Renters Council Membership Meeting

July 6, 2022 5:30pm-7:12pm

Attendance: Approx. 50 members

Motion to approve agenda by Andrew Lewis, 2nd by Vinnie Bacon, approved by voice vote.

Motion to approve minutes by Susie Shannon, 2nd by Andrew Lewis, approved by voice vote.

Treasurer Report (Vinnie): $1850 + $76 in checks yet to be deposited. We are spending $200 on a large banner. Alameda Labor Council is sponsoring the Renters Reception this Saturday, no cost to Council.

Mid-Year Legislation Update (Francisco Duenas):

Bills still alive:

-SB1017 Protecting domestic violence survivors from eviction

-SB513 Pet facilities and services at homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters

-AB1685 Parking ticket relief for people living in cars

-AB1837 Limiting investors buying up foreclosed homes

-SB679 Regional housing agency in LA

-AB1206 Community land trust tax relief

-AB1850 Oversight and guardrails for middle income housing

Bills in limbo:

-SB490 Technical assistance for preserving existing affordable housing

-SB1176 Equity in financial services

Dead bills

AB2203 Ban on credit checks for apartment applications

AB2597 Right to cooling

AB2713 Just Cause (Limiting no-fault evictions)

SB1324 Consumer protections for tenant debt

More Legislation Updates from Larry Gross

- The Los Angeles County Democratic Party Legislation Committee recently recommended support for SB513 (Pet facilities)

- AB2050, the bill to limit speculators from using the Ellis Act to evict tenants, came close but didn't have enough votes. Assemblymember Alex Lee made an attempt to reintroduce it in the Senate, but it was not supported by the Senate Pro Tem. Alex Lee will make another attempt to move this bill.

- We need to oppose SB1133, this is a bill that would make it harder to apply the anti-gouging law (which limits price increases to 10%) to housing rents during a state of emergency.

Southern California Report (Andrew Lewis, Susie Shannon)

- SB1456 from Senator Stern, a bill to create a property tax exemption for additional types of low income affordable housing, is also dead.

Susie has been meeting with a national coalition working on lifting bans on rent control in other states. They are running into opposition from the same corporate landlords that oppose tenant legislation in California.

Santa Monica & Los Angeles Property Transfer Tax Ballot Measures (Santa Monica Mayor Sue Himmelrich and Mike Soloff)

- Originally, the plan was to pass a countywide transfer tax (a sales on on property sales). While that hasn't moved forwards yet, signatures have been gathered in LA and Santa Monica for local transfer taxes.

- The LA transfer tax would add a 4% tax on real estate sold for $5-10M, 5% on sales over $10M. Estimated to raise $800-900M a year, would fund rehab, acquisition, and building affordable housing, eviction defense, tenant education, rent subsidies for at-risk seniors.

- The Santa Monica transfer tax would be 5% on real estate sold for $8M or more. Estimated to bring in $50M a year. Would fund housing, rent subsidies, and schools. They are already facing opposition from real estate industry, who want to run a competing ballot measure that is a weaker transfer tax that would only raise $13M a year and not fund rent subsidies.

- Ask candidates running in LA where they stand on these measures!

Pasadena Rent Control Ballot Measure (Ryan Bell from Pasadena Tenants Union)

- Qualified for ballot! Thanks to Renters Council and others that supported.

- Campaign is reaching out to both tenants and homeowners. Not much opposition yet.

- Website: Pasadena4RentControl.org

- Contact ryan@Pasadena4RentControl.org to volunteer - need phonebankers.

Santa Barbara - Efforts at getting Rent Control (Oscar Gutierrez)

- 3 council members support rent control, 3 oppose, 1 is on the fence.

- Working on a compromise measure

- Need data and studies to combat opposition to rent control, send to ogutierrez@santabarbaraca.gov

LA County Tenant Protections (Sasha Harnden)

- Keep LA Housed Coalition worked on getting the LA Board of Supervisors to extend the emergency protections for tenants unable to pay rent due to COVID. Applies to households making 80% of median income or less. Also limits owner move in evictions, as well as evictions due to extra roommates or pets. - LA BOS also calling for a future phase to maintain protections after emergency powers end, as many of the smaller cities lack tenant protections. Keep LA Housed is working on a Tenant Bill of Rights to cover all 88 cities in LA county and the unincorporated areas. keeplahoused.org/la-tbor

Northern California Update (Igor)

Oakland Ballot Measure (Oakland Councilmember Dan Kalb)

- Closing loopholes in the Just Cause for Eviction ordinance to limit evictions where tenant has done nothing wrong.

- Would apply to new buildings. Some pushback from bigger developers who claim such protections would scare off investors.

- Would apply to Accessory Dwelling Units more than 10 years old.

- Would also ban evicting families with kids or teachers during the school year.

Unincorporated Alameda County tenant protections (Barisha Spriggs from Eden Renters United)

- Working on a Rental Inspection Program and a Just Cause for Eviction ordinance to be passed by Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

- Alameda County Democratic Central Committee has passed resolution in support.

Vacancy Tax in Berkeley (Igor Tregub)

- May be added by City Council to the November 2022 ballot.

Motion to extend meeting to 7:10pm by Mari. 2nd by Andrew

Central California Update (Arturo Rodriguez)

- in the Central Valley one of the issues is that landlords are also their tenants' employer. Especially an issue for farm workers.

#RentersVote Campaign (Esther Malkin)

- We need to get out the renter vote, work with the County central committees on voter education and GOTV

Update from Delano (Yolanda Chacon-Serna, Anai Paniagua)

- Delano elected a pro-tenant city council. Candidates went to low-propensity voter neighborhoods to get out the vote

- Working with Central Valley Empowerment Alliance, and youth groups.

- Educating community on housing solutions

Central Valley tenants will be at Saturday's Renters Reception, 2:30-5pm at El Cholo near the E-Board conference in downtown LA

CA Dem Legislation Meeting Preview (Igor Tregub)

Many of the bills we submitted for the party to take a position on, that are still alive, are on the consent agenda for party support. There are a few up for discussing at the Legislation Committee meeting on Friday evening at 5:30pm E-Board.

- AB2011 Affordable Housing and High Roads Job Act from Buffy Wicks

- AB2097 Reducing parking requirements from Laura Friedman

- AB2597 Right to cooling

- Oppose AB2383 (Jones-Sawyer) as this effort to ban asking about criminal record on rental applications is very limited. Just Cities and other organizations want a stronger bill similar to ones in Berkeley and Oakland.

- Oppose SB1385 (Cortese) due to negative impact on rooftop solar