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The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act has been a disaster for California renters. A special-interest law backed by the real estate industry and passed statewide in 1995, Costa-Hawkins ties the hands of cities when it comes to protecting tenants from landlords who charge runaway rents. It's time for the state to stop dictating which properties are exempt from rent control, allow cities to choose vacancy control, and allow existing rent ordinances to be updated.    For full article google:  Lessons from Round One of Costa Hawkins Repeal

Take Action

What: The State Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee will hold an informational hearing October 24 on "The Housing Affordability Crisis: Exploring the Effects of Renter Displacement."

The chair of the …

 

Earlier this year, three California Assemblymembers-Richard Bloom, David Chiu & Rob Bonta-took Sacramento by surprise, introducing AB 1506 to repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Recent grassroots organizing by tenant groups laid the groundwork for this important legislation. Since 2015, numerous cities have been organizing for rent control, and in that time tenants in Richmond, San Jose, Union City, and Mountain View have already won new protections. There is a tenant movement gaining strength, and we have our eye on rolling back state restrictions that stand in the way of strong local rent control.

Costa Hawkins is the gift that keeps on giving for landlords and real estate speculators. It is probably the single biggest reason we face runaway ren…

Lawmakers have introduced a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, landmark legislation that exempts new construction and single-family homes from local rent control laws.

AB 1506 was introduced Friday, Feb. 17, the last day to propose bills in the California Legislature for 2017. Assemblymen Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica; Rob Bonta, D-Oakland; and David Chiu, D-San Francisco, authored the proposal with Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, as a co-author.

Anticipating this bill, the California Apartment Association already has begun efforts to defeat it.

What's next

Assembly Bill 1506 is expected to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary or Housing Committee in late March. CAA will update this website as more details become available.

Should AB 1506 succeed and Costa-Haw…

Accruing revenue for Berkeley's Housing Trust Fund and working with nonprofit developers to build below market-rate units is one of the best ways to support low-income residents.

By Sean Barr - September 29, 2017


Last week, legislation to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act was delayed due to mounting concerns about how vacancy control would deter new housing construction in the state of California. Withdrawing the bill was the right outcome for Berkeley because repeal risks returning us to a time when overly restrictive rent control reduced the city's housing stock and population, with a select few left to benefit from below market-rate units. With hope, the authors of AB 1506 will come back with a more tailored solution that encourages new housing while helpin…

Feedback welcome....

1. Require new development to supply all tenants with bus passes. This may be funded in lieu of building parking spaces. The City may also require other measures to incentivize alternatives to vehicle trips, such as discount carpool parking; credit at bike stores; taxi vouchers and/or credit for Zipcar, Uber; Lyft; 

2. Reduce parking minimums for new development in commercial zones and replace with the requirements that new development: A) charge for parking that is the real cost of providing the parking and B) require un-bundling of parking costs from cost to rent or purchase an apartment, allowing the tenant to opt out of paying for parking.

3. Use neighborhood parking permit programs to protect neighborhoods adjacent to areas of higher densi…

 
PDC members will be voting at their October meeting whether to endorse the local campaign for a ballot initiative to create a Santa Cruz City elected rent control board, a just-cause eviction ordinance, and a rent stabilization ordinance. 

Meanwhile, a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act has been pushed off in the California Legislature until the 2018 session.  Costa-Hawkins is the state law which prohibits cities and counties from adopting strict rent controls that completely regulate the price landlords can charge, exempts housing built after 1995 from any rent controls, and exempts single-family dwellings.  Under the current constraints of Costa-Hawkings, the rent stabilization ordinance for the City of Santa Cruz could regulate the rent i…

 


The Rationale

We all know that Santa Cruz is in the midst of an extreme housing crisis,  currently:

  • among the roughly 60% of the city that are renters, over 63% spend more than 30% of their income on rent
  • the city has the highest rents in proportion to salaries in the U.S - worse than San Francisco, San Jose, New York or Boston.
  • the median home here rents for 9.4 times the median income.
  • high rents are pushing up property costs as well so Santa Cruz is now the third most unaffordable place to buy a home in America - requiring the average wage earner to spend at least their entire salary to buy the median home in the area.[1] 
  • This means that working people are being forced to move out at an ever increasing rate. From 2000 to 2010, the working-ag…
PDC members will be voting at their October meeting whether to contribute $1000 to the local campaign for a ballot initiative to create a Santa Cruz City elected rent control board, a just-cause eviction ordinance, and a rent stabilization ordinance. 

