News

Seeking middle ground on rent control, Mountain View officials find a chasm

Both tenant and landlord groups oppose city efforts to revise rent stabilization law

Mountain View city leaders could be hurting for allies as they venture down the thorny path of reforming the city's rent control law. In a rare sign of agreement, landlord and tenant advocates each signaled wariness if not outright hostility to the idea of patching up rent control rules, even if it made the law more sustainable in the long term.

At its Monday night meeting, a City Council subcommittee winnowed down a list of proposed changes to Mountain View's rental regulations that could eventually go before voters as a ballot measure sometime in 2020. But for tenants, the final list included little in the way of direct benefits; for landlords, the proposals still might not be enough to change a system of price controls they described as fundamentally flawed.

Among the ideas that percolated to the top, the three-member subcommittee backed the idea of raising annual rent-increase caps to 5% or higher, putting a greater portion of fees on tenants and empowering the City Council to make changes to rent control as its members see fit.

But any one of these ideas would be crossing a red line for tenant advocates. Speaking at the meeting, representatives from Mountain View Housing Justice Coalition delivered a list of "poison pills" that they considered to be deal-breakers in any future measure. If the city's intent is to water down protections with nothing to gain for renters, advocates warned they would coalesce to fight the city's plan, as they did when the Measure V rent control ballot initiative passed in 2016.

"We trust that no council member would want to harm Mountain View's renters," said Edie Keating, speaking for the group. "We'd be happy to discuss a possible ballot measure, but not if it would weaken Measure V."

Speaking for the landlords, Joshua Howard of the California Apartment Association said they remained focused on passing their own 2020 ballot measure, which would neutralize most rental protections under Measure V except in extraordinary circumstances. Following him, several Mountain View apartment owners laid out their grievances, particularly that rent control doesn't provide enough for their property upkeep.

"I've looked at who I'm renting to, and I'm subsidizing a bunch of Google employees and a bunch of Facebook employees," said landlord Jeff Zell. "Why do they need rent control?"

The lukewarm reaction seemed ominous for the measure's prospects at the ballot box. Early on in the discussion, Councilman Lucas Ramirez commented that the city's measure faced a major political challenge as it tried to carve out a middle ground on a deeply polarizing issue. Was any stakeholder going to champion it?

"There needs to be a constituency that supports this measure, and as we take input, it's increasingly hard for me to see what that constituency will be," he said. "We have to be very careful with this process."

Even some natural supporters for reforming rent control seemed to be turned off by the city's latest changes. Mobile home advocates for years have been urging Mountain View leaders to extend rent control protections to them, and the upcoming ballot measure seems a perfect opportunity to press their cause.

But at the Monday meeting, the city subcommittee declined to include mobile homes, on the basis that it would be a crude fit under the rent control provisions. Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga promised the City Council would take up the issue on its own as a separate ordinance in the near future.

"It's not that we're not doing anything; in fact, we're going to look at it comprehensively," she said. "I really believe that mobile home parks have some distinct differences that creates a different scenario."

Similarly, council subcommittee members insisted that they needed some level of extra authority over the Rental Housing Committee, even though they acknowledged the group has done a good job so far in administering the city's rent control. By design, the 2016 rent control law was written to exclude the City Council from influencing its implementation.

City leaders favored poking some holes in this firewall. Councilman Chris Clark suggested the council should have the discretion to tweak the rent control provisions as needed, but those changes should have a "high threshold," such as a supermajority vote. He also proposed giving the council the final say for how much landlords can recoup from capital improvements, such as adding seismic upgrades, landscaping or solar panels. The council subcommittee agreed it needed authority to make changes because it was too cumbersome to go back to the voters every time an alteration was needed.

Perhaps the most important issue of the night, the council discussed increasing the annual rent cap, which is currently based on the Consumer Price Index and hovers around 3%. That amount simply wasn't enough money to support apartment owners, Clark said. In addition, the measure could require renters to pay a portion of the city's annual apartment fee that funds the rent-control program, which is currently paid entirely by landlords.

