So what makes the crisis so bad in California, specifically, if the whole country is experiencing a housing shortage? One writer at the Cato Institute — Michael Tanner — points to “government regulations that drive up the costs of production” in California.
With the noble intention of containing the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced an extension of the order banning residential evictions. The original order, titled Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent Further Spread of COVID-19, was set to expire on March 31, 2021, as outlined in President Trump's $900 billion relief package, but will now be in effect until at least June 30, 2021. What does the
California's most vulnerable tenants may continue to stay afloat during the pandemic, thanks to recent actions taken by the state legislature. On Thursday, January 28, 2021, California lawmakers approved the use of $2.6 billion in federal stimulus money to pay off up to 80% of income-qualified tenants' unpaid rent. Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the legislation into law. The solution directly responds to the challenges many renters still face today, nearly one year
COVID-19 has taken the United States by storm, impacting every aspect of the American people’s lives: Businesses have been forced to close their doors; millions of individuals have lost their jobs; and over 100,000 Americans have lost their lives to the virus. Government aid, in the form of federal unemployment and moratoriums on eviction, has been a much-needed lifeline to many who have been hit the hardest. However, it is now August 2020, and as
As we navigate the enormous changes that COVID 19 is bringing to how we work and live, many industries have essentially gone dark, closing down while they wait out the storm. Naturally, homeowners and real estate professionals are wondering how this pandemic is going to impact their industry and investments. The best way to assess how the future will pan out is to take a look back at our history to find out how other
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, businesses have been shut down, thousands have been laid off from their jobs, millions have applied for unemployment, and people have been asked to stay at home until the pandemic is under control. With all of this being said, homeowners and renters are now faced with the challenge of paying rent, even if they do not have the income to pay. In this article we will outline government initiatives that
A new, proposed California Senate bill will prohibit landlords from discriminating against those with Section 8 vouchers. In this article we’ll explain what the bill proposes and explore different perspectives of those who will be impacted by it. What Is the Section 8 Voucher Program? The Section 8 voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford housing in the private market. In Santa
An Update: Rental Housing Task Force, Just Cause for Eviction and Large Rent Increase Laws in Santa Cruz City
Are there rent control or just cause for eviction laws in the City of Santa Cruz? In this short post, we discuss the succession of events related to rent control and just cause for eviction laws in the City of Santa Cruz after the November elections. We answer the question above and help you understand what is being proposed, and where the City Government is in the legislative process. As a reminder, voters rejected Measure
The Santa Cruz City Council commissioned an independent and impartial analysis of the Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act (The Act) or Measure M. This analysis is limited in scope and only focuses on the financial and administrative impact that the "Rent Board" will have on the City of Santa Cruz should Measure M pass. If Measure M is voted into law, a City Rent Board comprised of City residents will be created.
A new report was recently released by the California Housing Partnership, a private nonprofit organization, shedding light on Santa Cruz County’s housing shortage. According to the report summary, Santa Cruz County needs 12,000 additional units to meet present-day demand. If added to our housing supply, these units would ensure that the lowest-income households would not spend more than 30% of their annual income on housing -- a federally recognized definition for affordability. In November,
Trump’s tax tariffs on lumber, steel and aluminum may increase the cost of new housing. In November of 2017, the US set final total tariffs for most Canadian softwood lumber producers at 20.8%. According to Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, this caused the price of lumber to jump nearly 15% and added $6,000 to $10,000 to the cost of a newly built median-priced single family home. By contrast, the the National Association of
What is Santa Cruz City government doing about the housing crisis? City Council is focused on the issue and has created a Housing Blueprint Subcommittee to gather community input and make suggestions. The result of this process is the Santa Cruz City Housing Blueprint. In the blueprint, subcommittee members outline “first priorities” which have been selected after considering both City Council recommendations and community feedback. They are: Community Engagement Legalization of Unpermitted Dwelling Units
Before Prop 13, there were no limits on increases for the property-tax rate. Some properties were reassessed 50% to 100% in just one year and their owners’ property tax bills increased accordingly. Under Proposition 13 tax reform, property tax value was rolled back and frozen at the 1976 assessed value level. Property tax increases on any given property were limited to no more than 2% per year as long as the property was not
The Costa Hawkins Act (Costa-Hawkins) allows cities to implement local rent control laws, but within specific parameters: housing constructed after 1995, single-family homes, condominiums, and townhouses are exempt from local rent control regulations. Additionally, Costa-Hawkins allows rental property owners to establish their own rates at the time of a change in tenancy. A proposed ballot initiative entitled the “Affordable Housing Act for the California November 2018 Ballot” was submitted to the California Attorney General’s
If you’ve been reading our newsletter, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the rent control and just cause for eviction ballot initiative (Renter Protection Ballot Initiative) which has been circulating through the city. The Movement for Housing Justice has submitted 10,791 signatures to the City of Santa Cruz, well above the required number of signatures needed qualify the initiative for the November polls. The group is now awaiting the results of a 30 day signature validation process.
On Tuesday, February 13th, the Santa Cruz City Council passed temporary rent freeze and a just cause for eviction ordinances for certain rental properties within the city limits (see exceptions below). This sudden action was in response to community-member complaints that, given the impending threat of a rent-control moratorium (City of Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act) on the November ballot, landlords have an incentive to raise rents and evict tenants to guard
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been signed into law. There were some big "wins" in the final bill from the perspective of homebuyers, owners, and real estate investors. However, the bill removes important incentives for homeownership and may have an adverse impact in some markets. According to the National Association of Realtors, home prices will grow at a slower pace of 1-3% nationally. Unfortunately, some local markets in high cost, higher tax areas
On Thursday, November 9th, Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee released an outline of their version of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act". Just one week earlier, the Republicans' congressional House Ways and Means Committee released the original version. Both pose a threat to homeownership as we know it today. Here is a short summary of how both may affect your real estate. Mortgage Interest Deduction The house bill will keep the mortgage