Inquilinos de un complejo de apartamentos de 400 unidades en el sur de Los Ángeles protestaron contra el propietario quien, según ellos, se niega a abordar las condiciones inhumanas en las que viven.
Sabrina Dolan is convinced that her apartment is poisoning her.
Black, mold-like spots dot the windowsill in her living room. They appear on her bedroom windows along with signs of termites. The spots also cover a corner of her bathroom, and no amount of scrubbing can make them go away.
Recently, she’s been coughing up chunks of thick, dark mucus.
And no matter how many times she says she complains to her landlord at the South Los Angeles apartment she shares with her fiancé, nothing ever gets repaired.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Activists with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment joined tenants today to call on the California Attorney General to intervene and hold a landlord accountable for allegedly allowing slum conditions and endangering the health and safety of residents.
Residents of the apartment building on Obama Boulevard in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw area say they live with black mold, faulty heaters and broken pipes that spew raw sewage.
"These conditions cannot continue to go on like this. People are going to the hospital,'' said Zerita Jones, who lives at the property, in a statement provided by ACCE.
In December 2020, three months after his family received an eviction notice from their landlord, Gabriel Guzman felt a bitter mix of sorrow and anger as he and his wife, Elena Porras, gathered with friends at their Chula Vista, California, home to pack up their belongings. They had two days before sheriff’s deputies might arrive to lock them out of the white-paneled, single-story, three-bedroom house they’d rented for just over a year. Guzman himself had been living in Chula Vista since 2000. After serving in the Marines at Camp Pendleton and then as a reservist, he worked as a property manager for over a decade—first with mom-and-pop real estate firms and later with larger ones.
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — The undocumented community and supporters are calling on Contra Costa County officials to expand a program that provided vital healthcare to thousands amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2015, the county passed the Contra Costa CARES program, a healthcare program for uninsured adults living in Contra Costa County. The program has been able to provide much-needed healthcare to more than 8,000 undocumented individuals. Since the inception of the program, primary care services have been provided to thousands, with more than 33,000 visits to date.
“Because of CARES, I was able to remove the tumors in my breast before they became life-threatening,” said CARES recipient, Ana Gonzalez. “I am in the fight for CARES because when we are healthy we can work and give to our community – today for me, tomorrow for you.”
LA TIMES - Public school districts across California have been facing plummeting enrollment for five years, a trend spurred by pandemic struggles, falling birth rates, out-of-state migration, among other factors.
Because funding for California public schools is based on student attendance, districts may soon be facing big budget shortfalls, if they aren’t already — although legislative discussions are underway to possibly ease the hit. One way districts are addressing this problem, however, is by shuttering schools with dwindling student enrollment. In February, Oakland school board members voted to close seven of the city’s public schools by 2024. Some L.A. Unified schools also face uncertain futures.
LOS ANGELES TIMES — A week before California's eviction moratorium was scheduled to expire, top Democrats in the Legislature announced a proposal on Thursday to extend COVID-19 pandemic protections for tenants by another three months so the state can finish sending out rent relief payments.
Assembly Bill 2179 would move the date on which landlords may initiate eviction proceedings from April 1 to July 1, as long as an application is submitted by March 31 to a rent relief program. Democratic legislative leaders said the extension would give applicants more time to receive the help and avoid losing their homes.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of California renters facing eviction next week could get another three months of protection under a bill top legislative leaders endorsed on Thursday.
The federal government sent billions of dollars to the states to help people who fell behind on their rent payments during the pandemic. California’s program will pay for 100% of people’s unpaid rent if they meet certain income requirements.
Only 16% of nearly half a million renters who applied for rent relief from the state of California have been paid, according to a new analysis released today. And the clock is ticking: Under state law, landlords will be able to evict tenants who failed to pay rent by April 1.
Of more than 488,000 households who applied for assistance since the program launched in March 2021, about 180,000 were approved. Four percent were denied, and more than half of applicants are still awaiting a response, according to the study, produced by the National Equity Atlas, Housing Now and the Western Center on Law & Poverty using state data.
