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Aumentan los desalojos durante la pandemia en California

LOS ANGELES - A tan solo dos meses de que haya expirado la moratoria de desalojos en California y a medida que las infecciones del covid-19 aumentan en medio de la variante ómicron, activistas y defensores de inquilinos reportan un aumento en los casos de desalojo.

Esto está ocurriendo inclusive en lugares como la ciudad y el condado de Los Ángeles, los cuales cuentan con protecciones para evitar que las familias se queden sin un techo donde dormir.

A Suburb With an Eviction Problem

The place with the highest rate of evictions in the Bay Area during the pandemic wasn't a big city like Oakland or San Francisco — instead it was a suburb that has been radically transformed by housing crisis after housing crisis. Antioch, a working-class town on the outskirts of the Bay, has seen an influx of Black and Brown folks pushed from more expensive cities in search of a place they can afford.

In our first episode of Season 2 of Sold Out, we visit a neighborhood in Antioch with a high concentration of evictions. We’ll hear from renters, activists and politicians to find out how a lack of affordable housing is remaking the suburbs, not just in the Bay Area but across the country.

COVID eviction battles have moved to the Bay Area suburbs

BAY AREA - At her apartment down the street from San Pablo City Hall, Anita Mendoza wondered if the eviction lawsuit she was served last month will push her out of her home of 28 years.

In downtown Palo Alto, middle school teacher Mohamed Chakmakchi worried that his 7-year-old would have to go live with family if he was forced out of his two-bedroom rental.

At her Antioch kitchen table blanketed with eviction notices and anti-anxiety medication, Carmen Ponce was once again terrified of ending up living in her car with her daughter and granddaughter.

“I want to go with dignity,” Ponce said in Spanish. “I don’t want to go because they ran me out, because they kicked me out as if I was worthless.”

When can a Sacramento landlord raise my rent and by how much? Here’s what to know

Sacramento Bee - Sacramento limits the amount rent can be increased — but the details can be tricky.

If you’re protected under Sacramento’s Tenant Protection Program, your landlord can only raise rent 9% once annually.

That’s 5% plus the consumer price index figure for April. The maximum is adjusted annually but cannot exceed 10%.

And the program, which protects tenants by establishing limits in rent increases and limitations on unwarranted evictions, only protects multi-family homes built before Feb. 1, 1995 — excluding newer buildings.

“It’s absolutely vital for renters to be informed about their rights and the protections that are set in place because many individuals, especially non-English speakers, tend to not really be able to understand jargon...which often leads to self evictions,” said Luis Fernando Anguiano Quiroz, the statewide communications associate of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

San Pablo: Tenants to be evicted so apartment units can be upgraded

SILICON VALLEY - Should local governments step in to prevent renters from being displaced when California’s aging rental stock needs to be renovated?

The San Pablo City Council spent hours debating that question Tuesday night after a group of residents and advocates implored it to intervene in the pending eviction of several tenants from an apartment building built in 1967.

One of those tenants,  Anita Mendoza, has lived in the 14-unit apartment complex at 2235 Church Lane for 28 years. She pays $450 for the one-bedroom unit where she raised her daughter, who eventually moved back home while going to school.

The 55-year-old caretaker for seniors and children in the area recognizes her rent is much lower than what market-rate units in San Pablo and the rest of the Bay Area fetch. And she’s grateful for that.

“I have been a loyal and respective tenant for several years,” said Mendoza, one of only seven households still left in the building. “I have single-handedly raised my daughter here and made relationships.”

But Mendoza’s time at the Porto Apartments may be limited, as she and her neighbors face a nearly $1,000 rent hike.

Antioch may enact tenant protections against evictions, harassment and more

EAST BAY TIMES - Antioch may extend some tenant protections, many of which were first enacted during the pandemic and are set to expire.

After listening to a long stream of renters, housing advocates and others urging the city to extend the tenant protections, the City Council on Tuesday directed staff to draft potential laws that would continue the safeguards.

With moratoriums ending and positive COVID-19 cases still high, renters facing evictions and rent increases asked the council to enact an ordinance that would control rents, protect tenants from landlord harassment and require a just-cause provision for evictions . . .

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which led the charge, said the goal was to curb rising homelessness and protect tenants, who make up a third of Antioch’s residents, many paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

“If the City Council passes the three ordinances proposed, my family will finally be able to sleep without the threat of homelessness looming over our heads,” Carmen Ponce, an Antioch renter and Alliance member, said in a statement.

Entire San Pablo Apartment Building Faces Eviction After State Moratorium Ends

NBC Bay Area - As the pandemic rages on, eviction protections have dried up for millions of Californians, including the longtime residents of a San Pablo apartment complex now being kicked out by their new landlord who says he needs to renovate the building.

In December, tenants received eviction notices stating they had to be gone by January 15 because their units needed major repairs.

But the tenants and their attorney say the landlord is using a legal loophole to get them out, so he can bring in new tenants willing to pay market rate rent.

Historic hotel to be converted into affordable housing

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Under new ownership, the historic Downtown Barclay Hotel will undergo renovations and be converted into single-room-occupancy, affordable housing for formerly unhoused and low-income individuals.

The Los Angeles-based nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation acquired the property in October. It will renovate the 158-unit hotel into affordable housing units.

AHF and the organization’s housing subsidiary, Healthy Housing Foundation, hosted a holiday-themed ceremony late December, formally rededicating the hotel and unveiling a plaque officially solidifying the future intended use of the long-standing, historic property.

This hotel marks AHF’s 11th property on its list of affordable, single-room-occupancy buildings throughout LA. The organization now has 1,183 units, with some being in Downtown, like The King Edward and The Baltimore hotels, all centered around housing individuals and families in need.