Sacramento faces a serious affordable housing problem. The Bee
editorial board calls on the mayor, city council, developers and
SEIU-backed tenants’ organizations to set aside their differences
and forge a compromise that takes aggressive action (“The mayor
has a plan to fix the housing crisis. Now he needs help,”
Editorials, July 16).
We agree. That’s why our coalition, Citizens for Affordable
Housing, is committed to finding fair and common-sense answers.
SANTA CRUZ >> Expect this fall’s campaign over just cause
eviction and rent control in the city of Santa Cruz to be
The measure would require relocation assistance for tenants
evicted without just cause from single-family homes, accessory
dwellings and condos as well as apartments built before February
1995 and limit rent increases in apartments built before that
Ballot arguments were due July 10 with the city clerk and
rebuttals due Friday, with the first campaign finance report due
The owners of Willits Mobile Home Park and many park residents
attended Wednesday’s City Council meeting to make their voices
heard about raises in rent, alleged issues with the new
management company Boa Vida, and a potential rent stabilization
ordinance. There was standing room only at the meeting.
After much discussion, City Council decided not to move forward
with implementing a rent stabilization ordinance.
The money, city officials say, is to ease the city’s affordable
housing crisis, which through official policies has triggered a
median home price of “a blistering $2.46 million,” far above the
$448,000 for the state and $180,000 for the nation.
SACRAMENTO — Proponents of a November ballot measure that would
let California cities expand rent control say negotiations for a
compromise have collapsed and that the issue will now be decided
The all-or-nothing effort to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental
Housing Act is likely to be one of the costliest fights of the
fall election. State lawmakers had hoped to reach a deal in the
Legislature that tenant and landlord groups could agree to, but
that now seems “highly unlikely,” Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San
Francisco, said Friday.
By Gennady Sheyner / Palo Alto WeeklyUploaded: Sat, Jun 25, 2016, 3:14 pm
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has voted to join
with the county Housing Authority and Palo Alto to issue an
ultimatum to the owners of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park: Sell
your property to us, or we’ll take it by eminent domain. The
threat is a moral, legal and political offense.
California voters will decide in November whether to give cities
and counties new freedom to expand the use of rent control after
an initiative backed by tenant groups earned a spot Friday on
this fall’s ballot.
The initiative would repeal a decades-old state law that prevents
local governments from passing most new rent control laws.
Bet you didn’t know California has 517,173 mobile homes.
While I was reviewing Census Bureau data on housing, a curious
data point popped up: Only three states had more mobile homes
than California. But as the nation’s most populous state, it’s
another affordable-housing metric where California trails the
pack: pre-fabricated homes are a tiny share of our
residential-living supply — 3.7 percent vs. 6.6 percent in the
rest of the nation.
By Jonathan Lansner, Staff WriterPOSTED: 06/25/16, 9:31 PM PDT
The region’s housing crunch is steep, by any economic measure. A
database of housing affordability statistics created by The
Associated Press shows Southern California’s two main
metropolitan regions – Los Angeles/Orange counties and the Inland
Empire – consistently rank among the U.S. markets that most
stretch the household budgets of both homeowners and renters.
Data were census figures through 2014, the latest available.
The crisis caused by the rising cost of housing in California has
a solution: Build more housing.
People can debate where or what type of housing should be built,
but there can be no doubt that more housing is needed. That’s why
it’s so troubling that a measure headed for the November ballot
would cause less housing to be built.
Rent control ordinances essentially all impose some type of limit
on rent increases for all or some subset of rental units in a
local area and also often include requirements for new buildings
to include some minimum percentage of “affordable” units meaning
ones rented for less than the owner could get in a free market.
They are motivated by the idea that rents are too high because
landlords are greedy. That, however, is not the true cause of the
SACRAMENTO — “In many cases rent control appears to be the most
efficient technique presently known to destroy a city — except
for bombing,” opined Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck. He’s right
on target given that rent control destroys housing markets
because it takes away the incentive to build new apartments,
reduces the willingness of landlords to upgrade and maintain
their properties, and encourages tenants to squat indefinitely in
their below-market units.