Meanwhile, a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act has been pushed off in the California Legislature until the 2018 session.  Costa-Hawkins is the state law which prohibits cities and counties from adopting strict rent controls that completely regulate the price landlords can charge, exempts housing built after 1995 from any rent controls, and exempts single-family dwellings.  Under the current constraints of Costa-Hawkings, the rent stabilization ordinance for the City of Santa Cruz could regulate the rent incre…

Housing negotiations move ahead in the Assembly
Ben Adler; Creative Commons
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 | Sacramento, CA

After years of inaction, the political will may finally exist to address California's sky-high housing costs.

California lawmakers are on summer recess right now, but while they're away, Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are putting the finishing touches on a package of bills to address the state's housing crisis.

The governor, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) have vowed to act on housing legislation right after summer recess, with a three-pronged deal:

·         a housing bond on the November 2018 ballot

·    &…

In their quest for more money for low-income housing construction, state lawmakers are now turning to Californians who own more than one home.

Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill Friday to end a tax break that allows homeowners to deduct the interest from the mortgage on their second home from their state taxes. About 31,000 Californians received the tax break last year, costing the state about $300 million, Chiu said. The bill, AB 71, would direct those funds to an existing program that finances low-income housing construction through tax credits.

"We need to ensure everyone has a roof over their head before we spend tax dollars to help a small group of people have two roofs," said Chiu, who heads the Assembly Housing and Community Development Commi…




A pilot program in the works harkens back to the origins of so-called accessory dwelling unit slang: "granny flat," and offers to move struggling seniors into new tailor-made garage-sized living units on their own property. The main house would then be turned into an affordable housing rental, overseen by a professional property management company.

"The idea of using ADUs to help seniors has been a concept in the geriatrics community for a long time," Housing and Community Development Manager Carol Berg said. "There hasn't been a program like what we're doing, which is targeting an extremely vulnerable population."

The program, which will need Santa Cruz City Council approval for funding and the volunteer manpower of&n…

On Thursday, July 6, the California Senate voted 27-12 to pass SB 2 - the Building Homes and Jobs Act - legislation authored by Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that will create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing. SB 2 now moves on to the state Assembly for consideration.

     

SB2 would generate roughly $250 million each year to build and renovate affordable housing. Over a five-year period, the Building Homes and Jobs Act, taken together with an additional $4.6 billion in expected leveraged funding, would create more than 20,000 new and rehabilitated homes and nearly 57,000 jobs.

"On behalf of the thousands of California families who will benefit each year from SB 2 and the housing stability it will bring, I want to thank m…

Goal of project:  To design and implement a Rent Stabilization Program for the tenants in the City of Santa Cruz.

How would this PDC partnership be accomplished?

The PDC will establish a working group to include, but not be limited to, PDC members, to formulate a rent stabilization program.  Recruitment will reach out to other tenants' advocates to join the working group.

What Impact could be expected?
Some form of rent stabilization agreed on by diverse members of the Santa Cruz community and implemented by the City Council would establish a limit on the escalation of some rents.  It would help to alleviate the lack of affordable rental housing available to low and middle income families, affording more opportunities to current residents to continue to live in …

Position on Short-term Vacation Rentals 

Because every short-term vacation rental removes long-term housing from a market that locally and regionally is in crises of affordability, availability, and tenant security, and

Because removal of long-term housing from the market exacerbates market rates for rentals and home sales, and

Because short-term vacation rentals cause disruption, safety issues and inconvenience, for residential neighborhoods, and

Because residents expect the city to enforce zoning and not permit short-term rentals businesses to invade their neighborhoods, and

Because short-term vacation rentals do not meet the criteria the city enforces for hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast operations and thus are able to  gain a business advantage over the established infra…


Goal of project:  Affordable Housing Now! (AHN!)  advocates for solutions to the housing crisis in Santa Cruz County by attending City Council and Board of Supervisors meetings in support of new affordable housing developments, new zoning configurations, and changing city and county regulations to help support the availability of affordable housing for very-low,  low, and middle-income residents of the County.

