Beverly Hills Earns an ‘A’ Grade in This Coronavirus Crisis

Coronavirus has challenged local governments in a way that no public health emergency has before. We see a cascade of executive orders and urgency ordinances that have shuttered businesses, prohibited gatherings and tried to cushion the impact of an economic shutdown in response to this insidious threat. The most surprising: a sweeping embrace of the eviction moratorium. Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch has ensured that our city was among the earliest in the Southland to step up with one. He deserves an ‘A’ grade in a crisis.

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Renters Alliance Endorses Lili Bosse

Vote by mail ballots for the March 3rd city council election became available this week so it seems like a good time to announce our endorsement. Renters Alliance enthusiastically supports incumbent Lili Bosse for Beverly Hills city council. She has served our city well as planning and traffic commissioner and now, after two terms on city council, she has earned our support. Residents who rent housing in particular will know that Bosse has been there when we needed her. We feel that in this election there is simply no better choice than Lili Bosse, who recognizes the value, and the concerns, of those who rent in our city.

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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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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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Double Funding for Bet Tzedek Legal Services for Tenants!

Housing rights legal services provider Bet Tzedek starts the new fiscal year with a 100% bump-up in funding to provide more extensive tenant and senior housing legal services to Beverly Hills residents. Great news because eviction actions are on the rise. But the funding almost didn’t happen when City Council balked at spending $220,000. Cedars Sinai stepped in to save the day with a one-time matching grant.

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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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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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Dialogue #7: My Takeaway

Facilitator Sukhsimranjit Singh wrapped up dialogue #7 like a man with a mission: “Let’s close the gap – I give the power to you but we need to move forward.” Moving forward is a challenge when tenants and landlords cannot to come to agreement, even conceptually, on something like the maximum allowed annual rent increase. But it helps when Mayor Lili Bosse is in the room. Here’s my takeaway from the final facilitated dialogue that hinged on that critical policy issue.

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2017 Dialogue #6: Rental Unit Registration and More

This past Sunday, City of Beverly Hills convened the second roundtable dialogue involving committees of tenants and landlords. “We will try to conclude these issues today without war stories,” Facilitator Sukhsimranjit Singh said. “We are moving towards a middle ground.”

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