By Scott Herhold,, Bay Area News GroupPOSTED: 06/17/16, 10:46 PM PDT
After Supervisor Joe Simitian announced Wednesday that the
county’s Housing Authority would join the fight to preserve the
Buena Vista Mobile Home Park as a refuge for the working class in
Palo Alto, a reporter asked him what it meant. Enough big words.
What was his spin?
The latest turn in the long-running legal feud over a Carson law
limiting rent increases at mobile home parks went in the city’s
favor with a court ruling that could bolster cities’
abilities to regulate real estate up and down California.
By Sheila Dey, Executive Director, Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association.JUNE 20, 2016
The Sacramento Bee recently profiled mobile home
owners who are taking advantage of a “loop-hole” to reduce
their tax liability on beach front homes in Malibu, worth
millions of dollars. Needless to say, the Los Angeles County tax
assessor wants more property taxes, and the law is on the side of
SANTA CRUZ — Many people in the Seabright neighborhood knew about
the roiling local debate over rent control even before Zav
Hershfield, petition in hand, knocked on their doors.
Canvassers for renter rights have been through parks,
neighborhoods and local shopping centers since February in this
coastal town, collecting signatures to place a city referendum on
the November ballot limiting annual rent increases and make it
harder to evict residents.
The Coalition for Responsible Housing shares the dismay of the
Sacramento Bee editorial board about the continued failure to
meaningfully address California’s housing crisis (“Compromise on
housing or face rent control,” April 19).
By Nathan Donato-Weinstein Real Estate Reporter Silicon Valley Business JournalJun 16, 2016, 5:11am PDT
The tool could be used if the Jisser family — which owns the
4.5-acre property and has been trying to close it since 2012 —
doesn’t accept a new offer to buy the park funded by Santa Clara
County, the city of Palo Alto and the county’s Housing Authority,
officials said Wednesday. That’s because the county and city have
now joined forces with the Housing Authority, which has eminent
domain power and signaled it’s agreeable to using it.
California voters this year will likely decide whether cities
across the state should have more power to enact stronger rent
Rent control proponents behind a proposed November ballot
initiative that would allow cities and counties to pass
strong rent control laws say they now have enough signatures to
qualify the measure.
“People understand that rents are out of control, that’s why I
think you’re seeing this initiative move forward,” said Damien
Goodmon, director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s “Housing is
a Human Right” campaign.
A wise man once said that the best way to get out of a hole is to
“stop digging.” Today California is short 1.5 million affordable
homes for families struggling to make ends meet, and the hole is
growing bigger each year.
SACRAMENTO — A renters’ revolt in California could be heading to
the November ballot as a campaign to lift decades-old
restrictions on rent control reported Friday it had gathered more
than enough signatures to qualify.
Organizers are planning rallies in Sacramento, Oakland and Los
Angeles on Monday as they hand in the signatures, which must be
counted and verified by election officials before the initiative
makes it on the ballot.
After cropping up in the early 2000s, the debate around rent
stabilitzation in mobile home parks has resurfaced in El Dorado
On Tuesday, at the request of District 3 Supervisor Brian
Veerkamp, the Board of Supervisors reviewed the possibility of a
rent stabilization ordinance, which would restrict the frequency
of rent hikes and the amount per increase in mobile home parks
within unincorporated areas of the county.
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to provide more low-cost housing through
an initiative that could unite liberals and conservatives,
Republicans and Democrats. As he outlined last month in his
updated budget proposal, the plan would reduce costs to
homeowners and renters by increasing the housing supply through
reductions in the state’s labyrinthine construction-permit
For years, Gov. Jerry Brown has resisted efforts to spend more
money to build affordable housing. As part of his revised budget
released Friday, Brown announced what he said was a better
solution: making it easier to build homes for low-income
residents. In a new package of legislation, Brown is proposing to
streamline the permitting process for developers building
Attorneys working on behalf of local mobile home residents say
they filed suit against the city of Mountain View late last week.
They are requesting a court order to force city officials to
include mobile homes under the city’s rent control program.
About 1,100 mobile homes are estimated to be in Mountain View.
Most residents own their mobile homes but rent a space in a
mobile home park. These space rents could be restricted under a
rent control program.
Major changes to Mountain View’s rent control law could go before
Mountain View voters this fall.
