Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction
By Denice S. Adams, 3rd generation Californian, 1896
Thursday 7/12/18, CA State Reps held a State Hearing. Government officials on payroll outnumbered local residents. 44 new pieces of “Natural Diaster Response Legislation” have been introduced for “our benefit” in the former land of the free. Below is an open letter to Sen Jackson and Rep Limon on the first listing of 44 bills: AB1919.
Dear Reps Limon & Jackson,
At Thursday’s Senate Hearing on how to help those adversely impacted in post-disaster emergencies who are in need of temporary housing, Rep Limon called to the attention of the Montecito audience AB1919, the #1 listed pending bill on your handout: “This bill prohibits price gouging of rental housing that was NOT on the market at the time of proclamation or declaration of emergency.”
Life cannot be regulated in the land of the free, in a Republic operated under Constitutional Authority, despite CA’s legislature deciding our state is uniquely exempt from any Constitutional or Federal law it doesn’t like . After reading the proposed AB1919 in its entirety, fire alarms went off.
As an affordable, and specialized housing specialist, and a Montecito fire evacuee-claimant 3 times in 9 years, if your concerted efforts to kill this pending mandate fail, then Vote NO!
Please, appropriately represent the needs of your constituents by ensuring ACCESS to any and all available short term housing our neighbors may choose to make available to us post-disaster.
If AB1919 must proceed, as per the demands of the Dem-Machine Leadership, gut it, by removing the 160% HUD max rent parameters as the guideline basis for this mandate.
Particularly in times of emergency, private property owners willing to inconvenience themselves by immediately creating highly needed emergency housing to help their neighbors and community, are Godsends, and should not be regulated beyond existing rental standards. The market will determine pricing.
Every disaster, geographic area, and victim-reality are different, such as Montecito and Santa Barbara experienced after Hwy 101 was closed following our January 9 Debris flow.
The proposed law reads in part: ‘For housing not rented, or not offered for rent, rented and not offered for rent within one year prior to the proclamation or declaration of emergency, 160 percent of the fair market rent established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. This amount may be increased by 5 percent if the housing is offered for rent fully furnished. This amount shall not be adjusted for any other good or service, including, but not limited to, gardening or utilities currently or formerly provided in connection with the lease.’
What pending AB1919 means in Montecito post Disaster Rent: $2464 max rent for unfurnished 2-bedroom; $2075. 1-bedroom; $1766 Studio. This compares to fair market $4500-$7000.
These max rents likely will limit victim access to desired local emergency temporary housing covered by their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Tell your Sacramento colleagues, many of us can’t pay water, utility and trash bills for these amounts. Forget the added costs of the dwelling structure, maintenance and gardening.
Imagine you’re the disaster victim paying $10,000 a mo for a hotel room, plus tax and parking fees. Would you prefer a less commercial environment for $6-8000/mo? What if you’re the physician or responder flying between Camarillo and Santa Barbara RT daily for $260 or $7,800 a month for transportation only?
Yes, circumstances vary. People’s needs differ. In a disaster, victims have already lost control of their lives and normalcy.
Please do not regulate our access to whatever housing our neighbors and community may choose to make available to us. And please, please, please remember: There is no definition of “affordable”, and one size never fits all.
An investor earning a million a year, a fire responder paid $300-$400,000 a year can afford more than a teacher making $80-125,000 a year or some retiree living on $15-30,000 a year.
The only way to offer and sustain a stable supply of “affordable housing” is for non-profits with a volunteer Board of Directors to develop and hold for 30 to 40-years or longer, with required reserves for replacement. Government imposed mandates whereby one struggling resident is required to pay 20% more to cross-subside their neighbor is unAmerican and simply wrong, despite the fact our local politicians too often make this an approval pre-requisite.
Simply put: Outlaw all Sacramento mandates. Let each CA community decide what’s best locally. Take the lead. SpareUs. No more mandates.