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Scholars, students, and community working together for transformation at UCSC’s All-In Conference

SANTA CRUZ, CA - More than 400 university scholars, students, community organizers, foundation representatives, artists, and activists came together in late October for a one-of-a-kind event to build collaborative partnerships for community-engaged research and meaningful social change at the UC Santa Cruz conference: All-In: Co-creating Knowledge for Justice.

Inquilinos de California se rebelan y exigen topes de alquiler a los ayuntamientos

ANTIOCH, CA - El apartamento de Kim Carlson se ha inundado con heces humanas varias veces, la plomería nunca se reparó en el complejo de viviendas de bajos ingresos al que llama hogar en el suburbio de Antioch, en el área de la bahía de San Francisco.

California tenants rise up, demand rent caps from city halls

ANTIOCH, CA — Kim Carlson’s apartment has flooded with human feces multiple times, the plumbing never fixed in the low-income housing complex she calls home in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Antioch.

Her property manager is verbally abusive and calls her 9-year-old grandson, who has autism, a slur word, she said. Her heater was busted for a month this winter and the dishwasher has mold growing under it. But the final straw came in May: a $500 rent increase, bringing the rent on the two-bedroom to $1,854 a month.

Richmond Considers Stronger Rent Caps as Inflation Soars

RICHMOND, CA - Emily Ross and her partner moved to Richmond together a decade ago. She was working in Napa, her partner was working in San Francisco and they couldn’t find an affordable place to live in either city.

“We looked all over the Bay and we wound up getting offered a place in Richmond,” Ross said. “We’d been looking for so long and it was the perfect halfway point.”

Who gets to live on Bermuda Avenue: The moneyed newcomer or long-time, low-income local?

SAN DIEGO, CA - In late May, a family trust with rental properties scattered around San Diego County bought a small apartment building on Bermuda Avenue in Ocean Beach, paying $4.23 million. Over the next few weeks, it bought three more properties, also built in the 1960s or 1970s, for a total of 34 units.

When the deal closed, the trust’s property management company, Coast West Properties, got to work, giving move-out notices to rent-paying, rule-abiding tenants in apartments tagged for renovation, scheduling contractors and posting listings for the spiffed-up units.

Real Estate Industry Spends Big To Crush LA “Mansion Tax”

LOS ANGELES, CA - In the coming weeks, Los Angelenos will vote on a ballot measure to hike taxes on the sale of multimillion dollar properties, with the expected near-billion dollars in annual revenue going towards addressing the housing crisis in the second-largest city in America.

The initiative has been strongly opposed by real estate interests — from huge corporate landlords to realtor lobbying groups and pro-business groups — who have so far poured more than $5 million into efforts to defeat the measure.

Chula Vista approves landlord-tenant rules

SAN DIEGO, CA - Chula Vista has approved a landlord-tenant ordinance aimed at protecting good renters from no-fault evictions by landlords acting in bad faith.

Council members passed the law in a 3-1 vote Tuesday after having delayed the issue in May due to not having a quorum. Councilmember Jill Galvez cast the lone vote in opposition and Councilmember John McCann recused himself because of a conflict of interest as he owns multiple properties.

What will it take to meet the challenge of houselessness in Los Angeles?

LOS ANGELES, CA - For the wealthiest state in the nation, California’s social and economic inequality is glaringly stark. More than a fourth of America’s unhoused population lives there, according to a 2020 HUD report, and it’s the only state where more than 70% of that population is unsheltered—that is, living outside the shelter system in tents, informal communities, and camps.

And nowhere in the state is the disparity so affronting as in Los Angeles, among the 10 wealthiest cities in the world and also home to the largest unsheltered population of any U.S. city.

Want to Shift Power? We Need to Take on Real Estate

The COVID-19 pandemic made the wealthiest people in the US much richer. While a million Americans died, and we endured the worst health crisis in a generation, the powerful consolidated their financial position. By May 2022, US billionaires’ wealth had grown by $1.7 trillion since the coronavirus crisis began.

A key component of concentrated wealth is real estate, ie, the ownership and management of land and buildings. Controlling real estate has historically been a central piece of gaining and maintaining power. This is no less true today. The richest people in the world use land and buildings as vehicles for hiding their assets and as investments to increase their capital. In doing so, they have weaponized real estate not just to grow their wealth, but to control our communities.

