In wake of fires, CAA urges housing providers to refrain from rent increases, help victims


On behalf of all of us at the California Apartment Association, our thoughts are with our members and their families, employees, neighbors, and residents who have lost their homes to the devastating fire in the North Bay Area. Recognizing the losses of many residents and the state of emergency that Sonoma and Napa County residents are facing, CAA is calling upon our members to show compassion for those who have lost their homes and, at a minimum, keep rents at current levels.

CAA recognizes the demand for rental housing will escalate over the coming weeks as displaced families look for new housing. CAA strongly discourages rental property owners from taking advantage of this peak in demand. As the leading industry whose mission is to provide homes, we must do all we can to help these victims who lost everything rebuild their lives. CAA will not support any efforts that may occur by individual owners to drastically increase rents on new or existing renters.

Moreover, the president and governor have  declared states of emergency in California, triggering protections under California’s anti-price-gouging law. These protections prohibit raising the price of many consumer goods and services, including that of rental housing, by more than 10 percent after an emergency has been declared.

Additionally, we are asking our members to let CAA know if their properties have vacant units available in Napa or Sonoma counties, and we are encouraging them to make special considerations for fire victims, such as reduced move-in costs or discounted deposits for those who lost their homes.In the past 24 hours, we have received an overwhelming response from members willing to help their neighbors in need. A comprehensive vacant unit list will be provided to the City of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and Napa County to help an estimated 20,000 fire victims find new housing units.

We also encourage the city of Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Napa counties, and state of California to work without delay in allocating disaster relief funding and expediting the review and approval process for homeowners, apartment owners, and business owners to quickly rebuild.

During this time of crisis, the need is great and varied. It is a time for the rental housing industry to come together, exhibit compassion, and do everything possible to help California’s Wine Country – and the people who make it great – recover as quickly as possible.

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Tagged: North Bay

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