The political action group Measure V Too Costly filed paperwork
on Friday, March 30, for a November ballot initiative that would
heavily modify Mountain View’s rent control program. The
proposal, dubbed the ”Mountain View Homeowner, Renter, and
Taxpayer Protection Initiative,” seeks to curtail most
limits on rent increases and create income eligibility
requirements for tenants.
A federal court jury on Thursday ordered the city of Carson to
pay $3.3 million in damages to a mobile home park owner for
violating his constitutional rights when it repeatedly rejected
proposed rent increases at his park.
Mountain View’s Rental Housing Committee could soon be headed
back to the courtroom over a decision to exclude tenants at
mobile home parks from the city’s rent control protections.
Earlier this month, an attorney representing two mobile home
residents at Santiago Villa issued a demand
letter urging the committee to reverse its decision not to
extend rent control to Mountain View’s 1,100 mobile homes. If the
committee refused, the residents would file a lawsuit to get the
action rescinded, said attorney Armen Nercessian of the firm
Fenwick & West.
Clipboards in hand, signature-gatherers are fanning out across
four Southern California cities this month, turning up at
supermarkets and metro stops and apartment complexes to pitch a
measure for the November ballot that they say will be salvation
But for landlords, their pitch is blasphemy.
At issue is whether the cities of Long Beach, Inglewood, Glendale
and Pasadena should join a tiny band of California cities that
already have rent control and “just cause” eviction laws that
prevent landlords from ousting tenants in good standing.
California’s affordable housing stock is not keeping up with its
“It all boils down to this,” Thornberg said. “Taxes and
regulations are a problem for state businesses, but it’s not what
defines California. In the end, this California growth story is a
SACRAMENTO - Register Your Mobilehome California, a new
state program that provides waivers for past-due registration
fees and taxes for mobilehomes and manufactured homes, has saved
homeowners more than $500,000 in its first year of operation.
Besides the savings in fees and taxes, homeowners who have taken
advantage of the program will also see additional benefits. They
are now properly positioned to legally sell or transfer their
property, apply for fire and flood insurance, and receive
financial assistance and rebates from utility providers.
California is in the midst of a severe and growing housing
crisis, and the Legislative leadership in Sacramento appears to
not have the faintest understanding about the causes and possible
real solutions to the problem.
Delaine Eastin is the only major candidate for California
governor to unequivocally support a potential November ballot
measure that would allow stronger local rent control laws across
Eastin, a Democrat and former state schools chief, said she
supports the outright repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing
Act, which prevents rent control ordinances from applying to
housing built after 1995, as well as single-family homes,
duplexes and condos.
Residents from the Wagon Wheel and Valley Oaks mobile home parks
are mobilizing to address the Willits City Council
tonight, asking city officials to adopt a rent stabilization
ordinance after an out of the area property management
company’s acquisition of the properties led to rent increases and
reported intimidation tactics against the elderly and low income
tenants last summer.
Sheila Dey, Executive Director of the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association.April 3, 2016
WMA’s executive director, Sheila Dey writes, “Instead of
addressing the root cause, some policymakers are championing rent
control, despite the fact that it has never effectively preserved
or expanded affordable housing stocks.”
Mountain View’s Rental Housing Committee on Monday night
reaffirmed its opposition to expanding the city’s rent control
program to include mobile homes. As a result, mobile home
residents warned that they would seek legal action against the
city to overturn the decision.
SACRAMENTO — A ballot initiative to lift California’s statewide
restrictions on rent control has hit a key milestone, with 25
percent of the signatures it needs to qualify for the November
ballot, the California Secretary of State’s office confirmed.
Organizers vowed to take their fight directly to the voters after
a bill to repeal the restrictions died in its first committee
hearing this year at a raucous January meeting attended by over
1,000 people on both sides of the contentious issue.
Slow-growth policies have indeed reduced suburban sprawl, but
there’s little doubt that they have also put upward pressure on
housing prices. So have the increasing costs of building permits,
environmental impact studies and a whole host of other
regulations now required of developers.
The housing market in the region and the rest of the state will
continue to be influenced by trends among the two largest
generations: baby-boomers and millennials. In simplest terms, the
boomers aren’t moving, and the millennials are – out of the state
– driven in part by high home prices in California,
said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the
California Association of Realtors.