How would this PDC partnership be accomplished?

The PDC will continue to be represented on the AHN! Task Force by Gail and Nancy.

This is a growing collaborative effort:

PDC, Crosson North County Dems, COPA, CRLA, Habitat for Humanity, the County Housing Coalition have been working together with individuals Bruce Van Allen and Tom Burns.  AHN! has successfully …
 A portion of jobs created by new commercial development - hotel, retail, office, etc.- are low-paying and the new employees cannot afford market-rate housing.  With commercial linkage fees - also known as job-housing linkage fees - developers are expected to ameliorate some of the housing impacts generated by such projects. This impact is measured through a Job-Housing Nexus Analysis that shows the connection between the construction of new commercial buildings, employment, and the need for affordable housing. They are usually performed by consulting firms that have specialized in this type of analysis.  
 
Methodologies vary, but in most cases the analysis begins with an estimation of the number of employees for a prototypical 100,000 sq.ft. building and …

 


Tools for Housing Affordability

Vu Bang Nguyen and Bob Allen presented their perspectives from work they are doing in the SF Bay Area. Nguyen works for the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Allen works for Urban Habitat, a Bay Area non-profit devoted to increasing the power and capacity of low income communities in the Bay Area.
 
Impact fees for housing
Santa Cruz has traffic impact fees on new development. The rationale is that new development increases traffic. The fee goes to make capital improvements to roadways. A similar fee is charged to new development for capital improvements to the water system. Some communities in the SF Bay Area have housing impact fees that are charged for commercial development, residential development or both. Most cities have …

17thAvenue and Capitola Road Development
 
 
Capitola Road Priorities Meeting
6:30 pm  Thursday, April 27th
Live Oak Elementary School
1916 Capitola Road, Santa Cruz

This month, residents have a unique opportunity to craft the elements of a development in the heart of Live Oak. Over 20 years ago, the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) bought nearly five acres of land on Capitola Road to build a library. A decision was made at a later point to instead build the Live Oak Library on Portola Drive, and the County never completed a plan for the development of the site. The original Live Oak Family Resource Center was housed in one of the two homes on the property. In 2011, the Legislature eliminated RDAs and the County had this property, and another one on 7h Avenue and Br…

Downtown Metro Project --still in planning stage; will have 100 affordable units.

Habitat is building 1 house with an ADU on Frederick St.

Water St. Project --  still in development phase; developer negotiating with Encompass re their property and State Farm owner re his property.  Will be coming before the Council on  March 22 for approval of additional funding and April 26 for approval of an Action Plan.  Builder's held public meetings with neighbors - next public meeting to be determined.

414 Jessie Street planned for 31 units, 100% affordable, maybe some units for veterans and probably 14 units for psychologically disabled who already live on property..  Has been a slow process.  HOME funds have been allocated.Mid-Pen is developing.

555  Paci…


Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed sweeping statewide legislation that would allow new market-rate projects with onsite affordable housing to be approved "as of right," in potentially California's most significant housing policy change in years.

The proposal has big ramifications for the Bay Area, where many cities and well-organized residents' groups have long fought residential development.

The trailing legislation to the state's 2016-2017 budget would require state assembly and senate approval. Under the proposal, new projects with 20 percent affordable housing for tenants making no more than 80 percent of the area median income or projects with 10 percent affordable housing near transit would be exempt from most local reviews.That would be a sharp break from the current policy…

Are rents in the District actually rising? Maybe on Class A properties, but not overall.

"Rents Rise in the District (ofColumbia) Despite a Crush of Class A Units," shouts the most recent headline from the real estate newsletter Urban Turf. The article points out that developers were worried that the wave of new Class A apartments that came online in 2014 would actually force rents down, when in fact the opposite has happened. (Class A properties are defined as large buildings that came online after 1991 with full amenity packages.)

But are rents in the District actually rising? Maybe on Class A properties, but not overall.