Here’s what a vote for Measure P would do

RICHMOND, CA - Richmond voters are being asked on the November ballot to boost rent control measures so that tenants in controlled units would experience no more than a 3% rent hike. 

If Measure P is approved, it would keep those tenants from potentially receiving a much higher rent increase that is based on the consumer price index. In Richmond, landlords can raise the rent to 100% of inflation, which is the percentage increase in the consumer price index — currently, 5.2%. Measure P would decrease that to either 60% of inflation, or a flat 3% increase in monthly rent, whichever is lower. 

L.A. council candidate pays two workers about half the amount owed in wage theft cases

LOS ANGELES, CA - Three weeks ago, Los Angeles City Council candidate Danielle Sandoval issued a public apology, saying she was taking full responsibility for her handling of wage theft claims filed by workers at a restaurant she opened in 2014.

Sandoval said she was working to "remediate the harm" caused to the four former employees of Caliente Cantina in San Pedro, which is now closed.

East Bay tenants, advocates celebrate signing of historic rent protections

ANTIOCH, CA - Residents, housing advocates and Antioch City Council members gathered at Casa Blanca Apartments to celebrate the passage of the city’s first rent stabilization rules, the strongest such laws in Contra Costa County.

The ordinance caps rent increases at 3% or 60% of the consumer price index, whichever is lower; allows only one rent increase each year; and includes government-funded, low-income housing apartments.

This Election, We Choose Us

Most Californians value living in a multiracial democracy. We take pride in the vast distinct cultural heritages that make up California. Whether we are Black or White; Latino or Asian; immigrant or native-born — each of us strengthens our democracy and our economy when given equal rights and opportunities.

But a handful of cynical politicians and their wealthy corporate donors want us to blame our neighbors down the street who look different from us.

Racist Comments On Leaked Tapes Renew Feelings Of Erasure Among Black Latinos

LOS ANGELES, CA - Los Angeles was built on stolen Indigenous land. And Black Latinos built Los Angeles as we know it now. The region’s 44 earliest settlers to this area included many Black Mexicans.

Leaked tapes first revealed on Reddit captured the anti-Black, anti-Indigenous conversation from then-L.A. City Council president Nury Martinez, who resigned on Wednesday, councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, and former L.A. Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, who resigned on Tuesday, in a conversation about manipulating L.A.’s redistricting process for personal gain.

Para un activista latino de Los Ángeles "fue muy doloroso" lo que hicieron los concejales

LOS ANGELES, CA: Para Estuardo Mazariegos, de la Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE, por sus siglas en inglés), la conversación racista representa "una falta de respeto" y agrega que "esta gente nos está dividiendo en vez de dar el ejemplo".

La prohibición de desalojo sin causa de San Diego expira, lo que permite a los caseros rescindir los contratos de arrendamiento sin causa

SAN DIEGO, CA - La moratoria de desalojo residencial sin causa alguna de San Diego expiró el viernes, ampliando la lista de motivos que un propietario puede alegar para poner fin al alquiler o desalojar a un inquilino.

La moratoria, que entró en vigor el 22 de mayo como consecuencia de la pandemia del COVID-19, había restringido las opciones de los propietarios para llevar a cabo desalojos, permitiéndolos solo en situaciones en las que el inquilino no pagaba el alquiler o violaba un contrato de alquiler. Impedía a los propietarios poner fin a los arrendamientos si querían retirar el inmueble del mercado de alquiler o hacer reparaciones importantes. Ahora la ley vuelve a las normas de desalojo anteriores.

Antioch approves rent stabilization with rollback date, new tenant protections

ANTIOCH, CA — Tenants afraid that landlords might raise rents before new rental protections are in place will be able to rest easier after as a result of the City Council this week approving a rollback date and strengthening its new rules.

Though the council approved rent stabilization rules on a first reading last month, it ultimately did not adopt them at a later meeting when some council members decided to include a rollback date as to when they would become effective. On Tuesday, on a 3-to-2 vote – with Mayor ProTem Mike Barbanica and Councilmember Lori Ogorchock dissenting – the council approved newly worded rules, rolling back the date to Aug. 23, so that landlords won’t be able to raise rents in the meantime.

