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Written by Sid Lakireddy

As every facet of California continues to be financially impacted by this global pandemic, CalRHA is squarely focused on getting legislators’ attention on the plight of rental housing providers, especially small rental housing providers dependent on rental payments to keep their livelihood intact. To continue doing this, it is critical that we get you to help us and stay involved throughout the process.

The legislature came back this month with a heavy focus on the COVID-19 crisis. One of the bills we are strongly opposing is Assemblymember Phil Ting’s AB 828. Claiming to be assistance for renters during the crisis, the bill would heavily impact rental housing providers and provide renters additional financial protections in addition to Governor Newsom’s moratorium on evictions. If legislation like this goes through, many property owners could lose their property to large corporations, putting the renters at risk of losing their homes.

We are offering a better more holistic and proposing the state enact a Renter Assistance Program (RAP) to be funded with federal money from the CARES Act back in late March. This would help provide financial support to some renters who may need it while also helping reduce the financial strain of rental property owners.

In April, we received considerable amount of press coverage sharing the plight and perspective of our members struggling during this crisis. These personal stories are making a difference by sharing specific examples on what rental housing providers are doing for their tenants and how we are all are impacted by this crisis.

Last month we also held two virtual Zoom press conferences. Our first one was to introduce our RAP proposal and the second focused on Los Angeles area small property owners. These press conferences are making a difference. For example, after receiving our media advisory about our press conference, a reporter asked Governor Newsom about his plan for small rental property owners. The news outlet responsible for asking that question joined our press conference and that night reported on the plight on small rental housing providers in a feature story. Furthermore, we garnered interest from key legislators who also listened into our press conference and have expressed interest in working with us on our issues. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make that happen.

To keep our momentum rolling, we need your help and support.

First, please contact your city or county to inquire about Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. This money could be useful in funding renters impacted by economic distress.

Second, make sure to sign up and get your networks to sign up for the Californians to Protect Affordable Housing campaign to stop Michael Weinstein’s second attempt to pass statewide rent control.

More on these two items in this newsletter.

Stay safe and stay informed!

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