News: North BayFilter
When a Santa Rosa tenant repeatedly violates the county’s COVID-19 health order, he or she could face a penalty for the transgression. But thanks to the California Apartment Association, the renter’s landlord will not. That protection for rental property owners was part of an urgency ordinance adopted by the Santa Rosa City Council Aug. 11. The ordinance enables the city to enforce Sonoma County’s rules for preventing the spread of coronavirus and sets up a system for warnings and fines.
Wildfire-related protections against rent gouging will remain in effect for at least the rest of 2020 for several California counties. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Dec. 23 extended price-gouging protections until Dec. 31, 2020, for the following counties: Butte, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Barbara, Sonoma and Ventura. The governor’s order keeps in effect Penal Code Section 396, which makes it illegal to increase the price of many consumer goods and services, including that of rental housing, by more than 10% above pre-emergency levels. Newsom’s office said the extended protections are intended to assist communities across the state recovering from devastating wildfires dating back to 2017. … Read More
Citing the passage of AB 1482, the Larkspur City Council earlier this month rejected proposals to institute local “just cause,” rent control and rent-registry ordinances. Since early September, the California Apartment Association’s North Bay staff has provided strong opposition to the city’s effort to adopt restrictive policies on rental units in in Larkspur, a small city in Marin County. Testifying to the City Council, Alex Khafin, CAA’s vice president of public affairs for the North Bay, argued that “just cause eviction and rent-cap policies will have serious unintended consequences and will not provide a single additional unit of affordable housing,… Read More
Working with the California Apartment Association, the Santa Rosa City Council has created a $100,000 fund to compensate landlords should they lose money through their participation in the Section 8 program. Since early September, CAA North Bay staff has worked with the city of Santa Rosa on the establishment of this risk-mitigation program.
The Santa Rosa City Council decided to pursue a mandatory Section 8 ordinance Tuesday, but not before pledging to work with CAA to make the program more workable for local landlords. The council advanced the ordinance on a 5-1 vote and is expected to formally approve the law after a second reading next month. The measure will prohibit blanket policies against accepting Section 8 applicants, ban “No Section 8” ads, and make it illegal to deny a tenancy based solely on the tenant’s possession of a voucher.
The Santa Rosa City Council this week postponed voting on an ordinance that would require that landlords consider applicants with Section 8 housing vouchers. The measure would prohibit blanket policies against accepting Section 8 applicants and make it illegal to deny a tenancy based on the tenant’s possession of a voucher.
Despite strong opposition from the California Apartment Association, the San Rafael City Council passed a “just cause” eviction and mandatory-mediation ordinance Monday on a 3-1 vote. The just-cause eviction ordinance will prevent landlords from terminating tenancies without proving that a specified cause exists. Such policies drag out the eviction process and make it more difficult and costlier to terminate tenancies. Mandatory mediation will be required for rental increases exceeding 5 percent over a 12-month period and will include single-family homes.
During his state of the state address, Gov. Gavin Newsom pointed to 47 cities that have failed to meet their requirements for planning new housing. Given those numbers, it’s no wonder local governments are taking much of the blame for California’s ongoing housing shortage. At the same time, cities that do their fair share to address housing scarcity too often go unnoticed. CAA’s North Bay members got to hear about one such city last month — Rohnert Park. While speaking at a CAA North Bay membership meeting, Mayor Gina Belforte offered a detailed briefing on various housing projects throughout the… Read More
Thanks to swift opposition led by CAA’s North Bay Division, the Healdsburg City Council this month rejected an ordinance that would have brought a form of rent control to the city. The proposal would have forced a landlord to pay up to $7,000 in penalties to any tenant who moves because of a “no fault” eviction or a rent increase greater than 10 percent. The ordinance came in response to a new property owner whose plans for major renovations to a small apartment building would force current residents to relocate.
Taking a page from Marin County, the San Rafael City Council this week agreed to continue studying “just cause” eviction and mandatory mediation policies. City staff highlighted both ideas in a report on “renter protections” delivered to the council Monday. At the meeting, the California Apartment Association reiterated its opposition to just cause, which forces landlords to prove that at least one of several specified conditions exist before evictions can proceed. Such policies drag out the eviction process and make it more difficult and costly to terminate tenancies.