A Year Into New Los Angeles Law to Protect Renters, City Has Taken Zero Landlords to Court

LOS ANGELES, CA: A year after Los Angeles adopted an ordinance to protect renters from harassment by taking their landlords to court, the law has largely failed its purpose. The city has not provided resources to thoroughly investigate complaints filed under the law. It has yielded no criminal prosecutions against landlords. Nor has it generated the civil lawsuits by tenants that supporters of the ordinance had hoped would deter abuses.

Councilman Cedillo criticized over handling of eviction moratorium discussion

LOS ANGELES, CA — City Councilman Gil Cedillo faced criticism from several members of the public during Friday’s council meeting over how he conducted Wednesday’s Housing Committee meeting, during which the committee took up recommendations to end the COVID-19 eviction moratorium in Los Angeles.

Several members from the tenants’ rights group Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) attended the council meeting and accused Cedillo — the committee chair — of silencing Latino voices, claiming that the Spanish translation during the meeting was poor. During Wednesday’s meeting, many Spanish-speaking tenants called for the city to extend the eviction moratorium, while landlords sought an end to the pandemic-era protections.

Hit by inflation, cost of living hikes and corporate landlord profiteering, Sacramentans want to know why their tenant protections are so weak?

SACRAMENTO, CA - At the August 23, 2022 Antioch City Council meeting, former councilmember Ralph Hernandez stood to speak on behalf of a rent stabilization ordinance that was under consideration. He recounted the general challenges in the community: low-income families, including non-English speakers, being taken advantage of with raising rents on properties, non-existent maintenance, broken down appliances and pest infestations. He also mentioned tenants feeling they cannot say anything for fear that they will face retaliatory eviction with nowhere else to go.

The struggles of low-income Sacramentans are no different, and renters advocates across California consistently identify Sacramento as being one of the worst areas in the state for local tenant protections. The data on this has already been collected: The 2022 Homeless Point in Time Count reported a 67% increase in the local homeless population, more than any other California city or county, and cited housing affordability issues as a major driver. It also noted the “growing need for more preventative and rehousing strategies in the future.”

Stand Up Nashville joins activists in D.C. for housing equity, eviction protection

Advocates from Stand Up Nashville (SUN) joined more than 100 tenant activists in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to fight for housing equity and eviction protection for renters nationally.

The activists imposed on the National Multifamily Housing Council's (NMHC) annual fall conference which is one of the nation's largest annual gatherings of corporate landlords. Renters and advocates called on lawmakers to dismiss real estate lobby money and stop opposing essential tenant protections at the behalf of real estate groups and developers.

Sacramento renters lived with broken A/C in heat wave. Will county crack down on landlord?

SACRAMENTO, CA - Lourdes Diaz Gomez and her two young grandchildren have been baking in their south Sacramento apartment. They lived with a broken air conditioner in an apartment managed by Stanford Properties for over three months, including last week’s record-breaking heat wave.

That isn’t the only problem at Hampton Park Apartments, according to tenant activists with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

Activistas piden que la ley contra el acoso de los inquilinos en Los Ángeles sea implementada

LOS ANGELES, CA - El jueves por la mañana un grupo de inquilinos acompañados de estudiantes activistas del colegio Occidental se reunieron frente a la vivienda de un inquilino quien acusa a su arrendataria de acoso.

El grupo indicó que este es un claro ejemplo por el cual la ciudad de Los Ángeles debe implementar la Ordenanza contra el Acoso de Inquilinos (TAHO) que fue aprobada el año pasado pero hasta ahora no ha podido ser utilizada por supuestamente no tener fondos.

How Oakland Tenants Forced Their Landlord to Turn Over the Keys

OAKLAND, CA - When Maria Montes de Oca and her family moved into their apartment in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland fourteen years ago, there were already problems. The apartment clearly hadn’t been maintained; the carpet was stained and damaged, and neither the stove nor the fridge worked. Later on, there were cockroach infestation and mold issues. When Maria tried to get the landlord, Calvin Wong, to carry out repairs or fumigate, he would ignore her requests or tell her he’d use her security deposit to pay for it — a practice that’s illegal in California.

East Bay city approves rent stabilization rules

ANTIOCH, CA — Antioch tenants struggling to pay their bills could see some relief as a result of rent stabilization protections the City Council approved Tuesday.

The protections came on a split vote, with Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica and Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock dissenting, after dozens of residents and advocates crowded City Hall, many carrying signs and sporting yellow or purple shirts representing some of the 15 nonprofit groups that supported capping annual rent increases for tenants.