In what they called another step to prevent evictions and
homelessness, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted
Tuesday to draft an ordinance that, if passed, will control rents
from rising at mobile home parks.
Three new studies commissioned by Next 10 — a San Francisco think
tank that focuses on quality of life in California — make a
powerful case that extreme housing costs threaten to make much of
the state like Malibu and Santa Barbara, where only the wealthy
can afford to live and most of the workers who support them have
long commutes from cheaper inland areas. The analyses — prepared
by Beacon Economics, a respected Los Angeles-based consultant —
make a powerful case that the focus of state anti-poverty efforts
should be bringing down housing costs.
Three new studies show that although California has one of the
highest rates of job growth in the country, its cost of housing
and high-wage jobs could push lower earners out of the state as
they seek someplace more affordable.
The fire-ravaged Journey’s End mobile home park will not reopen,
but its owner is seeking to partner with a developer to build an
apartment complex on the north Santa Rosa property, residents
learned this weekend.
The family that owns the 13.5-acre site at Mendocino Avenue and
Fountaingrove Parkway is working with nonprofit Burbank Housing
to explore the feasibility of redeveloping the property into a
mixture of affordable and market-rate apartments, Burbank chief
executive officer Larry Florin said Sunday.
The problem with inclusionary policies and other coercive
approaches to housing, such as rent control ordinances, is that
while they may be politically gratifying, they divert attention
from the real problem of housing in California, which is that we
have way too little of it.
It has been a liberal dream for decades to undo parts or all of
Proposition 13, the seminal California initiative limiting the
property tax rate.
Is that fight finally coming to the ballot box this fall? A
coalition of civil rights and community organizations is expected
to begin collecting signatures later this month for a measure to
tax commercial properties at market value while leaving in place
the Proposition 13 protections for homeowners, a concept known as
After garnering more than 100,000 signatures within the last
month, the initiative to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing
Act — a 1995 state law that limits the scope of local rent
control ordinances — is likely to appear on November’s ballot.
The Costa-Hawkins Act prohibits cities from establishing rent
control on certain units, including single-family dwellings,
condominiums and housing built after 1995. It also has
a “vacancy decontrol” provision that allows rent to increase
after a tenant moves out.
California’s boom in high-wage jobs, such as those in the tech
sector, has shoved housing prices skyward and threatens to
squeeze low- and middle-income wage earners out of the Golden
State, a report released Wednesday warned.
New data has brought a new urgency to the souring fortunes of
California’s middle class. “Not only are Californians leaving the
state in large numbers, but the people heading for the exits are
disproportionately middle class working
families — the demographic backbone of American
society,” the American Interest recently noted.
During a marathon meeting Tuesday, the council approved a new
policy to encourage preserving the city’s 59 mobile home parks –
one of San Jose’s last affordable housing options amid soaring
rents — and setting guidelines for closing a park. The policy
also enhanced tenant protections, including giving residents a
fair price for their homes and relocation benefits, and specified
the City Council must approve closures.
Rent control policies could actually be making income inequality
worse in gentrifying cities such as San Francisco, a new paper
from Stanford University researchers argues.
The working paper published by the National Bureau of
Economic Research says the laws intended to protect
certain tenants from rent hikes ended up spiking prices
through many other parts of San Francisco. This
follows other studies that have shown similar
consequences for rent control in cities including Los Angeles,
New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Abuses of the California Environmental Quality Act are
aggravating the state’s housing crisis, according to a recent
study by Los Angeles lawyers Holland & Knight.
With more than half of renters and over a third of homeowners
with mortgages in California cost-burdened by housing — spending
more than 30 percent of household incomes on housing — and many
forced to commute long distances to work in order to live in
affordable housing, California’s housing crisis has made life
difficult even for those with well-paying, professional jobs.
California state law bans local governments from imposing rent
control on any new apartment construction. The law — the
Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — defines new construction as
dwellings with certificates of occupancy issued after Feb. 1,
Costa-Hawkins also prohibits regulating rents on single-family
dwellings and individually owned condominiums and
Moves to repeal this law have appeared on two fronts: one in the
State Assembly, the other as an initiative to place the appeal on
the November 2018 ballot.
