San Francisco Chronicle - On May 6, Lorenzo Perez got a notice on the door of the Walnut Creek apartment he shares with his wife, Lesly Ordonez, and their two children. It said they had three days to pay rent or quit.
In other words, the landlord was threatening to evict the family.
LA Times - Protesters took to the lawn outside of the Irvine Co. office building in Newport Beach on Friday to express their concerns about economic struggles they face regarding affordable housing.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a loss of wages for many people not deemed to be part of the essential workforce.
A group called the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment organized a caravan of about 15 cars that made several trips around the building, honking horns and displaying signs that focused on two messages in particular “Cancel Rent” and “Make Them Pay.”
KQED - California’s housing crisis is driving state lawmakers to think big. One question they’re considering: How can the Golden State guarantee housing as a right? This week, state legislators looked at two different approaches that tackle the legal right to housing and how the coronavirus pandemic is shaping the debate.
LA Times - Los Angeles County has ended its controversial PACE home improvement loan program, a decision that follows years of criticism that the county enabled predatory lending and put people at risk of losing their homes.
County officials — who launched the PACE program in 2015 to fund energy- and water-efficient home improvements — said they made the decision after determining the program lacked adequate consumer protections.
Homeowners repeatedly alleged the private home improvement contractors who signed them up for PACE misrepresented how the financing would work, saddling them with loans they could not understand or afford.
MOMS 4 HOUSING ORGANIZER CARROLL FIFE IS REDEFINING WHAT WEALTH DISTRIBUTION LOOKS LIKE FOR BLACK PEOPLE GLOBALLY
Black Enterprise - Oakland-based organizer and Regional Director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment for San Francisco and Oakland, Carroll Fife, has dedicated her life’s work to advocating for the rights of marginalized people. During these unprecedented times, Fife sat down with BLACK ENTERPRISE to share the importance of her work on the front lines, with Moms 4 Housing, and administratively as she helps black people remain politically engaged and empowered.
Over the span of her career, Fife has been able to make incredible strides toward the liberation of oppressed people. Fife is a selfless organizer who understands that educating others as you uplift them is what ignites lasting change. That, coupled with the power of storytelling, is how she and the women she organizes with has attributed to their success.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Media Contact: Rekha Radhakrishnan, 832-628-2312, firstname.lastname@example.org
ADVOCATES HAIL END OF CONTROVERSIAL LOS ANGELES COUNTY PACE PROGRAM
Homeowner and consumer advocates call on local entities statewide to follow the County’s lead and protect vulnerable homeowners from predatory financing scheme
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – May 19, 2020 – Bet Tzedek, Public Counsel, ACCE, Haven Neighborhood Services, Neighborhood Legal Services, and UC Irvine School of Law are celebrating Los Angeles County’s decision to end its highly criticized Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) financing program, which has victimized thousands of County homeowners. In ending its program, the County of Los Angeles confirmed what advocates and victims have been saying for years: that the County “cannot be certain” that the PACE program can “provide sufficient protection for all consumers.” The County discontinued new financing under its PACE program effective May 13, 2020. See ISD PACE Termination FAQs.
In response to the mounting economic pressure homeowners across the state feel due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, advocates again call on the City of Los Angeles and other local entities across the state to end their continued participation in non-County PACE programs to protect all Californians.
This Oakland-based group is reclaiming vacant homes from speculators and profiteers so that no one ends up on the streets.
Shondaland - Last November, Dominique Walker had a radical plan: Occupy a vacant house in her hometown to protest the fact that there are far more empty houses in Oakland, California than those in need of a home. Though she had the support of the community, Wedgewood Inc., a house-flipping company that owned the home, sued to have them thrown out.
“I've never seen an eviction done in that manner. There were [Roomba-like] robots that came into the house, like we were terrorists. They sent the robot in first, and then they came in. They had AR-15s and military fatigues, and tanks for mothers and babies,” Walker says, recalling the Tuesday morning this past January when the incident happened.
The city’s emergency measures will only delay a huge wave of evictions until later this year.
The Nation - California is often painted by liberal media as the “State of Resistance,” where rationality prevails and the response to Covid-19 has been guided by science. And Los Angeles might appear to be this progressive bastion’s crown jewel: In recent years, media outlets have praised LA’s mayor, rising Democratic star Eric Garcetti, for leading what one Economist story proposed as “the model for a more diverse America.” The mayor’s nightly Covid-19 briefings, streamed on Facebook, “come from a place of love,” one law professor recently told the Los Angeles Times. “He’s tried to come from a place of kindness. He’s trying to build consensus.”
This boosterism obscures the racialized poverty, suffering, and violence that coexist uneasily with astonishing wealth in this paradise of liberal capitalism. LA has never been a friendly place for tenants, but the situation has worsened in recent decades, as wages stagnated and rents soared. Now LA is staring down the barrel of what could be the largest wave of forced evictions in the region’s history, and local leaders—including Garcetti—are refusing to do what’s necessary to secure housing for renters and unhoused Angelenos.
Rather than being a model city, Los Angeles has become a cautionary tale: Even under the best conditions that liberalism and the Democratic Party have to offer, those who don’t own property will be exploited by those who do.