News: Tri-County

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The Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday rejected “rent control in disguise” in favor of a more reasonable tenant relocation measure. The rejected proposal, labeled Alternative B, proposed to limit rent increases and restrict an owner’s ability to evict tenants unless the owner paid the tenant up to four times the monthly rent. It was developed by the city’s Housing Commission and modified and endorsed by Mayor Pro Tem Cecelia Taylor and Councilwoman Betsy Nash. Alternative B was criticized as “rent control in disguise” and failed to receive the three votes needed to pass. Instead, the City Council majority adopted… Read More

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The Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday offered a mixed response to a potential tenant-relocation policy that includes a form of rent control and directed staff to return with two alternative versions of the proposal. The council took these steps during a study session on the potential ordinance that included nearly two hours of public testimony coming mainly from of concerned rental housing owners, many wearing yellow badges that said “Responsible Housing Providers.” Under the Housing Commission’s proposal, relocation fees would be triggered when rent increases over 5 percent plus CPI prompt qualifying renters to move. The resulting penalty would… Read More

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The California Apartment Association has helped stave off a number of negative rental housing policy proposals for two cities on the San Francisco Peninsula. In January, members of the South San Francisco City Council publicly denounced rent control, and Half Moon Bay’s council deferred action on a relocation-assistance proposal and other worrisome policies. On Jan. 9, the South San Francisco City council held a workshop on “tenant protections” and strategies to address displacement resulting from rising rents, renovations and substandard housing.

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In a well-intentioned but unnecessary step, the San Jose City Council on Thursday passed an emergency ordinance to protect furloughed federal workers from eviction. Under the legislation, approved by the council on an 8-0 vote, landlords may not evict federal employees and contractors for nonpayment of rent if those tenants have gone without pay due to the budget stalemate in Washington, D.C., which dragged on for more than a month. Although President Trump on Friday announced that the government would reopen for three weeks, San Jose’s emergency ordinance on evicting furloughed federal workers remains in effect. The ordinance was worded… Read More

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Although Santa Cruz voters rejected a rent control initiative by a wide margin this past fall, the city’s newly elected council has chosen to pass components of the measure anyway. In the Nov. 6 election, CAA helped secure the resounding defeat of Measure M, an initiative that would have brought both rent control and “just cause” eviction policies to the city of Santa Cruz.

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The California Apartment Association is opposing a recommendation from a regional policy committee that the state Legislature impose rent control and “just cause” eviction restrictions across the entire nine-county Bay Area. The entire plan, if adopted by the Legislature, could cost as much as $2 billion per year. CAA this week restated its objections to the recommendation, which is part of a plan promoted by the Committee to House the Bay Area, or CASA, which is sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. CASA spent 18 months developing recommendations for state legislation to address the housing crisis experienced by the Bay… Read More

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In a victory for the California Apartment Association, the San Jose City Council on Tuesday rejected a proposal to expand the city’s “just cause” eviction policies to include duplexes. Another decision by the council, however, is cause for concern. The council Tuesday also directed staff to draft a “source of income discrimination” policy for rental payments. Such an ordinance could ultimately force landlords to consider renting to Section 8 voucher holders, a decision the association believes should be left to property owners.

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The Mountain View city clerk on Thursday certified that a CAA-supported measure that would make important changes to the city’s rent control law has qualified to appear on the ballot in 2020. The measure — the Mountain View Renter, Homeowner, and Taxpayer Protection Act — aims to fix many of the unfair, costly and unworkable provisions of the city’s rent control ordinance, which was adopted as Measure V in 2016.

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Amid aggressive opposition from the California Apartment Association, a measure to impose rent control and “just cause” eviction policies in Santa Cruz failed passage in Tuesday’s election. According to semi-official results, 65.5 percent of voters rejected Measure M, while just 34.5 percent voted to approve it. A rent control measure also appeared to be failing in National City.

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Proponents of an initiative that would clean up Mountain View’s rent control law have submitted thousands of signatures in hopes of placing the measure before voters in November 2020. On Monday, Oct. 8, a coalition of local homeowners, housing providers and residents filed 7,422 signatures with the Mountain View city clerk. Since Measure V brought rent control to Mountain View in 2016, rental housing owners have responded by taking units off the market, making way for million-dollar condominiums. The proposed initiative would encourage owners to continue providing rental housing and protect Mountain View renters from displacement.

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