EBRHA BALLOT MEASURE GUIDE
City of Oakland - Measure Y - Zoo Parcel Tax --- VOTE NO
This measure proposes to amend Oakland's Municipal Code to fund Oakland Zoo operations, staffing, maintenance, and capital improvements, including but not limited to animal care and rehabilitation, educational and conservation programs, fire prevention, accessibility, and visitor services.
ARGUMENT AGAINST - Measure Y adds a parcel tax to each single-family home of $68 AND the same amount to EACH rental provider's multi-family housing units for 20 years with few exemptions. It imposes a significant financial burden on rental property owners and they are NOT allowed to pass this fee on to their renters. Many small rental providers cannot absorb this additional tax if it cannot be passed on to renters. Plus, this would generate $12 million a year for the Zoo with very little accountability for how the funds are used. If the city mismanages its spending, it can take these taxes for the zoo and place them into the City's general fund.
VOTE NO - EBRHA Opposes this measure.
City of Oakland - Measure V - Just Cause --- VOTE NO
Should the city of Oakland amend its current just cause for eviction ordinance?
ARGUMENT AGAINST - Measure V would further discourage developers from building in the city, which could harm renters by limiting new housing. Short supply is why rents are so high. It prevents rental providers from evicting their renters except for “just cause” reasons, like if a renter hasn’t paid their rent, damaged the property, or is doing something illegal in their apartment. The measure would needlessly add further regulations and red tape to the no-fault eviction process, which is already regulated by the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019. VOTE NO - EBRHA, CalRHA, and NAA Oppose this measure.
City of Oakland - Measure U - Homeless Bond --- VOTE NO
Should the city issue $850 million in general obligation bonds to invest in housing for the homeless and infrastructure projects?
ARGUMENT AGAINST - Measure U promises to put money toward the same purposes as Measure KK, which voters passed in 2016. But we still don’t know how much affordable housing was built or how many streets were repaved with the $600 million bond that resulted from that. You can read about Oakland's recent failure towards the homeless in the city auditor's report. This new measure does not include accountability benchmarks, like the number of housing units to be built or the number of streets to be repaved and at what cost. Furthermore, the repayment of the $850 million in bonds, accounting for interest, is expected to cost homeowners $1.7 billion in property taxes. VOTE NO - EBRHA, CalRHA, and NAA Oppose this measure.
City of Oakland - Measure T --- VOTE NO
Shall the measure amending Oakland's business tax rates to create a progressive rate structure that would (1) impose the highest rates on the highest grossing businesses, (2) increase Oakland's annual tax revenue by an estimated $20,900,000, and (3) generate approximately $124,000,000 in total annual revenue for municipal services by imposing business tax rates of .05% to .55% of gross receipts, and other rates as stated in the measure, be adopted?
City of Oakland - Measure Q --- VOTE NO
Shall the measure authorize the City of Oakland to develop, construct, acquire, or assist in the development of, up to 13,000 low-rent residential units in social housing projects within the City for the purpose of providing affordable rental housing be adopted?
City of Richmond - Measure P - Rent CPI Cap --- VOTE NO
Should the city of Richmond further limit annual rent increases for rent-controlled units?
ARGUMENT AGAINST - The vast majority of Richmond rental providers are small mom-and-pop owners, many with immigrant and blue-collar backgrounds. Measure P would prevent them from keeping up with rising costs, and saving for major repairs. Inflation pressure and complicated regulations have already caused many small rental housing providers to sell their properties, often to big corporations — or to just stop renting altogether. Measure P would only exacerbate this situation, while directly hurting renters. Additionally, Richmond has only met 50% of its state-mandated housing targets. That’s in part because the city’s strict rent control and expensive regulations make it financially less feasible to build rental units. The short housing supply is the reason for high rents. Measure P would intensify our housing shortage, make it harder to meet affordable housing targets, and increase rents in the long run.
VOTE NO - EBRHA, CalRHA, and NAA Oppose this measure.
Legislative Updates June 23, 2022
EBRHA is Tracking
Bills That Did Not Pass
Bill That Passed
Electric charging vehicle station retrofit mandate bill is massively amended
AB 1738 was just amended at our request. Up until two days ago the bill mandated the installation of EV charging stations in the parking lots of every multifamily property. To comply, residential property owners would have collectively spent billions of dollars to comply with the proposed mandate. As amended, and per our request, the bill will not impose that mandate unless owners pull a building permit and undertake major remodeling of parking lots.
Protecting Convicted Felons
AB 2383 essentially creates a new class of protected individuals that are not recognized as a protected class by any other civil rights legislation (other than Oakland and San Francisco). Members of this new class, unlike other protected classes are not in the class because of immutable characteristics. The safety and security of tenants will be compromised. The bill treats all felonies as if they have the same consequences and allows applicants that have a felony to dispute owners decision not to rent. Available rental units would be kept off the market for up to three weeks during which time the applicant presents their arguments. All other qualified applicants would be forced to wait until the “felon” applicant exhausts all of their remedies to rent. The bill will be heard in the Senate next week.
Use of Credit Reports is Preserved
SB 1335 would have prohibit the use of any form of a person’s credit history as part of applying for a residential rental unit if that applicant provides "alternatives of financial responsibility" (not defined) in instances where there is any form of government rent subsidy. This past week the bill died in a committee of the Assembly. The committee accepted our argument that credit reports are universally used by creditors. Creditors review overall debt load and the performance of debt repayment. The bill would have supplanted the lawful and purposeful use of credit reports. The use of the term “alternatives of financial responsibility” did not assure the legal obligation to always pay rent in the event of default nor did it guarantee prompt payment. Unlawful detainers would have become far more complicated than ever. We are quite pleased that the bill died along with many other bill regarding the use of credit reports.
Mandatory Cooling Standards May Become Law
AB 2597 (Bloom) was recently approved by the lower house of the legislature, the Assembly. EBRHA continues to oppose the bill, despite significant amendments. At one time the bill would have declared all existing rental housing to be substandard if at the dwelling did not provide adequate cooling (not defined!). Now, the bill charges the state Housing and Community Development Department to develop, propose and recommend new building code requirements to the state Building Standards Commission for all new and existing housing to provide for adequate residential cooling. This ill defined standard will (not could) cost thousands of dollars per existing dwelling.
AB 2053 (Lee) creates the CA Housing Authority, but more important it establishes the CA Social Housing Act. The sole purpose of the bill is for the entity to “own housing which shall be provided at sub-market prices and allocated (to tenants) according to specific rules (price control) rather than according to market mechanisms (privately owned rental housing). The entity that would be created is charged with the responsibility to buy existing rental and develop new housing. It will openly compete with private ownership and benefit by not paying any taxes, thus driving market prices of all rental housing. The bill will soon be heard in the Senate.
OTHER AFFORDABLE HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS LEGISLATION:
California Legislature Extends Residential Eviction Moratorium and Implements Rental Assistance Program for Landlords and Tenants
Effective February 1, 2021, the California Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom approved Senate Bill (“SB”) 91 – Eviction Protection and Relief Act in further response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In essence, SB 91 extends core tenant protections established by August 2020’s Assembly Bill (“AB”) 3088, but also establishes the State Rental Assistance Program, provides rental assistance for landlords and tenants, and closes existing loopholes in AB 3088.
Continue reading at The National Law Review.