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California tried to protect tenants during COVID. Nearly 36,000 households — and counting — still faced eviction

California’s recently expired pandemic eviction ban didn’t prevent nearly 36,000 households from being hit with eviction lawsuits last year.

The data comes from the most recent annual report by the Judicial Branch of California and underscores the limits of state efforts to mute the pandemic’s effects on financially vulnerable residents. Renter advocates fear it’s also a preview of evictions to come after two years of upheaval in one of the country’s most expensive places to live.

“Whatever the court eviction numbers are, the real displacement is bigger,” said Shanti Singh, communications and legislative director for statewide advocacy group Tenants Together. “We’re concerned about seeing a spike in homelessness.”

Antioch residents rally against rent increases

Antioch - About 65 advocates rallied recently to demand safe and affordable housing and an immediate stop to what they called ‘exorbitant’ rent increases. 

Low-income tenants at Delta Pines Apartments and Casa Blanca Apartments, two government-subsidized affordable housing buildings, are facing potential displacement after their corporate landlord recently raised monthly rents by as much as $500. 

Vence programa de protección de inquilinos en California

El programa de protección contra el desalojo de California, calificado como incompleto y defectuoso, venció este viernes primero de julio.

Ante esto, activistas señalan que debido a que el programa de alivio de alquiler vencido no puede proporcionar fondos para cubrir el alquiler atrasado desde marzo, al menos un millón de inquilinos de California enfrentan un futuro profundamente incierto y el potencial de desalojo y falta de vivienda.

Inspectors Find Rampant Health Problems In Apartment Complex Owned By Mega-Landlord Mike Nijjar

Following weeks of inspections, Los Angeles County officials have identified numerous health hazards in a sprawling South L.A. apartment complex owned by mega-landlord Mike Nijjar.

Tenants at the Chesapeake Apartments have long complained about pests, mold and sewage leaking into their homes. Now, the county’s Department of Public Health (DPH) has substantiated their complaints.

Eviction protections end in California, leaving tenants and housing advocates hopeful for relief extension

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Eviction relief protections in California have officially come to an end. However, thousands of residents who are behind on their rent along with housing advocates say that date needs to be extended.

Rodney Davis is a Sacramento resident facing a possible eviction.

"You're talking about stress, it's been very stressful," Davis said. "I'm still sort of in a dilemma and don't really have very much money saved up."

Los desalojos se disparan en Sacramento al finalizar las protecciones a los inquilinos por el COVID

Un día de abril, Lenora Jackson volvió a casa de su empleo como trabajadora del Estado en South Oak Park y se encontró con el administrador de la propiedad en la puerta de su casa, pidiéndole las llaves.

Estaba tratando de desalojarla por una infestación de chinches. Temía que perder su casa, la cual rentaba desde 2017, la obligara a quedarse sin hogar y a vivir en su camioneta.

“Da miedo porque tengo muchos problemas médicos”, dijo Jackson, de 55 años. “No tendría a dónde ir”.

California’s eviction moratorium to lift at midnight, despite rent relief concerns

A limited three-month extension to California’s eviction moratorium is scheduled to expire on Thursday at midnight, despite opposition from tenant advocates who say the state still hasn’t done enough to keep renters housed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers in March moved the eviction moratorium’s expiration date from April 1 to July 1 for California tenants who’d applied for the state’s rent relief program by the end of March. That extension also afforded the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development more time to work through a backlog of applications and disburse payments to thousands of renters who still hadn’t received aid.

Eviction protections for thousands of renters impacted by COVID to expire Friday

SAN DIEGO — Tens of thousands of California families unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19 could soon be facing eviction. 

On Friday morning, the legal protections these renters have, essentially shielding them from eviction proceedings, will officially expire. 

In the meantime, thousands of these Californians are still waiting on millions of dollars in rental relief promised by the state.

Those statewide eviction protections put in place for renters impacted by the pandemic are set to expire Friday morning, even though more than 80,000 households who applied for emergency assistance are still waiting for an answer on their applications.

"I just feel the state has failed us: they have failed us," said Imperial Beach resident, Patricia Mendoza, who is still waiting for $9,000 in rental assistance from the state.

Exclusive: Evictions soar in Sacramento as remaining COVID tenant protections set to end

Lenora Jackson came home in South Oak Park from her job as a state worker one day in April to find her property manager standing outside her house, asking for her keys.

He was trying to evict her because of a bed bug infestation. She feared that losing her home, where she has rented since 2017, would force her into homelessness and to live in her pick-up truck.

“It’s scary because I have a lot of medical problems,” said Jackson, 55. “I would have nowhere to go.”

Rent relief eviction protections in California set to expire

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rent relief eviction protections in California are set to expire.

But, more than 85,000 renters are still waiting for their rental assistance applications to be reviewed. 

Community-based organizations, including the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, are taking action to protect tenants.

At a press conference Tuesday morning, renters shared their experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Several speakers said they are still waiting on rent relief from California's Emergency Rental Assistance Program and now face eviction.

