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Strong rent control laws will slow rent hikes & homelessness
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Friday Aug 4th, 2017 8:55 PM
A recent report on rent increases by Zillow reveals that rising rents create more homelessness!
Strong rent control laws will slow rent hikes & homelessness

By Lynda Carson - April 4, 2017

Rent control and just cause eviction protection measures will help to solve the housing crisis by stabilizing communities where low-income renters are being displaced and made homeless by rent increases, and no-cause evictions.

As rent increases in California and across the nation create more homelessness and force low-income renters from their housing and local communities, in recent years rent control battles have heated up in Alameda, Healdsburg, Lafayette, Glendale, Oakland, Los Angeles, Pacifica, Richmond, Mountain View, San Diego, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Rosa, Sacramento and elsewhere.

The California Apartment Association knew that it lost it’s battle against rent control and the campaigns of the members of Tenant’s Together in Richmond and Mountain View when it suspended it’s challenges to rent control in both cities.

In Oakland which has weak rent control laws, according to records from the City of Oakland from 1/1/2016 through 12/31/2016, it received 8,551 eviction termination notices. According to additional records from the Housing and Community Development Department in Oakland, there were around 12,050 eviction termination notices served in Oakland from 1/1/2015 through 2/29/2016. The City of Oakland did not state why most evictions occurred, but the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project revealed who the mega evictors are in Oakland.

Reportedly there were around 16,766 to 20,927 persons who experienced homelessness in Alameda County during 2015. Additionally, it was reported in Alameda County that there were around 61,000 extremely low-income households, with approximately only around 20,000 affordable housing units available. This left an estimated shortfall of 41,000 affordable housing units, that were needed to meet the housing needs of the population.

According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), in their 2016 Out Of Reach report they claim that rents are so high in Alameda County that people need to earn as much as $27.60 an hour to afford a studio apartment, and as much as $27.60 an hour for a one bedroom apartment.

Rent Increases Create Homelessness - Strong Rent Control Laws Needed To Help Solve Housing Crisis

A recent report on rent increases by Zillow reveals that rising rents create more homelessness. Since the housing industry and the members of the California Apartment Association fail to build enough affordable housing units, it is evident that strong rent control laws, and just cause eviction protections slow down rising rents and evictions, that are often at the root of homelessness.

In Los Angeles which has a homeless population of 59,508 during 2016, Zillow reports that the rents have increased by 4.2% during the past year, and if the rents rose by 5% the estimated gain in homelessness would be an additional 1,993 persons, according to the report.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in a report to Congress during 2016 it was reported that around 550,000 persons experienced homelessness across the nation.

In a different report from the NLIHC, there is a shortage of 7.4 million housing units for extremely low-income households. If the Trump regime has it’s way on proposing to slash HUD’s budget by over $7.2 billion, reportedly there would be a loss of over 250,000 housing vouchers that presently assist the elderly, disabled, chronically ill, and poor with their housing needs. There have been rallies in the Bay Area and across the nation against Trump’s proposed budget cuts in an effort to save our nation's affordable housing programs.

As Budget Cuts Harm HUD’s Housing Programs, Executive Wages Increase In Affordable Housing Industry

In response to an article I wrote about a local non-profit housing developer raising the rents on it’s tenants while the Trump regime is pushing for a massive budget cut to HUD’s housing assistance programs, I received an email reply from Phil Ritter, the Board Chair member of the California Housing Partnership Corporation. Phil Ritter was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Housing Partnership Corporation (CHPC).

In a June 6, 2017 email, Phil Ritter commented on how executives in the affordable housing industry have received massive wage increases during periods when budget cuts have been slashing HUD’s housing assistance programs. For the record, executives in Public Housing Authorities have salary caps regarding their wages and salaries, but executives in the non-profit affordable housing industry do not have salary caps regarding their wages.

On Tuesday, June 6, 2017 7:12 AM, Phil Ritter wrote:

“Hi Lynda … Thanks for the story in Bay View on affordable housing and the local nonprofits.

I am a CPA/Consultant and worked for ten years for Mid-Pen Housing and Burbank Housing in Santa Rosa and have worked with many of the organizations in your story.

You ran down some of the high salaries paid to senior management and how they have grown.

If you want to go further with the story I can help you with the details so you can get into the various governmental funding programs and how they provide the revenue to support those salaries.

The story gets pretty technical pretty fast and may not be all that interesting to the average reader, but it does “follow the money”.

Turns out – surprise surprise – that the for-profit developers are walking away with a lot more of the housing cash than the nonprofits, and doing it with much less transparency.

At least the nonprofits have to file public 990 returns every year and make their annual audits available.

Best regards, Phil Ritter, CPA, Sammamish, WA.”

In a different June 7, 2017 email, Phil Ritter wrote:

“My clients are all still in the Bay Area and I have been on the board of California Housing Partnership Corporation, a San Francisco nonprofit that does housing policy work and financial consulting, for several years and was appointed board chair in 2015. CHPC is a self-supporting nonprofit created by the legislature thirty years ago to preserve affordable housing in California and all the board members are appointed by either the Governor or the Speaker of the Assembly or the Senate President Pro-Tem.”

Rent control and just cause eviction protection measures will help to solve the housing crisis by stabilizing communities where low-income renters are being displaced and made homeless by rent increases, and no-cause evictions.

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

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Correction: Need to earn $27.60 an hour for studio, $33.13 an hour for 1bdrm

According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), in their 2016 Out Of Reach report they claim that rents are so high in Alameda County that people need to earn as much as $27.60 an hour to afford a studio apartment, and as much as $33.13 an hour for a one bedroom apartment.

(LC)

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