"It's hard to justify CPI being a reasonable rate of return," Clark said. "For a long-term perspective, when we talked about a sustainable rent control measure, we have to come up with some better rate of return."

The subcommittee discussed a possible rental assistance program to provide aid for any tenants who couldn't afford these higher costs.

Asked about the measure's prospects after the meeting, Abe-Koga told the Voice that amending rent control is the only way to sustain it for the long term. If modest reforms aren't implemented, then the California Apartment Association would persist in trying to overturn the law in every future election, and the community would remain deeply divided, she said.

For tenants, who comprise nearly 60% of the city's population, she said she believed they would see the benefits in creating a more stable program that prevented displacement and provided more flexibility.

"I'm trying to find a middle ground for the community so we can put this issue to rest and not let it dominate every election," Abe-Koga said. "I hope the tenants understand that CAA's measure is much more severe than anything the council is suggesting for reforms and will be willing to work with us to come up with a compromise."

Tenants advocates were less sanguine. While some reforms may make sense, the city's push to increase the costs carried by renters was simply a non-starter, said Keating of the Housing Justice Coalition.

"There is no need to find a common position if we are presented with an initiative that we need to oppose," Keating said. "If the council supports rents that grow faster than renter paychecks, that does not inspire confidence to give the council greater authority."

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Comments

76 people like this
Posted by Hayes
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 22, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Rent control is taking other people’s property/money and needs to be ended.
If not about wage a price controls


69 people like this
Posted by Dan Waylonis
a resident of Jackson Park
on Aug 22, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Dan Waylonis is a registered user.

The easiest course of action is to realize that rent control will never produce the desired result of lowering rent costs. Instead, the city should concentrate on expediting construction of ALL types of housing.


40 people like this
Posted by Old Mountain View
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 22, 2019 at 2:59 pm

I don't see how the law as it is right now is sustainable.

There are extra expenses that come up all the time, like a new roof or special costs like seismic retrofit or landscaping that has to be redone to attract new tenants and you shouldn't have to ask permission to recover the costs for any of that, as it doesn't make sense.

The guy they quoted in the article has a good point, at his property he's subsidizing a bunch of Google and Facebook employees. Those companies are hugely wealthy. Who thought that was a good idea?


30 people like this
Posted by MV Home Owner
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 22, 2019 at 3:27 pm

I don't own any rental property in town butI don't see how the law as it is now is sustainable.

There are extra expenses that come up all the time, like a new roof or special costs like seismic retrofit or landscaping that has to be redone to attract new tenants and you shouldn't have to ask permission to recover the costs for any of that, as it doesn't make sense.

The guy they quoted in the article has a good point, at his property he's subsidizing a bunch of Google and Facebook employees. Those companies are hugely wealthy. Who thought that was a good idea?


11 people like this
Posted by Alex
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 22, 2019 at 3:38 pm

Charging different rents by employer of the tenant would require an unworkable evaluation of each employee’s employer and income. Clearly a privacy violation of bothe employee and employer.

Rent control must always lean in favor of the renter. What constitues a “reasonable rate of return” is always borne on the backs of the renter. Owners are subject to the same cost living increases we all face. Expecting owners to maintain their profit margins by increasing the burden on tenants is not a just understanding of the income inequality tenters face.


249 people like this
Posted by Not Fair
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 22, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Measure V was drawn up by an outside activist group who does not live in Mountain View.

The citizens of our city never had an opportunity to attend any workshops to give input and feedback on their proposal. These activist took every opportunity to stick all the bills to the landlord, and wrote in the measure that the only way to amend it would be to put it on the ballot each and every time.

We elect city council members to make the laws for us who represent everyone in the city. The activist group only wrote it to screw the landlord. Ever rent control city splits the cost to administer the law 50-50 between landlords and tenant, not so in Mtn. View. The landlord gets the cost 100%.

Many examples in the measure are never mentioned to the public. The loans on a property is not allowed as a business expense. If a landlord buys new appliances, that is not an allowable business expense per Measure V, and I can go on.