Bay Area cities are coming to realize what Ramirez already knows
— parking tickets won’t solve the problem of finding a place to
live. From Oakland to San Jose, officials are struggling to cope
with a growing influx of RV dwellers seeking a safe, permanent
place for the only homes they can afford.
“We’ve never seen it like this,” said Tom Myers, executive
director of Community Services Agency of Mountain View, where the
city averages more than three complaints a day about RV
communities. “We have to be prepared that this will be the new
normal for us. It’s a crisis.”
Proponents of making a dramatic change to California’s landmark
Proposition 13 property tax restrictions took their first step to
getting a measure on the November 2018 statewide ballot Friday.
The change would allow the state to charge higher property tax
rates on commercial and industrial properties, an effort known as
“split roll” because existing tax protections on homes would
remain in place.
Barely a year old, Mountain View’s experiment with rent control
has already faced a withering gauntlet of controversy and legal
scuffles. Now it’s being primed for a dramatic expansion.
On Dec. 4, the city’s Rental Housing Commission is scheduled to
consider expanding the Mountain View’s restrictions covering
apartment rents to encompass the city’s six mobile home parks.
The proposal could bring an estimated 1,100 more homes under the
aegis of the city’s new tenant protections.
More than 500,000 California families find their path to
affordable home ownership through the purchase of a mobile home
or manufactured home, but an estimated one-third lack proper
title and registration – putting each of those homeowners at
In an effort to encourage all mobile and manufactured homeowners
to secure proper title, the state is offering a limited-time
program that waives many back fees and taxes.
Debate about California’s housing crisis typically revolves
around low-income households. The rule of thumb is that people
shouldn’t spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
But more than 90 percent of California families earning less than
$35,000 per year spend more than 30 percent of their income on
This isn’t new; that percentage has been stubbornly high for
years. Nor is this an exclusively Californian problem — the
comparable figure for the United States overall is 83 percent.
When you take a right turn off Higuera Street and onto South
Street in San Luis Obispo, you’ll quickly come upon the Village
Mobile Home Park. What used to be dotted with dozens of 1950s
mobile homes and trailers is now being transformed into
energy-efficient manufactured homes, mobile homes, and one tiny
For $1,100 a month, the 190 square foot house, which is
classified as a recreational vehicle, will give a tenant pretty
much everything an apartment could, with the addition of a yard
and two parking spaces. The only catch, it’s much smaller.
In an effort to try to keep people from being evicted from their
homes, the Los Angeles County Board of
Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to look into restoring
an expired ordinance that could control rising rents at mobile
The motion, authored by supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl
will ask county departments to examine the feasibility of
such an ordinance, which could affect 102 mobile home parks in
unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. A report is due
back in 60 days.
Los Angeles County officials say rising rents and low vacancy
rates aren’t limited to rental apartments— the affordability
crisis is now hitting the region’s mobile home parks.
In response, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors will consider
initial steps for regulating mobile home plot payments at their
meeting Tuesday. A proposal by Supervisor Janet Hahn would
instruct the county’s planning department to draft a rent control
ordinance for mobile home parks that fall on unincorporated land.
Nearly 21,000 families in the four-county Sacramento region, and
about a half-million across California, live in homes that are
For many, buying a home that’s up on blocks is one of the last
opportunities for single-family homeownership in a state with
some of the highest housing costs in the nation.
“If you can buy outright, it’s an affordable option,” said
Michelle Hutson, who owns her double-wide mobile home in south
Sacramento but rents the land beneath it for less than an
apartment might cost.
The subject of reinstating Vallejo’s accidentally repealed mobile
home rent control ordinance is expected to come up for discussion
at the upcoming City Council meeting on Tuesday, and it can’t
come soon enough for many park residents.
“It has been brought to our attention that mobile home rents are
continually going up,” said a letter from the Coalition to the
Vallejo Mayor and council. Two local mobile home parks have
reportedly raised rents, and one, “sent out a letter on Sept. 30,
raising their rents a third time this year alone,” it says.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday to prevent
landlords from threatening immigrant tenants with deportation,
measures he said were part of broader efforts by his
administration “to bolster resources and support for the
One proposal by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) would
bar landlords from disclosing information about immigration
status in order to intimidate, harass or evict tenants without
following proper procedures. It also would allow immigrant
tenants to file civil claims against their landlords if they do.
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