NEW Speaker of the Assembly
As you all probably know, Assembly Member Toni Atkins is termed-out of office and is challenging Senator Marty Block for the 39th Senate District seat. With that, the Assembly elected Assembly Member Anthony Rendon as their new speaker. Assembly Member Rendon represents the 63rd Assembly District (cities of Bell, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Paramount, South Gate in Los Angeles and a northern portion of Long Beach) and will take over sometime in March. Since Assembly Member Rendon was elected under the revised term-limit law, he is eligible to serve until 2024. Should he remain speaker for the remainder of his tenure, it would make him the longest serving speaker since term-limits was enacted.
SDCAA and ARA have a good working relationship with Speaker Rendon and look forward to working with him and his staff.
“No Place Like Home” Initiative
A bipartisan coalition of California Senators, led by Senate leader Kevin de Leon, introduced their “No Place like Home” initiative on January 4th. According to the Senator, the Senate proposal is crafted with the understanding that fighting modern homelessness – with long-term solutions, not short-term band-aids – requires a localized approach sustained by a strategic statewide commitment. The Senate legislative package on homelessness re-purposes Proposition 63 (2004) – The Mental Health Services Act – bond money and leverages billions of additional dollars from other local, state, and federal funding to achieve the following goals:
- $2 billion bond to construct permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness.
- $200 million, over 4 years, to provide supportive housing in the shorter-term, rent subsidies, while the permanent housing is constructed or rehabilitated.
Support for two special housing programs that will assist families:
- The “Bringing Families Home” pilot project, a county matching grant program to reduce homelessness among families that are part of the child welfare system. The CalWORKs Housing Support Program, which provides housing and support services for CalWORKs families in danger of homelessness.
Income support and outreach:
- An increase in Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) program grants which provide income support for the aged, blind, and disabled poor who cannot work.
- A one-time investment to incentivize local governments to boost outreach efforts and advocacy to get more eligible poor people enrolled in the SSI/SSP program.
We will be reviewing the proposed language once it is released and watching for any additional “add-on” that some may wish to see included that could negatively affect the rental industry.
SB 364 (Leno), a bill that sought to amend the Ellis Act (San Francisco only), and a bill SDCAA has actively opposed the last two-years, is dead. The bill would have penalized small San Francisco landlords and property owners in an attempt to address San Francisco’s housing shortage and lack of affordable housing. The Ellis Act establishes a fair balance between landlords and in almost every case, invocation of the Ellis Act does not result in the loss of housing units as most units are converted to tenancies in common, which creates affordable home-ownership opportunities. SB 364 would have upset this precarious balance by making it almost impossible to utilize this necessary tool.
Now, while SB 364 may not be moving forward, it does not mean that Senator Leno (or other legislators), won’t reintroduce legislation (again) to drastically amend the Ellis Act.
Fights in 2016
SDCAA will continue to engage on legislation that is still active, i.e. bedbugs and water submeters, but we are preparing to engage in what we see as a statewide assault on the rental housing market most notably, rent control and other measures that seek to limit the amount of control owners have over their property. Considering the fact that a number of cities have attempted to implement are expand rent control in local jurisdictions (and failed), couple that with what some perceive as an affordable housing crisis in California, makes this an issue legislators will want to tackle.
On the table; the Costa-Hawkins Act (the 1995 State law that set limits on rent and vacancy control), another attempt to amend the Ellis Act, limiting landlords use of criminal background checks for perspective tenants and other proposals that will seek to limit how you manage your properties. We will keep you informed as bills are introduced.