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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Mills Act for Multifamily Preservation Picks Up Steam

Mayor John Mirish has been preservation-minded when it comes to multifamily rental properties. Toward that end he has championed the state’s Mills Act tax-incentive program: give an owner a break on his property tax and contractually bind him to investing in the restoration and rehabilitation of the property. His initiative is picking up steam!

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RSO Study Session #1: Council Gets to Work!

City Council held its first rent stabilization ‘study session’ last Thursday. This is the latest step in a 18-month policy process to amend the rent stabilization ordinance. The session suggested what a final rent stabilization ordinance might look like: relocation fee schedule, exempted properties and more. However key issues — and the process itself — is still up for negotiation!

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Beverly Hills City Council Endorses Prop 10

Beverly Hills City Council has endorsed Proposition 10 for the November ballot. If passed by voters, Proposition 10 would enact the Affordable Housing Act and thereby repeal the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. That legislation was Sacramento’s “gift to landlords” as one said because it ties the hands of any city that has enacted rent control. Our city’s endorsement is a statement of support for local control and self-determination. Indeed City Council voted unanimously to endorse Prop 10!

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Beverly Hills Will Ban Smoking in Multifamily Properties

After winding its way though the policy machinery for the past year, Beverly Hills City Council has unanimously supported a policy to regulate smoking in multifamily properties (including condominium buildings). Councilmembers spoke up strongly on Tuesday in favor of banning smoking in all apartments, for both new and existing tenancies, and will phase-in the prohibition over an accelerated one-year period. That means all smoking ceases in multifamily properties by January 1, 2019.

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City Council: Let’s Get on With the Program

Mayor Bosse tonight focused councilmembers on several key issues that are necessary to move the rent stabilization program forward: proceeding with a rental registry, funding the program, and hiring a deputy director. Other areas of council agreement included forming a tenant-landlord board and a new habitability standard. While the RSO program moves forward the next steps are yet unclear.

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City Council Hands Tenant-Protections a Major Setback

City Council handed residents who rent a major setback tonight when the Council majority appeared to second-guess its earlier commitment to create a rental unit registry. In semi-retreat our councilmembers signaled that Beverly Hills may not yet be ready, and that has significant implications for both tenants and landlords.

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Election Results Recap

We’ve been checking every day for the final Beverly Hills City Council election results to be posted and finally the election results are in! After a month of prolonged suspense from Los Angeles County we now know our new City Council. The big news is that Nancy Krasne is out and newcomers Les Friedman and Bob Wunderlich are in. What a nail-biter!

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The Krasne Endorsement? The Courier Gets It Wrong

Last week the Beverly Hills Courier endorsed Nancy Krasne for City Council. She was the newspaper’s only endorsed candidate in the local race even though seven candidates are in the running for three open seats. The Courier calls Krasne a “strong supporter” of the police. And she did vote to extend to officers a 10% raise in the latest contract. But with $330M in unfunded pension liabilities, the normally conservative paper’s endorsement was curious

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You Turned Out on Tuesday. What Did Council Do?

I want to thank everyone who responded to my Renters Alliance invitation and attended the City Council meeting this past Tuesday. Some were reluctant to speak up, but many of you offered heartfelt comments and observations. But our recommendations on the proposed ordinance — released Friday night on a holiday weekend — were lost in our allotted one-and-a-half minutes at the microphone. So much for democracy!

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