1 in 3 applications denied California rent relief money, thousands still waiting

California rent relief eviction protections expire at the end of June, potentially negatively affecting the tens of thousands who are still waiting on a response or money from the state’s COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program.

Dozens of tenants tell KTVU they fear losing their home, despite applying, meeting income eligibility, submitting necessary documents, and waiting months for approval of relief payments from the state.

"I’m pretty sure I’m going to be out on the streets," Los Angeles renter Mario Martinez said. "The landlord has been more than patient and working with me through all of this and I just keep telling him to hold on, it’s coming."

Miles de inquilinos piden se extiendan protecciones permanentes para evitar el desalojo

Pese a que miles de inquilinos aún están a la espera de una respuesta a su solicitud de alivio para pagar sus rentas atrasadas, el 30 de junio terminarán las protecciones contra los desalojos de familias que han aplicado para el programa de asistencia de alquiler de emergencia de California (ERAP).

Es por eso que a dos días de que se venza la fecha límite de las protecciones que evitan los desalojos, hicieron un llamado urgente a los líderes electos del estado para que aprueben protecciones permanentes que frenen la creciente crisis de vivienda que impacta a las comunidades de color y a los trabajadores pobres.

Time is running out on eviction moratoriums

Eviction protections that California lawmakers put in place at the beginning of the pandemic, and extended several times since then, are about to expire.

On Tuesday, a group of community-based organizations held a Zoom news conference meant to highlight what they said will be a catastrophe for tens of thousands of people in just a few days.

More than $3.5 billion in rent relief payments have gone out since the protections began. But barring any last-minute action from the state (the protection goes away on July 1) leaves people like Imperial Beach resident Patricia Mendoza in a slow building state of panic.

As statewide protections end, California renters demand more rights

ANTIOCH — With the state’s last remaining COVID-eviction protections set to expire next week, dozens of renters rallied Wednesday demanding protection against steep rent hikes, landlord harassment and poor living conditions.

Waving signs that read “Housing is a human right” and “The rent is too damn high,” residents complained of roach and mold-infested apartments, sewage flooding their bathrooms and out-of-the-blue rent hikes of hundreds of dollars.

Many of the complaints centered on Delta Pines — a low-income apartment complex in Antioch with nearly 200 units. But the issues extend throughout Antioch and the entire Bay Area, tenants’ rights organizers say. A survey of 1,000 Antioch renters released this month found that respondents spend, on average, 63% of their income on rent — making it difficult to pay for food, medicine, childcare and other expenses.

RV park tenants rally against rent increases in Imperial Beach

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) — Wednesday, dozens of RV tenants in Imperial Beach rallied against what they say are unfair rent increases and evictions from their new landlord at the Siesta RV Park.

Some of the tenants are part of the San Diego Chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).

In front of the RV Park, people chanted phrases like "Yes, we can" in Spanish and "Fight, fight, fight. Housing is a human right." Some held a large banner that read "STOP ALL EVICTIONS."

One by one, tenants spoke about their experience living at the RV park. "As a senior and a disabled veteran, I should not have to be worrying about not being able to afford my rent," one man said.

Imperial Beach RV tenants rally for rent control and more protection against unfair evictions

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — Tenants of the Siesta RV Park in Imperial Beach held a rally on June 22 calling for an end to a rule that forces them to move out of the park every six months for 2 days at a time.

Many of the tenants are also members of the San Diego chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

“We're tired of people playing with our lives. They don't see us as human beings with a right to have a home, they just see us like a dollar sign,” said Consuela Villalpando.

In January of this year, the RV park was sold to Miramar Imperial Beach LLC. Tenants say since then, their rent has increased and they’ve also been hit with new fees on water, sewage, and trash. They said they’re also forced to move their RVs off the property every six months for 48 hours.

Antioch Residents Rally for Safe and Affordable Housing in Response to Egregious Rent Increases

Antioch, CA – Advocates held a rally on June 22, 2022, to demand safe and affordable housing and an immediate stop to exorbitant rent increases. Low-income tenants at Delta Pines Apartments and Casa Blanca Apartments, two government-subsidized affordable housing buildings, are facing potential displacement after their corporate landlord recently raised monthly rents by as much as $500.

Before the rally, participants gathered in the Lowe’s parking lot at nearby 1951 Auto Center Drive where they marched to Delta Pines Apartments while holding signs and chanting.

Residents of Delta Pines and Case Blanca aren’t alone in facing sudden rent increases. A new survey of Antioch residents released today finds rent hikes and housing instability are widespread across the city.  Seventy-nine percent of renters report feeling worried about rent increases, while 68 percent worried about being able to pay their current rent.

Antioch residents to rally for stable, safe, affordable housing

Antioch – Advocates will hold a rally on at noon on Wednesday, June 22, at Delta Pines Apartments, 2301 Sycamore Drive, to demand safe and affordable housing and an immediate stop to what critics call 'exorbitant' rent increases Low-income tenants at Delta Pines Apartments and Casa Blanca Apartments, two government-subsidized affordable housing buildings, are facing potential displacement after their corporate landlord recently raised monthly rents by as much as $500.

