FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2019
Duc Luu, Public Advocates Inc., 857-373-9118, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anya Svanoe, ACCE, 510-423-2452, email@example.com
Housing, Labor and Faith-Based Groups Release ‘Keep Families Home” Bill Package
Trio of new bills will extend renter protections statewide and reduce evictions
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, three housing bills are being introduced as the most meaningful push to keep families in their homes that California has seen in decades. This legislation will protect 17 million tenants from unreasonable rent increases and unjust evictions. These bills will immediately help families stay in their homes and pump the brakes on an out-of-control affordability crisis. A coalition of advocacy organizations representing tens of thousands of California families, ACCE, Public Advocates Inc., PICO California, SEIU CA, the Western Center on Law and Poverty and others are proud to support this legislation.
The Keep Families Home Bill Package includes:
AB 1482 (Chiu) protects renters from egregious and sudden rent increases. This new law would tie the percentage that a landlord could raise rent to a formula based on the Consumer Price Index.
AB 36 (Bloom) reforms statewide restrictions on local rent control. The law would allow local jurisdictions to amend rent control laws to protect millions more renters, while exempting small landlords from these changes.
AB 1481 (Bonta) extends just-cause eviction protection to every renter in California. Californians know that it is simply unfair for a tenant who has done nothing wrong to be evicted arbitrarily by a landlord.
“Renters don’t have the luxury of waiting years for market rate housing to trickle down. 2019 is the year California steps up and protects tenants,” said Michelle Pariset of Public Advocates.
Elsa Stevens, a member of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and a senior citizen living in Richmond, CA, is one of the hundreds of thousands of renters that would stand to immediately benefit from the Keep Families Home Bill Package. Elsa’s apartment complex was built after 1995, so state law currently prohibits Richmond’s local rent control law from protecting her.
“As a senior living on fixed income, when my landlord raised my rent 12% last year I thought I was going to become homeless. We were able to stop it then, but we’re facing another rent increase this year again. I barely have enough money to buy food and medicine each month. Without the Keep Families Home Bill Package, I will be homeless,” said Elsa.
“As we work to address California’s extreme shortage of affordable housing, we must also prioritize the needs of low-income renters who are threatened with homelessness by skyrocketing rents,” said Alexander Harnden, Policy Advocate at Western Center on Law & Poverty. “Building more housing to accommodate residents at a range of income levels will take time, and families struggling right now don’t have time to wait. We all benefit from stable, diverse communities where all residents have an affordable place to call home.”
Public Advocates Inc. is a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination by strengthening community voices in public policy and achieving tangible legal victories advancing education, housing, transportation equity, and climate justice. www.publicadvocates.org
PICO California is the largest faith community organizing network in the state, representing 400 congregations and 450,000 families across California. Since 1994, PICO California has been at the forefront of organizing working families to reform our immigration system, improve schools, increase access to health care, end mass incarceration, and improve the quality of life for our families and our communities. For more information: www.picocalifornia.org
Western Center on Law & Poverty fights for justice and system-wide change to secure housing, health care, racial justice and a strong safety net for low-income Californians. Western Center attains real-world, policy solutions for clients through litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, and technical assistance and legal support for the state’s legal aid programs. Western Center is California’s oldest and largest legal services support center.
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action is a multi-racial, democratic, non-profit community organization building power in low to moderate income neighborhoods to fight and stand for economic, racial and social justice.