News: North Bay

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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Despite opposition from the California Apartment Association, the Marin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday formally approved a “just cause” for eviction pilot program. The eviction controls are set to take effect Jan. 17, 2019, and will remain in place for up to two years. At that point, the pilot program will be reviewed for possible extension.

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In the November election, Santa Rosa voters have an opportunity to boost affordable housing while speeding the city’s recovery from last year’s devastating wildfires. Last fall, the fires in Northern California’s Wine Country eviscerated 6,000 homes in Santa Rosa alone. “Couple that with a statewide housing crisis of epic proportions, and Santa Rosa finds itself in dire need of additional housing supply,” said Alex Khalfin, CAA’s vice president of public affairs for the North Bay region. “While we can debate how this problem should or shouldn’t be solved, one fact remains clear — something must be done.” Enter Measure N… Read More

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