Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

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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. 

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PitMix Jul 16, 2018 02:00 PM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

I heard more about high rents in Santa Rosa than I did in Montecito. Maybe this is aimed more at them than us? Is there any data on how many new units were made available at high prices after the mudslide?

Always_Running Jul 16, 2018 02:16 PM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

I don’t agree with this and now I’m nervous. I am renting out parents 2 bedroom guest house to a family of 5, with a garage which they are storing destroyed belongings and the kids have full access to our backyard and pool. When are they voting on this bill? Will I need to give notice or be required to lower my rent to $2460?

a-1531779058 Jul 16, 2018 03:10 PM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

If this law is passed as is, landlords will not list a property for rent until the disaster has past. This will actually reduce the amount of available homes for rent following a disaster. Welcome to the law of unintended consequences.

Luvaduck Jul 17, 2018 08:42 AM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

Maybe the Bacarra will continue to put up Montecito home-owners at the discount prices it offered during their fire/flood-- but doesn't offer any other locale?

RHS Jul 17, 2018 08:58 AM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

As noted, this essay is hard to follow. Mostly because the diatribe contained in it. The author is unable to rationally express the essence of the argument against government intervention. But government intervention is needed in many circumstances to protect the community from gouging and rapacious conduct. I support this law. I support the politicians that have working to help us all survive recurring disasters, whether they be this Montecito experience or hurricanes in Puerto Rico. Government exists to protect us in the land of the free as well. We are not free when greed and money can limit destroy our ability to work, live and progress.+\

Factotum Jul 17, 2018 09:21 AM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

"Gouging and rapacious conduct" is a religious term. Keep your religious beliefs out of the argument. One can argue based on objective fiscal data - when does too much subsidized housing destroy a community.

Lina24 Jul 17, 2018 09:06 AM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

How can you claim to be an "affordable and specialized housing specialist ", yet make the following statement "And please, please, please remember: There is no definition of “affordable”, and one size never fits all"? You should please, please remember that many Santa Barbara natives and residents have been disastrously displaced by the ridiculous cost of housing prior to this natural disaster. Their lives have been turned upside down by this "rich-man" made disaster in the process, with little to no regard for the nightmare imposed on them by the wealthy. Some have gone homeless while most have been forced to move over 60 miles away and have to make that commute to work because greedy investors need passive incomes to sustain their luxuries. So cry me a river because the the wealthy have to pay such a high price to FLY to their job from the valley! They can drive like the rest of us, or maybe invest in a boat!! Sorry for my rant but I just can't with the grossness of this tone deaf post.

Factotum Jul 17, 2018 09:20 AM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

Everything is affordable if someone buys it. The actual term is socially-engineered price-fixed subsidized housing; which long term the community cannot afford.

Flicka Jul 17, 2018 10:04 AM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

A family of Montecito residents I know rented an apartment in Goleta to have when evacuation orders are issued. The landlord gave them a discounted deal.

EastBeach Jul 17, 2018 10:22 AM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

I wonder if the author is the Denice Spangler Adams who's part of the CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) organization?

Either way, I agree the letter rambles.

Factotum Jul 17, 2018 11:36 AM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

Short-term rentals might qualify as "gouging and rapacious", when compared to monthly rental rates for similar properties. There goes the argument for more short-term rentals when they displace long-term residential rental units.

jqb Feb 22, 2020 04:38 PM
Post-Disaster Pending AB1919 Rental Restriction

It's currently relevant, and my statement is factual:

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