What the IRS allows as a business expense, many items are not allowed under Measure V.


16 people like this
Posted by Longview
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2019 at 4:39 pm

Longview is a registered user.

In the whole state of California, "vacancy decontrol" is required for any city's rent stabilization ordinance. This means that when a new tenant moves in, there is no limit on what the landlord can charge. To a new tenant, a landlord charges market rent. This makes all California rent stabilization laws highly sustainable.


9 people like this
Posted by TO @Old MV
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 22, 2019 at 4:52 pm

> There are extra expenses that come up all the time, like a new roof or special costs like seismic retrofit or landscaping that has to be redone to attract new tenants and you shouldn't have to ask permission to recover the costs for any of that, as it doesn't make sense.

Extra capital expenses *CAN* be used to justify a higher increase in rents.

That said, landlords are running a business. Part of running a business is a capital reserve fund.

For example, a fire that renders some or all units uninhabitable. The landlord will have no tenants to pay for the capital expenses incurred.

A responsible business has a capital contingency fund. Well-run businesses cover capital expenses out of a capital budget, NOT from operating income.

So in summary, the situation that you described never arises if the landlord is running their business as a business rather than a cash cow to be milked dry every month.


40 people like this
Posted by @Not Fair
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 22, 2019 at 4:58 pm

> Measure V was drawn up by an outside activist group who does not live in Mountain View.

The MV Tenants organization is MV tenants. They went to outside legal help in order to create a properly constructed charter amendment.

There is no mythical "outside activist group". The group in question is an "inside activist group".

> The citizens of our city never had an opportunity to attend any workshops to give input and feedback on their proposal.

You are describing the way the city council works - not the direct democracy approach of ballot measures.

I see lots of ballot measures on the state and county ballots that were put there without "workshops to give input and feedback". Sounds like you have a complaint with the way *all* ballot measure are placed on the ballot in California.


220 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 22, 2019 at 5:12 pm

Gary is a registered user.

If the pro-landlord City Council is given the authority, by charter amendment, to amend the rent control law, the Council (majority) could and would amend the law to effectively REPEAL IT. Most everyone saw this POLITICAL DIRTY TRICK in the making.


114 people like this
Posted by @@Not Fair
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 22, 2019 at 5:39 pm

This outside activist group not only targeted the City of Mountain View, but 6 other cities at that time. This outside group hates landlords with a passion and did not care at all about writing any measure that would have been fair to all, but instead wrote a one sided measure that screws the landlord.
Activist group link here,
Web Link

There is a very clear reason why rent controlled cities have fewer rent controlled apts. after the rent control laws went into effect. Those units where removed from the market resulting in fewer rent controlled units.

You all should stop complaining when a landlord sells his property to a developer, you where warned what would happen, and all you can think about now is what other things can you do to take away those rights from a property owner so he can not redevelop his property.


100 people like this
Posted by @@Not Fair
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 22, 2019 at 5:47 pm

If you are going to repeat the same old line about the MVTO are the ones who did this, that they did all this work and hired others to draw up the language, please list the names of these leaders of the MVTO and where did they get the several hundred thousand dollars to do all this, including conducting 2 private polling, hiring and paying professional signature gathers, paying attorneys, paying the printers, etc.

To this day it is a mystery where all this money came from and who are all the leaders and the money people behind it.


29 people like this
Posted by Landlord game plan
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Aug 22, 2019 at 8:18 pm

The landlords appear to be posting comments on this story as part of their con-game. The landlords no doubt are in cahoots with some Council Members. Most tenants will be forced to leave MV if rent control is repealed. They can't afford $5,000 per month.


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2019 at 8:36 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Hayes you said:

“Rent control is taking other people’s property/money and needs to be ended. “

You are so wrong, there is no authority that has ever said that in the state court or the federal courts even the U.S. Supreme court as long as there is a declared critical shortage of housing.

