should be a law against running out the same idea over and over. Rent control doesn’t increase affordable housing. It may protect those who already have rental homes, but it’s a disincentive to… Read More

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Costa Mesa has become the latest city in Orange County to launch a rental assistance program to help tenants affected by COVID-19. The California Apartment Association helped the city of Costa Mesa with the effort, which won City Council approval on Oct. 6. “I commend Mayor Katrina Foley, Costa Mesa City Council, and Assistant City Manager Susan Price for putting this program together,” said Victor Cao, local vice president of public affairs for CAA. “This is much-needed relief for both tenants and independent rental owners.” In addition to its work in Costa Mesa, CAA has partnered with Anaheim, Irvine and… Read More

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The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency is offering emergency rental assistance for residents who have experienced a loss or reduction in wages due to COVID-19. Click image above for flier The Housing and Redevelopment agency is offering the assistance in partnership with the city and county of Sacramento. Applications for the Sacramento Emergency Rental Assistance program will be accepted online Friday, Oct. 9, through Thursday, Oct. 29. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $4,000 in rental assistance via payment made directly to the landlord. The total assistance amount available will depend on household need. To qualify, applicants must: Rent… Read More

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As a service to its members, the California Apartment Association’s Board of Directors has announced its positions on a pair of state propositions appearing on the Nov. 3 ballot:

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