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Santa Cruz Together April 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to our first Newsletter!  We need and appreciate your support to defeat the terrible rent control ballot initiative.  Most important is continuing to spread the word about how the initiative’s unintended consequences will hurt renters more than it helps them. 

Campaign Up And Running

Santa Cruz Together is up and running.  We had well over 100 concerned people at our kickoff meeting, and we have a growing list of email subscribers.    Our campaign is run by concerned volunteers donating hundreds of hours of work to the campaign.  If you haven’t already, please post and share the www.santacruztogether.com URL with friends.  We’re are particularly interested in building our email list through the website.

Send Us Stories, Help Us Find Stories

To put a face on our campaign, we are seeking those willing to tell their stories.  The types of stories we want are the following:

·      Renters living in rent controlled cities finding housing scarce and pricey.   Consider if you have any family or friends willing to share their experience.   Rent controlled cities include Mountain View, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Monica.

·      ADU owners who are withdrawing from renting or deciding not to add an ADU because of the 'Just Cause' loss of ability to evict or move family in restrictions in the measure.

·      Renters who have thought through the initiative's unintended negative consequences that actually harm them.

·      Renters losing their housing when Property owners who have rented decide to sell to owner occupants because the property owners selling due to rent control or are afraid about the initiative taking away their control of their rental property.

·      Your story.

We seek people willing to do a video clip since we have professional video production donated to the campaign.  We also request quotes or 150-word stories for our website and Facebook.

Volunteer to Help

We are seeking people willing to distribute leaflets at community events.  Please RSVP and attend the volunteer training listed below, if you want to leaflet.  Please submit questions about the initiative that you would like to see answered.  Also, email us if you are willing to submit a letter to the editor.  We have a list of themes, if you are interested. Contact lynn@santacruztogether.com.

Next Events

Volunteer Training – RSVP Required

April 18th 6:30

Santa Cruz Police Department Community Room, 155 Center St, Santa Cruz

Ballot Initiative Overview and Our Campaign to Defeat It

May 2nd, 6:30 PM 

Santa Cruz Police Department Community Room, 155 Center St, Santa Cruz

This will be the same presentation given on April 4, with some updates, and is intended for new members or those who didn’t make that last meeting. 


Rental Housing Supply Greatly Reduced

Property managers are starting to understand the impact of these new draconian rental housing laws.  In particular, the inability to control who is living in your home, is a serious problem.  Housing providers lose the ability to decide who is living in their property, and for how long.    This makes many uncomfortable and less interested in owning rentals.  Already rentals are on the market.  More will be listed after a 120 day notice to tenants.

Extreme rent control makes providing rentals extremely difficult and less attractive.  In San Francisco rent control lead to a 30% decrease in available rentals.  Santa Monica lost 25% of rental housing.

Here in Santa Cruz an estimated 14,500 people live in rental houses.  Many that own these rentals will simply sell them to owner occupied buyers.  Over several years thousands of renters will be displaced.  Where will they go?   Onto our freeways in long commutes.  Housing insecurity is already a serious issue.  If this initiative passes, those in rental houses will find themselves with increased housing insecurity.  Even long term rental situations will change. 

Rent control effectively become Rental Supply Control, where fewer and fewer rentals are available.   


Lease terms become meaningless

For six weeks we have been organizing and talking to people about how the ballot initiative works .  One of the most common areas of confusion is the impact on rental leases.  The initiative changes the law so that tenants cannot be required to move, because of the end of a lease.  Tenants can only be required to leave for specific reasons like failure to pay rent or committing a crime.  The end of a lease is no longer a reason that a renter can be asked to move.  You can no longer control the length of time a renter is in your property.   

You also can no longer prevent subleases through a rental lease agreement.   Renters gain broad rights to sublease and an ability to add family members or partners to a property without housing provider consent.

It’s confusing to see such a fundamental part of real estate law change so dramatically.   We have heard quite a bit of disbelief.   In the 2/13 city council meeting, the Santa Cruz City Attorney is on the record stating that the end of a lease is no longer an adequate reason to require renters to move.