In response to Dan Waylonis You said:

“The easiest course of action is to realize that rent control will never produce the desired result of lowering rent costs. Instead, the city should concentrate on expediting construction of ALL types of housing.”

“Rent Stabilization” was the law, not “Rent Control” and it is never intended to “produce” housing except to provide that only by building NEW and INCREASED amounts of housing will provide more earnings.

In response to resident of Old Mountain View you said:

“I don't see how the law as it is right now is sustainable.”

The LAW is sustainable as long as the fees provide funds for the RHC to do their work. The LAW is not dependent on the housing providers profits.

In response to Not Fair you said:

“The citizens of our city never had an opportunity to attend any workshops to give input and feedback on their proposal. These activist took every opportunity to stick all the bills to the landlord, and wrote in the measure that the only way to amend it would be to put it on the ballot each and every time.”

You are SOOO Wrong. There were plenty of public meetings and the biggest evidence that the VOTERS used was the City Council meetings and how the City did nothing to address “Rent Stabilization”. Nice try to alienate the Citizens of Mountain View. You said:

“We elect city council members to make the laws for us who represent everyone in the city. The activist group only wrote it to screw the landlord. Ever rent control city splits the cost to administer the law 50-50 between landlords and tenant, not so in Mtn. View. The landlord gets the cost 100%.”

The City Council failed to do anything to protect the Citizens of Mountain View regarding price gouging in rent by those who simply spent money expecting the tenants to bail them out. Like the one that bought my building for $4.9 M when its last appraisal was $1.15 M. And he expected the current renter to bail him out. WITHOUT MAKING ANY IMPROVEMENT IN THE BUILDING HE WANTED AND DI CHANGE THE PRICE. You said:

“Many examples in the measure are never mentioned to the public. The loans on a property is not allowed as a business expense. If a landlord buys new appliances, that is not an allowable business expense per Measure V, and I can go on.”

THAT WAS WRITTEN IN MEASURE V AND IT WAS PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE.


68 people like this
Posted by Waldo
a resident of Waverly Park
on Aug 22, 2019 at 8:38 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

As of 2018, there were 19,460 renter households and 14,098 owner households (ref. Chart 32, Web Link). With a 5,362 renter household majority, is it any wonder Measure V passed? Trouble is the older housing stock costs more to maintain, so landlords, unable to recoup costs, sell to developers, who demolish the older stock, build new stock, and avoid Measure V altogether. If 2,681 older units were to be demolished (half of 5,362), then renter households would become the minority, and Measure V style legislation likely loses at the ballot box. It's a self healing problem...eventually. In the meantime, landlords of older housing stock continue to provide subsidized housing to folks who may or may not deserve it.


4 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2019 at 8:44 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Waldo,

THe new No-Net-Loss state laws enforcable as of Jan 1, 2019 has a lot to say about that.

the new laws SB 540 and SB35 Have a lot to say about that.

Look what happened to Cupertino:

SB35 as I pointed out states:

““(B) The development is subject to a requirement mandating a minimum percentage of below market rate housing based on one of the following:

(i) The locality did not submit its latest production report to the department by the time period required by Section 65400, or that production report reflects that there were fewer units of above moderate-income housing approved than were required for the regional housing needs assessment cycle for that reporting period. In addition, if the project contains more than 10 units of housing, the project seeking approval dedicates a minimum of 10 percent of the total number of units to housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income. If the locality has adopted a local ordinance that requires that greater than 10 percent of the units be dedicated to housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income, that zoning ordinance applies.

(ii) The locality did not submit its latest production report to the department by the time period required by Section 65400, or that production report reflects that there were fewer units of housing affordable to households making below 80 percent of the area median income that were issued building permits than were required for the regional housing needs assessment cycle for that reporting period, AND THE PROJECT SEEKING APPROVAL DEDICATES 50 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF UNITS TO HOUSING AFFORDABLE TO HOUSEHOLDS MAKING BELOW 80 PERCENT OF THE AREA MEDIAN INCOME, UNLESS THE LOCALITY HAS ADOPTED A LOCAL ORDINANCE THAT REQUIRES THAT GREATER THAN 50 PERCENT OF THE UNITS BE DEDICATED TO HOUSING AFFORDABLE TO HOUSEHOLDS MAKING BELOW 80 PERCENT OF THE AREA MEDIAN INCOME, IN WHICH CASE THAT ORDINANCE APPLIES.”

