News: Sacramento Valley

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To jumpstart affordable housing construction, the Sacramento City Council this week voted to waive development impact fees on new projects, a move supported by the California Apartment Association and other business organizations. The fee waivers will reduce, for example, the cost of a 200-unit multifamily housing development by as much as $2.6 million, an amount that helps cover the funding lost when redevelopment agencies, a primary source of financing for affordable housing, were eliminated during the recession. “Increasing the supply of affordable housing is the single best approach to solving our housing crisis,” said CAA senior vice president Jim Lofgren.… Read More

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Sacramento Vice Mayor Steve Hansen presented his Tenant Protection and Relief Act to members attending the CAA Sacramento Valley luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The proposed ordinance would establish a mediation process allowing tenants the option to dispute annual rent increases exceeding 6 percent. It also would require landlords to offer tenants the option of an 18-month lease. Hansen explained that City Councilmen Eric Guerra and Rick Jennings serve as co-authors of the proposal. Like Hansen, they consider the proposal a reasonable alternative to rent control and just-cause tenancy termination restrictions. All three want to protect tenants from arbitrary evictions,… Read More

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An initiative to bring rent control to the city of Sacramento has qualified for the March 2020, however, a legal challenge could prevent the measure from ever appearing before voters. Last week, Sacramento election officials announced that rent control proponents had submitted the 36,817 valid voter signatures required to qualify the measure for the next general election.

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Election officials will determine by mid-October whether tenant activists collected enough valid voter signatures to place a rent control initiative before Sacramento city voters in 2020. Beginning in March, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the Service Employees International Union used paid signature gatherers, volunteers, and their own staff to circulate a petition to place rent control before city voters. Although they missed the deadline to place the initiative on this November’s ballot, they kept collecting signatures in hopes of qualifying their measure for the next general election, now a year and a half away.

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During a special housing workshop held on Sept. 4, competing proposals were announced by Sacramento Mayor Steinberg and three members of the City Council. As expected, Mayor Darrell Steinberg presented the framework of his plan to increase housing supply and provide rent relief. The proposal includes rent control that limits annual rent increases to 5 percent, but sunsets after three years. The temporary rent cap would exempt units built prior to 1999 and any units owned by property owners with five or fewer units. If the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act remains in place after the November election, Steinberg’s proposal would… Read More

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After missing a deadline to place rent control before Sacramento voters this fall, tenant advocates on Thursday submitted signatures in hopes of qualifying their initiative for the March 2020 ballot. Sacramento city officials will now determine whether tenant activists submitted the required number of valid voter signatures to qualify the measure. If the petition is rejected, tenant activists, including members of Service Employees International Union and Alliance of Californians for Community Engagement, would need to start the initiative process over for any chance at making the ballot in 2020.

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Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has informed the California Apartment Association that he will propose a temporary 5 percent rent cap as part of his strategy to address the city’s affordable housing shortage. Steinberg plans to make his proposal at the Tuesday, Sept. 4, City Council meeting. CAA urges rental owners and property managers to attend this meeting and demonstrate the industry’s opposition to any form of rent control. Members are urged to sign up to speak against the mayor’s proposal during the public comment period. “We attempted to reach an agreement with the mayor on reasonable alternatives to rent control,”… Read More

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Concerned about its aging housing stock, Citrus Heights will establish a proactive inspection program to ensure the proper maintenance of rental properties in the city. The program will be funded by fees on rental properties, with inspections of both single-family and multifamily units beginning in July 2019. On a 4-1 vote on Aug. 9, the City Council directed city staff to draft an ordinance for adoption before the end of the year. Councilman Bret Daniels, who cast the lone vote against the motion, questioned the need to create a proactive inspection program. He pointed to data that indicated only 2… Read More

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The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 14, will convene a special workshop focused on finding ways to increase the supply of affordable housing. Council members at the session will examine possible funding sources that could bolster the city’s Housing Trust Fund, which now has just $2.5 million, or enough to subsidize about 15 units. Staff will also present ideas for how to speed the construction of more affordable housing by reducing parking requirements, expediting project reviews, waiving fees, and other steps.

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At the request of Mayor Darrell Steinberg, the Sacramento City Council is expected to discuss tenant protections, such as rent control and tenancy-termination restrictions, as well as ways to increase funding and streamline the permitting process for construction of affordable housing. CAA members are encouraged to attend the hearing, which is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 14. In an editorial published by the Sacramento Bee, the mayor outlined a proposal he intends to present to the City Council. While lacking specifics, his general intent is to cap rent increases at 5 percent when vacancy rates are low; require owners to state… Read More

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