Housing Roundup: Sept. 2 – 8

housing justice committee logo_weekly roundupHere’s a summary of this week’s coverage of California’s affordable housing crisis.

Featuring stories from the Sacramento Bee, San Francisco Business Times, Mercury News, VICE, CALmatters, and ABC Sacramento.


Column: The fight over rent control is about more than housing in Sacramento. Lives are at stake
Sacramento Bee

Mayor Darrell Steinberg clearly didn’t arrive at Tuesday night’s Sacramento City Council meeting expecting a miracle. He was probably just hoping there wouldn’t be a brawl. Such are the low expectations for discussing solutions to the affordable housing crisis. “The politics of this issue are not very good,” Steinberg told the packed room from the dais. “In fact, the politics of this issue are difficult at best. You’ve got pretty strong lines in the sand.” Talk about an understatement. If five hours of sometimes heated public discussion made anything clear, it is that it’s going to take a lot more than five hours of public discussion to solve the city’s crisis of rapidly rising rents and stubbornly limited supply of housing — and maybe even that won’t work. https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/erika-d-smith/article217872410.html

Sacramento had state’s second highest rent increase. But there’s good news for tenants, too

Sacramento Bee

Sacramento residents faced the second highest rent increases among major California cities in the last year, continuing a five-year upward swing, a new analysis shows. But the news is not entirely bad. The capital city’s 2.5 percent yearly increase as of August was tame compared to earlier years when rent increases were among the highest in the nation, including nearly 10 percent last year, according to national online broker Apartment List. https://www.sacbee.com/article217796560.html

Our view: California takes bold action on housing — with the boldness removed

San Francisco Business Times

By reliable estimates, California is short of the homes it needs by about 3 million. It’s an accumulated deficit that not only gets larger each year, but in recent years is getting larger faster. Given that trajectory, it should be beyond argument that bold action to stimulate more housing is needed — action that, by definition, will disrupt the status quo. That status quo simply isn’t working. It’s failed millions of current and future Californians who need to be able to afford a place to live, and there’s absolutely no reason to expect different from more of the same.https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2018/09/06/our-view-california-takes-bold-action-on-housing.html

Anxious tenants face more Bay Area rent increases

Mercury News

As a ballot issue on rent control looms in November, Bay Area renters are facing an unrelenting market as prices continue to climb. Surveys by a pair of apartment listing firms released Monday show rent increased in San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland from 2 to 4 percent over the year ending in August, once again topping the national market. https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/09/05/anxious-tenants-face-more-bay-area-rent-increases/

California’s housing crisis is so bad people are living in cars


There is a shortage of affordable housing in every state in the country, but it’s especially bad in California, where more and more people are discovering the only place they can afford to live is inside a car. There’s only one affordable housing unit for every five extremely low-income households in the state, and the gap isn’t just pushing more and more people out onto the streets — it’s also creating a new, fast-growing, and hidden class of homelessness. https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/qvmgem/california-has-a-hidden-homelessness-crisis

Californians still really like Prop. 13—except for the big parts they don’t like


California looks a lot different than it did a generation ago. Its residents are far more diverse, and they live in a far more expensive state. There’s way more renters and proportionately way fewer Republicans. Yet today’s Californians have at least one thing in common with their late 1970s forebears: They still really like Proposition 13. In 1978 California voters approved Prop. 13 with a whopping 65 percent of the vote. A populist backlash to soaring property values and their attendant taxes, the ballot measure placed stringent caps on how much local governments could charge homeowners and businesses for the land they own. https://calmatters.org/articles/california-proposition-13-approval-rating/

Jerry Brown signs bill to give California renters facing eviction some relief

Mercury News

California tenants served with eviction notices on a Friday will have at least two more days to respond — or move out — under a proposal Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Wednesday. State law requires landlords to give tenants three days to pay rent or pack up, and allows tenants five calendar days to respond to an eviction lawsuit. Assembly Bill 2343 will stop the clock on Saturday, Sunday and other court holidays. https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/09/05/jerry-brown-signs-bill-to-give-renters-facing-eviction-some-relief/

Video: Rent control remains a possibility in Sacramento

ABC – Sacramento

With two plans to address rising rent prices and affordable housing, Sacramento may be looking into an area that only a handful of other cities have looked at before. Rent control has only been implemented in a handful of California cities. https://www.abc10.com/video/news/local/sacramento/rent-control-remains-a-possibility-in-sacramento/103-8242657

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