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Protesters Storm San Diego Real Estate Office, Demand End to Evictions Targeting Low-Income Renters

SAN DIEGO, CA - About a dozen activists with the advocacy group Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) stormed the lobby of a downtown office building Friday morning demanding to speak to a PR representative of the real estate corporation Blackstone.

The group says the corporate landlord is threatening to evict low-income renters.

“Our main message was to demand that Blackstone, this multibillion-dollar corporate landlord, stop evicting families here in San Diego county,” said Sarah Guzman with ACCE.

Tenants in Blackstone-owned properties rally against evictions

SAN DIEGO, CA — A rally in downtown San Diego Friday called for a halt to evictions at Blackstone-owned properties.

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, or ACCE, said San Diego County is already dealing with a homeless crisis, and now is not the time to force people to find somewhere else to live.

"We already have a big housing crisis, so kicking people out of their homes will only worsen. People have nowhere to go; rent is too expensive. There's very limited affordable housing here, so people need to stay in their homes," said Sarah Guzman of ACCE.

Chesapeake Apartments Residents Will Protest at the Los Angeles Housing Department Offices

LOS ANGELES, CA - Frustrated by the Los Angeles Housing Department’s (LAHD) decision not to place the Chesapeake Apartment complex into the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP), residents held a protest and press conference at LAHD’s offices on Friday to call out the department’s failure to hold the complex’s owner, billionaire slumlord Mike Nijjar, accountable for its dilapidated and unsafe conditions.

How Much Can Your Landlord Legally Raise Your Rent? This Tool Will Tell You

Starting this week, California renters can use a new online tool to check their eligibility for state and local rent protections based on their ZIP code. The idea is to make it easy to figure out how much your landlord can legally raise your rent each year, since rent caps vary from city to city. No need to read through your local rent control ordinance — now renters can just follow a simple set of prompts at tenantprotections.org and get an answer.

Mayor Gloria, Council President Elo-Rivera release tenant protection framework

SAN DIEGO, CA - Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera released a proposed framework aimed at providing greater local protections for tenants.

The framework incorporates input from residents, tenant advocates and rental housing providers gathered over the last month, following the City Council's Oct. 31 tenant protection workshop.

Morning Report: Mayor, Council Prez Outline the Tenant Protections They Want

SAN DIEGO, CA - Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera on Tuesday announced a proposal to enhance tenant protections in the city.

They unveiled a framework with a series of proposed changes including just-cause eviction protections for tenants, more required relocation assistance following no-fault evictions and additional time for seniors and San Diegans with disabilities to find new homes after receiving a no-fault eviction notice.

Is Everything in Your Lease Legal? Quite Possibly Not

You’ve decided to move to a new place. You scour the typical rental websites, browsing various options within your budget. Once you’ve decided on a place, you initiate the beginning of a new relationship—between landlord and tenant—through signing a lease.

While this legal contract is the foundation of the rent relationship, it’s often not simple to navigate.

Poor housing conditions continue at L.A. apartment complex, despite 2,000 citations

LOS ANGELES, CA - Maintenance workers installed new vinyl in Ruth Perez’s one bedroom apartment over floorboards that sag under foot. They put a new drain pipe in a sink that still clogs. They screwed new cabinet hinges into rotted wood. And they haven’t yet bothered to replace the stained carpet, or the heavy wooden closet doors that keep coming off their tracks.

“It’s just back-to-back issues,” said Perez’s 23-year-old son, Yonathan, who lives with his mom and two younger siblings. “They fix one problem and then another one comes up. We don’t feel comfortable in our own home.”

Holiday abandonment: More than 100,000 COVID-impacted renters tell state ‘Thanks for nothing’

SACRAMENTO, CA - In the first chaotic months of the pandemic, as the Newsom administration shut down most of the state’s economy, leaders assured working people that if they did their part to contain the virus by staying home, then the income they lost wouldn’t lead to getting evicted or becoming homeless.

Now, nearly three years later, tens of thousands of tenants from Sacramento to San Diego are heading into Thanksgiving with a complete sense of betrayal on that front.

Protesters occupy county building as tenants reel from COVID rent relief program’s end

SAN DIEGO, CA - Tenants and advocates staged a sit-in protest at the San Diego County Housing and Community Development Services building on Tuesday, calling on county officials to address issues with the defunct COVID rent relief program that left thousands of renters in the region facing eviction.

The county’s emergency rental assistance (ERA) program was part of statewide efforts to relieve the impact of economic hardship during the pandemic. Now, several months after the program ended back in March, tenants are still struggling.

Rent controls and affordable housing initiatives were big winners in the 2022 midterms

Ballot measures in the U.S. to build more affordable housing and protect tenants from soaring rent increases were plentiful and fared well in last week’s midterm elections, a sign of growing angst over record-high rents exacerbated by inflation and a dearth of homes.

IBA analyzes how to improve affordable housing in San Diego

SAN DIEGO, CA - It’s no secret that San Diego and all of California has an affordable housing crisis. Rents in the region are near all-time highs and inflation is affecting the cost of everyday necessities.

ACCE San Diego director Jose Lopez said that’s pushing many San Diegans over the edge.

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.