The other LAW is SB 540 Which states:

“(3) At least 30 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UNITS CONSTRUCTED OR SUBSTANTIALLY REHABILITATED IN THE ZONE WILL BE SOLD OR RENTED TO PERSONS AND FAMILIES OF MODERATE INCOME, as defined by Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code, or persons and families of middle income, as defined in Section 65008; AT LEAST 15 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UNITS CONSTRUCTED OR SUBSTANTIALLY REHABILITATED IN THE ZONE WILL BE SOLD OR RENTED TO LOWER INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, as defined by Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code; and AT LEAST 5 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UNITS CONSTRUCTED OR SUBSTANTIALLY REHABILITATED IN THE ZONE WILL BE RESTRICTED FOR A TERM OF 55 YEARS FOR VERY LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS, as defined by Section 50105 of the Health and Safety Code. NO MORE THAN 50 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL UNITS CONSTRUCTED OR SUBSTANTIALLY REHABILITATED IN THE ZONE SHALL BE SOLD OR RENTED TO PERSONS AND FAMILIES OF ABOVE MODERATE INCOME.

The developer shall provide sufficient legal commitments to ensure continued availability of units for very low, low- moderate-, or middle-income households in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision FOR 55 YEARS FOR RENTAL UNITS AND 45 YEARS FOR OWNER-OCCUPIED UNITS.”

And please provide proof that the City of Mountain View is in COMPLIANCE with the state laws?


433 people like this
Posted by Yimby #2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2019 at 9:55 pm

Issues I have with Measure V and how it is presented to the public (voters)

I. Hiding financial facts
1. No disclosure that it would be a $2.6 M program first year
2. Continued obfuscation
a) Emily of the RHC committee saying it is just a "small fee"
b) I am called a Liar by a Measure V suppport just for stating official facts
around the $2.6 M figure
c) They position it as since it is coming from housing provider pockets its
not real money that are putting into non-productive administrative overhead
3. At minimum this is poor quality financial planning
4. At worst, deliberate and dishonest efforts to hide the cost of the program
5. Did anybody really vote to create a $2.6 M bureaucracy? No, because it
was not forecasted or disclosed

II. One sided
a) No expense recognition for City raising water, sewer, garbage twice
b) Non-shared fees
c) Housing provider absorb all inflationary expense above 5%

III. Continued One Side Discussion (not implemented but tells you how they think)
a) No recognition of seismic retro-fit expenses
b) Prevention of housing providers exiting the business

(b) above is the most appalling thinking. Make the business environment one-
sided and non-viable and then put rules in place to allow a person to
leave the situation. Think about it. This is appalling.

Of course, there are rule already in place where it you want to occupy your own
unit, you have to pay the departing tenant. This is a lot of money.

IV. If you step back and look at the behavior:

1. Obfuscation of financial facts
2. Jobs Lopez suppressing the free speech of people he disagrees with
3. Measure V supporter calling a person disclosing financial facts a "Liar"
4. One-sided nature of Measure V
5. Talk of preventing housing providers from exiting the business
6. Talk of imposing a financial burden with no cost recovery
7. If you go to Measure V rallies, you will see a lot of selling the
sizzle: Housing as a Right, Diversity and other good things.
No problem. But it seem that the Measure V support groups
just want to get their good things by trampling on other people.

Measure V is poor quality legislation. The thinking and behavior behind it is
inappropriate.









226 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2019 at 10:54 pm

Rent control worked well in the USSR, but what happened to the USSR?

With all the laws on building i'm surprised there are any developers left. Who would want to build an apartment complex if u were told what u can and can't charge for what is essentially yours. So what do they do, they build houses, yes there is still money in that. So the apartment stock is doomed to sink.

