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California Apartment Association suspends legal challenges against Richmond rent control
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Saturday May 6th, 2017 9:56 PM
Among the filthy rich billionaires who gave money to the CAA, but lost in the battle against rent control in Richmond and Mountain View includes Berkshire Hathaway Home Services owned by Warren Buffet, Equity Residential owned by Sam Zell, and Prometheus Real Estate Group owned by Jackie Diller Salfier and the Diller family.
California Apartment Association suspends legal challenges against Richmond rent control

California Apartment Association suspends legal challenges against rent control in Richmond and Mountain View

By Lynda Carson - May 6, 2017

On May 5, 2017, the The California Apartment Association (CAA), announced that it is suspending its legal challenges in court against the City of Richmond and Mountain View, and the renter protection ordinances known as Measure L and Measure V, that were passed into law by the voters last November.

After a long hard fought struggle against greedy landlords involved in price gouging and eviction for profit schemes supported by the California Apartment Association (CAA), in a David vs Goliath struggle over renter protections, the voters of Richmond and Mountain View have won the battle against the CAA.

In response to the CAA backing down on its attack against the voters and renter protections in Richmond, City Councilwoman Gayle McLaughlin said, “It is a major victory for the people of Richmond that CAA has suspended its challenge of Measure L.  We have said from the start that this measure is totally constitutional and very much needed in our city given the outrageous Bay Area housing crisis. This constitutes a major success for Richmond tenants and our neighborhoods in general which now have greater assurance of stability and affordability.”

The California Apartment Association (CAA), is a pro-landlord organization that represents wealthy landlords and realtors involved in price gouging and eviction-for-profit schemes that have destabilized communities throughout both cities, for many years.

According to Trulia, the median rent in Richmond is currently $2,500 per month, and despite the never ending rent increases, reportedly during 2015 77% of renters in Richmond had an income below the federal poverty level. Additionally, according to Bay Area Legal Aid, Richmond leads Contra Costa County in evictions. Evictions that have been destabilizing communities in Richmond.

In the well financed schemes against reasonable renter protections including rent control and just cause eviction protections, the CAA has been meddling in the affairs of Alameda, Concord, Healdsburg, Lafayette, Mountain View, Pacifica, Richmond, San Jose, San Mateo, and Santa Rosa.

The On-Going Struggle Over Renter Protections In Richmond

It was on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, that the Richmond City Council directed a draft ordinance to be prepared by city staff in the effort to establish long over-due just cause eviction protections and rent control.

On July 21, 2015, the Richmond City Council voted to adopt rent control and just cause evictions protections that were supposed to go into effect on September 4, 2015, in the effort to stabilize communities in Richmond.

A CAA-backed petition that signature gatherers lied about to trick renters into signing, managed to block rent control and just cause eviction protections from going into effect in Richmond on September 4, 2015.

On September 13, 2016, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt revealed that he condones the mass evictions occurring in Richmond by voting against a proposed 45-day “urgency” moratorium on rent increases and no-cause evictions, after receiving campaign contributions from the CAA.

On November 8, 2016, the renter protection ballot measure known as Measure L was passed in a landslide victory into law in Richmond with 64.34 percent of the voters voting for the measure (12,837 votes), and 35.36 of voters (7,114 votes) who voted against the measure. Measure L needed a majority of voters to pass the measure into law.

On December 30, 2016, renter protections took effect in Richmond, and the rents were rolled back to July 21, 2015, levels, for those covered by rent control, if they lived in the unit on or before July 21, 2015.

It was on January 8, 2017, that Judge Judith Craddick rejected a temporary restraining order (TRO), sought by the CAA to block rent control and just cause eviction protections that were passed by the voters of Richmond on November 8, 2016.

Then in an additional ruling filed on February 14, 2017, Judge Judith Craddick wrote, “The California Apartment Association’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Measure L is denied.”

The CAA Spent A Fortune To Block Reasonable Renter Protections Passed By The Voters

After the CAA spent a fortune of money from wealthy landlords to meddle in the affairs of Richmond in the effort to block renter protections from taking effect, and could see the writing on the wall, on May 5, 2017, the California Apartment Association (CAA), announced that it is suspending its vicious brutal campaign in court against the voters and renter protections in Richmond known as Measure L, that was passed into law by the voters last November.

This was a major defeat for greedy landlords and realtors, when the CAA decided to drop its legal challenges in court against Measure L and Measure V, that was filed in retaliation against the voters of Richmond and Mountain View, who voted for renter protections in their cities.

Among the filthy rich billionaires who gave money to the CAA, but lost in the battle against rent control in Richmond and Mountain View includes Berkshire Hathaway Home Services owned by Warren Buffet, Equity Residential owned by Sam Zell, and Prometheus Real Estate Group owned by Jackie Diller Salfier and the Diller family.

In a statement posted by the CAA on its website: “We firmly believe that Measures V and L are unconstitutional, so withdrawing these legal challenges was anything but easy,” said Tom Bannon, chief executive officer at CAA. “We are taking this opportunity to explore new challenges to the measures while continuing our aggressive campaigns against rent control.”

“We owe it to our members, and the rental housing industry as a whole, to direct our resources toward efforts that protect the industry against harmful regulations,” Bannon continued. “We must educate Californians, both the public and elected officials, about the failures of rent control and the need to find real solutions to California’s housing crisis.”

After the CAA has meddled in the affairs of Santa Rosa with a notorious petition to block rent control from taking effect, a notorious petition that many renters claimed that they were tricked into signing by lying paid signature gatherers, reportedly rent control (Measure C) goes before the voters of Santa Rosa next week. The voters will decide if the city will implement rent control in a heated special election during June, 2017, that the CAA and greedy landlords are spending a fortune, $100,000 and more, to defeat a rent control measure known as Measure C. In support of Measure C, as recent as April 11, the Sonoma County Democrats voted overwhelming to endorse Measure C. Fair and Affordable Santa Rosa also supports Measure C, and members of SEIU local 1021 have also been phone banking and canvassing in support of Measure C. The median rent in Santa Rosa is $2,400 per month, and 12.6% of the population in Santa Rosa lives below the federal poverty level.

Last November, renter protections were on the ballot in six cities, and presently the CAA, wealthy landlords and realtors are keeping a close eye on Santa Rosa, and are spending a fortune to stop the voters from supporting reasonable renter protections in that city.

California has around 17 cities with rent control, of which Richmond and Mountain View are still not listed with the California Department of Affairs.

The statewide tenants organization known as Tenants Together has played a major role in helping to expand the rent control movement in California in the effort to bring stability to communities under assault from greedy landlords involved in price gouging and eviction-for-profit schemes.

The struggle over rent control has gained momentum on a state level with the effort to repeal the notorious Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which has stalled for the moment.

Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com


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