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Oakland weekly signature gathering events to repeal Costa-Hawkins Act
by Lynda Carson (tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com)
Monday Feb 19th, 2018 11:07 PM
On Monday, February 19, Carroll Fife, Executive Director, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) in Oakland, said, “Our community kick-off event & signature gathering effort last Saturday to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act was a big action. It was amazing. The signature gathering event was better than anticipated!
Oakland weekly signature gathering events to repeal Costa-Hawkins Act

By Lynda Carson - February 19, 2018

Oakland - Activists are urging as many people as possible to support the AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACT in the effort to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act. Activists are urging people to join the weekly signature gathering events held in Oakland each Saturday from 10:00 AM till 12:00 PM, at the local ACCE Action office located at 2501 International Blvd.

Housing activists supporting a statewide ballot initiative to repeal the draconian Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act are collecting signatures to qualify the AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACT for the November 2018 ballot.

According to a recent release from the local ACCE Action office in Oakland, “Strong Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction laws are the way to keep people in their homes now, while we work to get more (truly) affordable housing built.  In order to have strong Rent Control laws, we need to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law which ties the hands of local government. Costa-Hawkins prevents cities and counties from applying rent control to apartments built after 1995 or to single-family rental units.”

On Monday, February 19, Carroll Fife, Executive Director, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) in Oakland, said, “Our community kick-off event & signature gathering effort last Saturday to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act was a big action. It was amazing. The signature gathering event was better than anticipated. Around 40 people or more appeared at our event to help collect signatures for the AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACT, and we hope more people will join us to help out in the future.”

“We collected around 500 signatures on Saturday to help bring the Affordable Housing Act to the voters in the effort to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. We are planning a big event in Oakland on March 10, but we still need to decide on the location for the event. Meanwhile, we hope as many people as possible will join us on Saturdays at our ACCE Action location in Oakland, and that more organizations will join the movement to help bring stronger rent control laws to Oakland, and throughout California. At this point, we do not believe that the forces in opposition to our efforts to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act have enough time to be able to get a competing measure on the November ballot to challenge the Affordable Housing Act. However, we know that they are gearing up to spend millions in the effort to oppose our efforts to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.”

Efforts To Oppose The Affordable Housing Act

Rumors are going around that the California Apartment Association (CAA) and the California Association of Realtors (CAR) are planning to spend around $60 million in an effort to oppose the Affordable Housing Act. Election Track reveals that the CAA has been raking in the cash in the effort to pay off corrupt politicians, and to spend a fortune in the scheme to sabotage the renters movement which is trying to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act.

Meddling in the affairs of cities throughout California, it was on May 5, 2017, that the 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. The CAA has been stalking the tenants’ movement for years.

Supporting Rent Control & Repealing The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act Is Good For California

It is heartbreaking for people to see their friends and loved ones being forced out of their housing due to unreasonable sky-rocketing rents, never ending rent increases, and evictions. For the renters who are afraid that they are next in line to be displaced from their housing due to an unreasonable rent increase or eviction, they are terrified of becoming homeless with no where to go. Especially the elderly and disabled.

Oakland has the fastest pace for gentrification in the Bay Area, and repealing the Costa-Hawkins Act would stabilize communities, help to slow down the process of gentrification, evictions, and the exodus of people being forced out of their housing, and the Bay Area.

According to Zumper.com, Oakland is presently listed as number 7, regarding the most expensive cities to live in across the country. Rent Cafe claims that the average rent in Oakland is presently $2,455 per month. Landlords are often charging Rolls Royce prices in buildings with slum-like conditions in ghetto areas of Oakland.

The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which has to be repealed, is directly responsible for driving up the rents and harming millions of renters in the Bay Area, and California. Since Assembly Bill 1506 (repeal of Costa-Hawkins) failed to advance to the Assembly Floor recently due to corrupt politicians in the pocket of landlords, realtors, developers, the California Apartment Association and California Association of Realtors, it will be up to the renters, housing activists, and organizations to collect enough signatures to bring the AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACT to the voters.

According to BallotPedia: “The measure would allow local governments to adopt amendments, ordinances, or regulations to govern how much landlords can charge tenants for renting apartments and houses. The measure would also repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a law designed to prohibit local governments from enacting rent control on buildings first occupied after 1995.”

“Sponsors of the initiative include the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's president Michael Weinstein, the Eviction Defense Network's director Elena Popp, and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment's director Christina Livingston. Sponsors named the initiative the Affordable Housing Act.”

Efforts to collect signatures for the AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACT are also taking place in Los Angeles, and Sacramento.

Additionally, efforts by activists to place rent control and just cause eviction protections on the ballot are presently occurring in various cities including Santa Cruz, Long Beach, Pasadena, and Inglewood. The City of Commerce has adopted an emergency rent control ordinance that has been in effect since August 2017.

In an additional statement from ACCE Action in Oakland: “Too many of us are paying 50%, 60%, even 70% of our income towards rent, which leaves precious little for food, healthcare and other basic needs. This isn't right. We all deserve housing security. And the very future of our cities is at stake. More and more of us who are poor, working-class and even middle-class are being forced by sky-rocketing housing costs to move out of our neighborhoods and cities, away from family and friends, often further from our jobs. WE NEED TO ACT NOW TO STEM THE TIDE OF DISPLACEMENT.”

“Join the campaign! Endorse, contribute, do signature gathering, get other organizations and individuals involved. A housing justice movement is growing across the state. Join the movement - because housing is a human right!”

Carroll Fife, Executive Director, Oakland ACCE may be reached at: cfife [at] calorganize.org or (510) 500-7973.

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


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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Dwight
Friday Feb 23rd, 2018 3:19 PM
Not many facts in this article, mostly speculation.

A stand along paragraph stating " A Costa-Hawkins repeal would be a good thing for California", how do you figure? If you took a couple of minutes to look past the fluff you'd under stand that rent's can't be controlled, that is why the concept of "rent control" is absurd.

You could also see that rent control has actually contributed to gentrification by removing housing supply, in turn increasing demand and price. Stop attacking surface problems because they are the only ones you can understand.