Before the rally, an expected up to 50 participants will gather in the Lowe’s parking lot at nearby 1951 Auto Center Drive at 11:45 a.m., then walk to Delta Pines Apartments while holding signs and chanting. Residents of Delta Pines, Casa Blanca, and residents with ECRG will speak about their first-hand experiences with unaffordable rents, fears of eviction, and alleged landlord harassment.

Alleged tenant harassment in Contra Costa County threatens families

(KRON) – Contra Costa County has seen a 35% increase in homelessness since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s impacting families. 

Kamilah Miller, 43, is a resident of Antioch and a working mother of nine. Together she and her husband opened two small businesses a few years ago to support their family. Kamilah Cares is one of their businesses, a child care center. They also had an event-planning business until 2020. Miller even got an associate’s degree in child development, “because I knew that just working a regular job would not be enough to pay rent,” she said.

Four years ago Miller and her four kids were evicted from their home and forced to live in a hotel shortly after her mother passed away, adding an incredible amount of pain to an already suffering family. Miller says the only way they were able to afford the hotel is with the profits from her husband’s event-planning business.

California Rent Relief: How Not to Provide Emergency Rent Relief

Organizers from the South Central local of the Los Angeles Tenants Union were descending on Exposition Park, their arms full of tablets, laptops and smartphones. It was the evening of April 13, 2021, and as senior and immigrant tenants watched on, the young volunteers connected the park to the internet via a Wi-Fi hotspot. Then the tenants did what they couldn’t do at home: They applied for pandemic rent relief from the state of California.

When low income tenants faced eviction across the state, the primary way to stave it off was through online application to the state’s Emergency Renters Assistance Program (ERAP), which was charged with distributing more than $2.6 billion in rent relief to tenants with additional funds distributed by cities and counties. However, tenant organizers say the program was never going to succeed as it was structured, in large part because applying for relief was only possible with an internet connection and an email address, blocking thousands of the most vulnerable renters in California from paying back their debts.

Chesapeake Tenants Win Inspection of Unsafe Conditions at Apartment Complex

Hundreds of Chesapeake residents, angry at ongoing maintenance problems at the 425-unit building, have finally won a building-wide inspection, which will take approximately six weeks.  

On June 6, the Los Angeles County Health Department and Los Angeles City Code Enforcement began conducting the inspection of the Chesapeake Apartment complex, located on Obama Blvd. in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw area.  

At the same time, tenants and members of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment-Los Angeles (ACCE) held a press conference to call attention to the extensive maintenance problems at the building, and owner Pama V Properties president Mike Nijjar’s continued failure at properly addressing them.

‘Profoundly unfair.’ California tenants sue state over COVID rental aid program

California tenants have filed a lawsuit against the agency that runs the state’s COVID-19 emergency rent relief program, saying it “disproportionately harms tenants on the basis of race, color, and national origin.”

Tenant rights organizations Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy announced Monday they joined with research institute PolicyLink to sue the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which administers the rental assistance program.

The groups claim the program has denied funding to hundreds of thousands of tenants without specific reasons or adequate opportunities to appeal. HCD has also made it more challenging for non-English-speaking tenants to communicate with program officials, the lawsuit said.

'We don't use that much water!' | Is an Arden-Arcade apartment complex price-gouging water bills?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When tenants of the Harlow Apartments in Arden-Arcade reached out to ABC10 about abnormally high water bills, we started asking questions and got results.

With the turn of a faucet, tenant Angy Boss washes her hands before lunch, wondering why her May water bill was more than 11 times the flat rate of $35 that's written into her lease.

"We don't use that much water," Boss said. "I don't have $400 laying around to be put into a utility bill that I wasn't expecting."

That's a third of what she pays for rent now in a quiet two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit that doesn't have its own washer and dryer at the Harlow Apartment complex.

Bay Area renters fear end of eviction moratorium amid state rental assistance backlog

ANTIOCH – The state has been slow to pay the rental assistance it promised to tenants and landlords during the pandemic. Now thousands of Californians, including here in the Bay Area, are threatened with eviction in spite of the program that was supposed to prevent it. 

A year ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom proudly announced a program to completely reimburse landlords for the unpaid rent people owed during the pandemic.

"100 percent of your back rent, taken care of," he said at the time.

So, a lot of tenants and landlords scrambled to apply for the program, which was set to end on March 31. Kamilah Miller was one of them.

"I submitted my paperwork March 10th. I haven't heard a peep," said Miller.  "I even called just to say, hey, just want to make sure everything's in there.  And they're, like, 'It's in there.'  And that's it..."

Oakland limits rent increases to 3% for rent-controlled apartments

Oakland officials on Tuesday evening capped rent increases at 3% for rent-controlled apartments, effectively preventing landlords from raising rents by 6.7% starting in July, which had been on track to be one of the highest one-year rent increases in the city’s history.

The City Council voted 6-1 for an ordinance to restrain the rent increase, with Noel Gallo voting against the proposal and Loren Taylor abstaining.

The move came amid strong support from tenants’ rights advocates who said a massive rent increase could have a catastrophic impact on a city grappling with a rising homelessness crisis as many residents try to emerge from the pandemic downturn.