Candidates Kick-Off Election Season!

Candidates Julian Gold, Lili Bosse and Lori Greene Gordon kicked-off their campaigns at 11 a.m., noon and 12:30 p.m respectively. (The other two candidates on the ballot did not hold a kick-off event.) Tightly-scheduled and even overlapping campaign events are the rule for these kick-offs and thankfully they are often in the flats so the only challenge is to time one’s arrival with time to graze, catch the speech and then move on.

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RSO in Review: A Look Back at 2019

Ringing in a new year is an opportunity to look back over the past year and it started with a bang: four city council study sessions to finalize the rent stabilization ordinance. But it ended with a whimper. Council created a Rent Stabilization Commission but today it exists only in an ordinance. We’re still waiting on it. Let’s take a look back at 2019 for the past year’s developments in rent stabilization.

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Election 2020: A New Ballot, A New Problem

On March 3rd voters in Beverly Hills will go to the polls to fill two available seats for city council. The outcome will affect the final rent stabilization ordinance and that makes this an important contest! But it differs from past elections in another way too: the state’s recent California Voter Participation Rights Act has ushered-in innovations like an 11-day voting period and a new electronic ballot-marking device that will change how we elect candidates.

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Who to Watch in the Beverly Hills City Council Election

Beverly Hills voters will elect two councilmembers at our upcoming municipal election scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, 2020. For residents who rent this is an important election. Because the rent stabilization ordinance has yet to be finalized, the incoming councilmembers will have real influence over key aspects like the allowed annual rent increase and relocation fees and more. But many other aspects of rental housing regulation are affected too. It is crucial we have a city council that is supportive of tenants’ interests. After all we are more than half of all city households! Here is a look at the announced candidates.

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Metro’ Wilshire-Rodeo Station Work May Continue Through the Holidays

This Tuesday evening City Council will hear a request from Metro to allow construction (specifically station pilings) to continue throughout the holiday period, prior to Thanksgiving and extending through New Years Day. The issue is whether to require Metro to adhere to the schedule already formalized in a memorandum of understanding with the city, or to grant a waiver to allow that work to continue — and if so under what conditions. Will you be affected?

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Breaking: Sacramento Inches Toward Statewide Rent Control

California leaders announced an agreement to enact strong tenant protections, says a release trumpeting Governor Gavin Newsom’s support for capped rent increases and just-cause eviction only. But we have been here before only to be disappointed by our Sacramento lawmakers. Because it is a rocky road from good intentions to signed legislation. Let’s look at what’s on offer.

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What is Driving the City’s Housing Policy? RHNA!

Beverly Hills is now entertaining a wide-ranging discussion about housing affordability and accessibility and the key issue is how the city can provide stability to residents today while accommodating housing demand in the future. Cutting right to the heart of the matter is state’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment: an obscure and complicated process for assigning to localities some responsibility for providing new dwelling units in order to meet that demand. In fact RHNA as it is known drives every significant housing conversation in our city today.

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Stop Work Order at 201 South Reeves

When you wake to the sound of a Sunday-morning demolition you might wonder whether the landlord has a permit for that work. But when your landlord is Dr. Stephen Copen you can rest assured: of course he has no permit! We remembered this lesson when the sledgehammer-and-pickaxe demolition commenced at 8 a.m. That must mean another Copen low-budget, under-the-radar job should meet an untimely end with a stop-work order.

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Rent Stabilization Commissioner Appointments Hit a Snag

City Council created the Rent Stabilization Commission in March to resolve certain tenant-landlord disputes and make recommendations regarding amendments to the rent stabilization ordinance. A total of 29 residents stepped up to apply, including 8 ‘at-large’ applicants (neither a tenant nor landlord). These disinterested at-large members are supposed to balance against the vested interests of tenants and landlords. But what if they’re not disinterested and unbiased after all?

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Culver City Adopts an Interim Rent Control Ordinance

Culver City has adopted an interim rent control ordinance that brings strong tenant protections to a city that had no local tenant protections at all. City Council voted to cap the rent increase at 3% annually; require a relocation fee; and most important agreed to end no-just-cause evictions. Like Beverly Hills, Culver City recognized what we can see with our own eyes: runaway rent increases leads to tenant displacement and greater regulation is necessary to ensure the stability of the renting population.

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New RSO Workshops are Scheduled

This Monday, August 12th at 6pm the city will host a rent stabilization workshop specifically for tenants. RSO program staff will provide an overview of the rent stabilization ordinance amendments and discuss next steps in the policy process. But tenants need more than a high-level overview; we need help with our problems. Save the date and join us at City Hall with your own tough questions for city rent stabilization officials!

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