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Tenants’ Rights Leaders Protest Foundation’s Billion-Dollar Real Estate Deal With Blackstone

KPBS - Local leaders and tenants rights advocates gathered in National City on Tuesday to demand that Conrad Prebys Foundation stop the sale of it’s nearly 6,000 apartment units to the private equity firm Blackstone.

Anne Marine McKellob has called Golden Tree Apartments on Ave A her home for the past three years. It’s one of the 66 buildings the foundation is selling to Blackstone for over $1 billion. McKellob worries about what will happen when Blackstone takes over.

“I am pretty much afraid that we got to move out,” said McKellob. “They aren’t in favor of us, they are in favor of themselves and growing their money higher.”

Chula Vista tenants facing eviction despite county ban

San Diego Union-Tribune - San Diego County has a strict eviction ban, but local attorneys and tenants’ rights advocates say they are still seeing a number of tenants forced from their homes, especially low-income families.

Tenants of a Chula Vista apartment complex are among those who recently found themselves being evicted from their homes in an apparent violation of those laws.

On May 15, Luis Castro, a former restaurant server who lost his job because of the pandemic shutdown, and other tenants at an apartment complex on Smith Avenue were told to vacate their units within 60 days.

“I’ve been here for 12 years and I don’t know where I would go. This is unfair; this is displacing families,” Castro said.

Eligible Tenants, Landlords Will Have Rental Debt Erased: Will It Come Soon Enough?

Times of San Diego - By the end of this week, eligible tenants in the San Diego region will start seeing 100% of past-due rents erased from the beginning of the pandemic through the end of September. 

A new state law that extends eviction protections also allows local agencies to cover all back rent due for low-income tenants impacted by COVID-19. 

This comes after news organizations across the state, including inewsource, reported low participation rates for rental and utility assistance programs, which left millions of dollars unspent.

Richmond is beefing up protections for renters facing harassment from landlords

East Bay Times - Clara Luz Realageno was at work at the end of May when she received a notification on her phone that there was movement detected by security cameras she had installed just days earlier.

The camera monitor on her phone showed that it was her landlord. He was entering her home and changing the locks, barring her from returning to the studio she had rented for four years.

“I left for work; I had no idea I would be coming back to nothing,” she said through a translator in a recent interview.

Realageno didn’t expect to be locked out of her house that day, but her landlord’s violation wasn’t unprecedented. In fact, his pattern of harassment toward her in recent weeks was what prompted her to buy and install the two security cameras inside her home.

Bay Area city may explore allowing undocumented residents to vote in local elections

San Francisco Chronicle - Richmond officials will soon consider a plan that could allow undocumented residents to vote in local elections, citing their lack of a public voice despite the “significant contributions” they make to the community and its economy.

The City Council is expected to vote this month on a first step: directing the city attorney to conduct a sweeping review of the city’s charter along with legal research to determine whether it can allow noncitizens to participate in local elections, such as school board contests.

Councilmembers Claudia Jimenez and Eduardo Martinez and Vice Mayor Demnlus Johnson III introduced the proposal, which was scheduled for consideration at the council’s regular meeting Tuesday but postponed due to time constraints.

Newsom signs into law extension of California eviction protections, rent relief

LA Times - California tenants will be protected from evictions for another three months, and those with low incomes will have all of their past-due rent paid by the state, under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Gavin Newsom in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor acted just hours after both houses of the Legislature approved the bill extending the eviction protections through Sept. 30. Lawmakers cited urgency stemming from the expiration of previous protections that was set for Wednesday.

“California will significantly increase cash assistance to low-income tenants and small landlords under the state’s $5.2 billion rent relief program, making it the largest and most comprehensive COVID rental protection and rent relief program of any state in the nation,” said a statement by Newsom’s office.

California extends eviction moratorium through September. Is it enough to kick-start $5.2 billion in rent relief?

San Francisco Chronicle - California will shield struggling tenants from eviction for at least three more months and attempt to pay off all of the rent lower-income residents missed during the coronavirus pandemic under a deal announced Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers.

The plan, which emerged after weeks of tense negotiations with renter advocates and property owner groups, would extend through the end of September the state’s moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent due to the pandemic.

Lower-income tenants who qualify for a state rental aid program — those who earn 80% or less of the median income in their county and were financially affected by COVID-19 — would be protected from eviction for an additional six months. From October through next March, those residents would receive extra time to apply for rent relief if a property owner attempts to evict them.

Agreement Reached to Extend California Eviction Moratorium to Sept. 30

NBC 4 - Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders from both the state Senate and Assembly agreed Friday on a proposed extension of the statewide eviction moratorium, through Sept. 30.

The eviction moratorium — put in place in March 2020 as an emergency measure related to the COVID-19 pandemic — was set to expire June 30, just five days after the agreement was announced.

Newsom and legislative leaders also agreed on paying 100% of back-rent owed by tenants who struggled to make rent payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an increase of relief funding.