If the rent control people want to control rent I suggest they put their money together and buy or build apartments for them to manage. But with all commie nation it's so much easier to tell others what to do with there belongings.


16 people like this
Posted by Rex
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 22, 2019 at 11:29 pm

Y'all a bunch of histrionic fools. You can do better than comparing Measure V to the USSR or any of the other dollar store rhetorical drivel you've typed out here. Shame on you. If you have a specific factual criticism or proposal, make your case. Consider the constructive criticism you get and use it to make your idea better.


9 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2019 at 12:53 am

Rent control is OK by me.
Don't like it, sell your property and let someone else do it.
The biggest whiners are the ones who make the most money.
When we have a situation like we have - come to another solution,
or rent control should be enacted. Human beings should have a
right to housing at an affordable rate ... they say 1/3 of your income,
but it used to be 1/4. 1/3 used to be for buying a house where you
would eventually see the benefits of home ownership over time.

The conspiracy of business against the public is shameful. Posting
and recommending each other's posts, lying, exaggerating and
trying to make it look like there is a concensus against rent control
is nothing more than what they did in the USSR, so it is not communism
that is the problem it is any elite minority that has power to corrupt,.

When I lived in Mountain View I could rent and apartment and go to
Foothill while working a minimum wage job. It is inhuman and evil
to only worry about your rents in a steady state that is corrupt and
broken. If there was a fair market, no problem, but there is no and
this is when the market failes the people need to step in and demand,
and it if it theft in certain occasions or looks like theft, what do you
think these rents are?


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2019 at 6:29 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Yimby #2 you said:


“I. Hiding financial facts

1. No disclosure that it would be a $2.6 M program first year”

2. Continued obfuscation

a) Emily of the RHC committee saying it is just a "small fee"

b) I am called a Liar by a Measure V suppport just for stating official facts around the $2.6 M figure


c) They position it as since it is coming from housing provider pockets its not real money that are putting into non-productive administrative overhead”

You can put that cost on the City Council for REQUIRING the start up costs be paid back in one year. The City Council was in effect punishing the City Citizens for NOT BEHAVING and rejecting Measure W. You can put that on the shoulders of John Inks. You said:

“3. At minimum this is poor quality financial planning”

Again You can blame John Inks and the City Council. You said:

“4. At worst, deliberate and dishonest efforts to hide the cost of the program”

There was no dishonesty regarding the proposal. The costs were known by the public and the City did everything possible to sabotage the new agency. You said:

“5. Did anybody really vote to create a $2.6 M bureaucracy? No, because it was not forecasted or disclosed”

Again, it was a known issue, the City Council did everything possible to inflate the initial costs and you and everyone else knows this. As far as:

“5. Talk of preventing housing providers from exiting the business”

Yes, NEW STATE laws might in effect change the nature of demolition and changing the type of housing in the City. BUT, that is not the City, that is the STATE laws. You are not making an accurate point here You said:

“6. Talk of imposing a financial burden with no cost recovery”

That was always the nature of the business, you cannot expect the public to bear the cost of bad business planning or poor business decisions. There is no guaranty of anyone making the amount of profit they were possibly promised by say a real estate agent.

“7. If you go to Measure V rallies, you will see a lot of selling the sizzle: Housing as a Right, Diversity and other good things. No problem. But it seem that the Measure V support groups just want to get their good things by trampling on other people.”

Market regulations are a natural part of the market. The fact that the market was given practically no regulations under the promise that the private sector would be the most efficient method to build more housing under Costa Hawkins. But IT FAILED. And now there are new state laws and more possible laws in the future to regulate the market. That was always a potential risk and anyone thinking it could never happen was being blind.

“Measure V is poor quality legislation. The thinking and behavior behind it is inappropriate.”