OAKLAND, CA - A group of local landlords filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday seeking to overturn Oakland and Alameda County’s current eviction bans, which were triggered by the start of the pandemic . . .
The action came after the landlords’ attorney, Andrew Zacks, sent a letter to the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in January warning the legal challenge was coming. The suit is part of a broader push by property owners’ groups across the state to end local eviction bans.
LOS ANGELES - A principios del 2020 Verónica Arias y su familia habían recibido una orden de su arrendatario que la renta de su apartamento aumentaría por más de $300. Sin embargo, la pandemia del Covid-19 detuvo el proceso por dos años el cual expiró hasta este año y pronto recibirán otra carta notificando en cuanto aumentará su renta.
La familia de cuatro actualmente paga $997 en el apartamento localizado en Los Ángeles.
“Este es un edificio de bajos recursos y uno paga dependiendo de cuánto gana el inquilino”, dijo Arias, de 51 años.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
LA OPINION - El año 2021, el segundo año de la pandemia de covid-19, se caracterizó por la inestabilidad en la vivienda y el acoso de arrendadores contra inquilinos.
“Si bien el gobierno ha ayudado a los inquilinos afectados por covid-19 con el pago de hasta 18 meses de renta, el proceso para obtener la ayuda puede tardar meses, y en ese tiempo son víctimas de un acoso terrible por parte del dueño de la vivienda”, dice Lupita González, organizadora comunitaria de la Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), una organización que ayuda y educa a los inquilinos para evitar el desalojo.
New proposals would shake up Bay Area real estate market
East Bay Times - As the Bay Area grasps for new ways to quell its affordable housing shortage, several cities are considering controversial policies that would give some tenants a shot at buying their homes — a move that’s sharply dividing property owners and renters.
To prevent big-pocketed investors from scooping up homes, raising rents and forcing tenants out, East Palo Alto, San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley are eyeing ordinances that would give renters, nonprofits or the city first dibs on some sales. Known as opportunity to purchase acts, the ordinances have been heralded by tenant rights advocates as a way to give renters a leg up in the overheated housing market. But the idea faces strong opposition from some landlords and real estate groups who argue they represent an unconscionable interference in the rights of property owners.
KPIX - As cities search for ways to keep housing within people’s financial reach, a new tool is being considered that may give tenants and housing advocates more muscle in buying properties. Some landlords say it removes their rights as owners.
For more than two years, the people who live at an apartment complex on 29th Avenue, in Oakland, have been staging a rent strike against their landlord. They’ve held marches and protests and on Friday, they won. The property owner agreed to sell the building to the city’s Community Land Trust to become permanent affordable housing.
San Jose Mercury News - After more than two years of protesting, rallying and withholding rent payments, a group of Oakland tenants has scored a major victory in the fight to take control of their building.
The property owner has agreed to sell the 14-unit building on 29th Avenue in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood for $3.3 million, according to the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, the tenants’ rights group working with the renters. The building will be purchased by the Oakland Community Land Trust — a nonprofit that buys market-rate properties and converts them into affordable housing.
It’s a big milestone for the tenants involved, and it comes as efforts to give renters more control over their homes are picking up speed. Community land trusts are building momentum throughout the Bay Area as a potential way to preserve affordable housing in a market where prices continue to spiral out of control. At the same time, Oakland and other Bay Area cities are eyeing new ordinances that would give tenants the opportunity to buy their buildings before they go on the market.
LA Times - Tenants of an apartment complex in Baldwin Hills traveled to Orange County last week to protest alleged unfair treatment from a Costa Mesa property management company whose staff they claim has harassed residents and threatened to evict them.
A group amassed during a Dec. 9 demonstration outside the Red Hill Avenue regional office of FPI Management, which manages nearly 150,000 units nationwide, including a handful of Orange County properties and the 4063 Nicolet Ave. apartments in Los Angeles.
That’s where residents, primarily people of color, maintain FPI has attempted to evict them from their homes in an effort to raise rents while neglecting to maintain the units.