Statistics compiled by Real Estate Business Intelligence show that rents in the District have actually fallen overall by?3.89 percent in 2014 vers…

Housing California Reacts to Lack of Housing Investment in Governor Brown's Proposed Budget

 

In reaction to Governor Brown's proposed 2016-17 state budget, released today, Housing California issued the following response: 

"California has the nation's highest poverty rate, highest number of people experiencing homelessness, and the second highest housing costs, yet today, Governor Brown proposed a budget that provides no new help for the many people struggling to stay in their homes," said Shamus Roller, executive director of Housing California. "Every day the media runs stories about how California's cost of housing is creating more homelessness, about teachers being priced out of the communities they serve, about college students sleeping in their cars during the wee…


The increasing affordable housing crisis diminishes the quality of life in our community and the lives of each of us.  We can make a difference.  These are our goals:

1.      Advocate for most efficient use of urban infill sites as limited community resource

a.   Employee housing on institutional sites

b.   Maximize the benefits of remaining housing sites within the urban areas, including evaluating appropriate densities

2.      Encourage mixed use housing developments, particularly along transit corridors and hubs in urban areas and rural village areas

a.   Underutilized existing commercial properties and parking lots

b.   Encourage mixed use developments

3.      Encourage…



Coco Raner-Walters engages an event  participant in a discussion of affordable housing needs in Santa Cruz.
By Gillian Greensite, Special to the Sentinel
Posted: |

On Tuesday Sept. 29, the Santa Cruz City Council will tackle the controversial, recent use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as vacation rentals. This discussion has generated much heat at public hearings. Homeowners who have ADUs and who wish to use them as vacation rentals have spoken forcefully about their private property rights to use their ADUs to maximize their earning potential. They claim the city has no business interfering with that right, despite the fact that prior to the ADU ordinance they had no right to build a second unit. …

On January 25th, state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced a housing-bill package designed to stabilize the lives of young people, families, and Californians struggling to get by on threadbare budgets.

AB35 (CHIU and Atkins)

One of the biggest challenges faced by affordable developers is the lack of funding available to build apartment and homes that remain affordable.  Introduced by long-time housing champion and freshman Assemblymember from San Francisco, David Chiu, AB35 would expand the state's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by $300 million annually.

Expansion of the state tax credit will have two positive effects: developers will not only have access to more funding for building developments where the rents remain affordable, but they will also be able to leverage a…

Be Part of the Action!

Join forces with your neighbors to advocate preserving and developing affordable housing for moderate to low income residents of Santa Cruz County.

Saturday, August 29

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

St. Philip's Episcopal Church 

(5271 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley)

Learn local City/County plans to address the housing crisis, hear about potential State funding sources, and become involved in the movement for Affordable Housing Now!

Special guests:

Host:  Rev. Mary Blessing, St. Philip's Episcopal Church

Supervisor Bruce McPherson

Julie Conway, Housing Planning Manager, S.C. County

Katherine Donovan, Sr. Planner, S.C. City Planning

Stephanie Aguilar, Scotts Valley City Council

Assemblymember Mark Stone

Also:  reports on innovative programs:

  •   &nbs…
AGENDA OF:            August 25, 2015
DEPARTMENT:              
Planning

SUBJECT:                  Ordinance Amendment - A15-0001 - City-wide Amendments to  Title 24 (Zoning Ordinance) of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code prohibiting short- term vacation rentals for Accessory Dwelling Units in Chapter 24.16 Part 2: Accessory Dwelling Units. (Environmental Determination: Exempt from CEQA) (City of Santa Cruz, applicant) (PL)

 

 RECOMMENDATION: Introduce for publication an ordinance amending portions of Title 24 of the Santa Cruz Municipal Code pertaining to the limitation of short-term/vacation rental…

On January 25th, state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced a housing-bill package designed to stabilize the lives of young people, families, and Californians struggling to get by on threadbare budgets. 

 AB 35 (Chiu and Atkins)One of the biggest challenges faced by affordable developers is the lack of funding available to build apartments and homes that remain affordable. Introduced by long-time housing champion and freshman Assemblymember from San Francisco, David Chiu, AB 35 would expand the state's Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by $300 million annually. Expansion of the state tax credit will have two positive effects: Developers will not only have access to more funding for building developments where the rents remain affordable, but they will also …

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