AGAIN IT IS NOT LEGISLATION. STOP USING THE WRONG CLASSIFICATION. THE PEOPLE LITIGATED AND MADE A CHOICE WITH ALL FACTS PRESENTED. THE CITY COUNCIL DID EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO SABOTAGE IT. LIKE AGREEING TO A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER TO NOT ENFORCE THE RENT ROLLBACK WHEN IT WAS TO BE ENFORCED ON DECEMBER 23RD, 2019, AND INFLATING THE STARTUP COSTS BY REQUIRING REPAYMENT IN JUST ONE YEAR. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN AMORITIZED FOR 5 YEARS. YOU CAN THANK JOHN INKS FOR THAT.


71 people like this
Posted by Affordability
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 23, 2019 at 7:57 am

Those who keep saying housing is a right......perhaps so but deciding where is NOT. There are plenty of much more affordable places to live.


8 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2019 at 9:55 am

The landlords' greed is unbelievable. Even if FB or Google pay a little more to their employees for their work, why on earth landlords should be getting a cut of that; why local companies should be subsidizing landlords that already benefiting from some of the highest paying rentals in the nation? It's just beyond any reason. Unbelievable.


11 people like this
Posted by Cameron
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Aug 23, 2019 at 10:17 am

In a healthy housing market, higher property values would result in rents, and higher rents would result in more construction. So where is the construction? The Mountain View City Council actively kills much-needed construction projects, despite the current councilors running on pro-construction platforms this past election. Now they want to repeal rent control, thereby enriching landlords even further? No f*cking way.

Landlords can't have it both ways. Either we break the dam on construction and then repeal rent control, or rent control stays in place until landlords quit whining about construction.


40 people like this
Posted by Billybob
a resident of Bailey Park
on Aug 23, 2019 at 10:19 am

If you cant afford to live here move somewhere else its just that simple


5 people like this
Posted by Rex
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Aug 23, 2019 at 11:05 am

Dear BillyBob and Affordability,

Are you ready to help people move out, then? I'm sure you're aware that moving is quite an expense, particularly if it is to another state and you are doing so with a family. If this is something you'd prefer to deny the reality of, note that you are supporting local homelessness, more RVs, and other community-degrading events that you will no doubt strenuously complain about here. You may believe that the majority of renters in MV are affluent tech employees, but this is amply demonstrated to not be the case. I remain glad to live in a community that recognizes hardships and seeks to balance them so that MV does not become a demographic desert only accessible to the well-heeled and tasteless. If you wish to be a callous rugged individualist and live along your ideological peers who won't lift a finger to help you in a crisis, I hear that Nevada is a wonderful place and the dry air will do wonders for your aching joints and inflamed abcesses. Perhaps you'll be happier there and we will be happier in your absence. Cheers!


2 people like this
Posted by Alex Nunez
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 23, 2019 at 3:25 pm

Alex Nunez is a registered user.

Aww... I feel so sorry for all the scared ppl commenting on this MV Voice comments thread. Deep down I think everyone eating up and spreading the usual free-market gobbledygook is just feeling lost in the big scary world :(

Remember that it's extremely likely that everyone posting in this comments thread probably has more in common with each other that they do with the Masters of the Universe the CAA wants to prop up & engorge. We should consider joining forces :)


1 person likes this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2019 at 8:23 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Affordability you said:

“Those who keep saying housing is a right......perhaps so but deciding where is NOT. There are plenty of much more affordable places to live.”

If the Private Housing Sector did as it promised in the following history, you would not have to disregard the nature that private housing providers cherry pick their customers, leaving out affordable housing:

Let’s introduce some REAL history regarding the origins of the Housing Crisis of California. It is well accepted that the Housing shortage was born in 1970.

This is no coincidence, the federal government had a strong regulations so that affordable housing would be accessible since World War 2, UNTIL the legislation passed in 1965 (Web Link). The history stated that :

“No major legislation changed the basic mechanisms of public housing until the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965.

This act created the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a cabinet-level agency to address housing. The act also introduced rent subsidies for the first time, SHIFTING A TREND TOWARDS PRIVATELY CONSTRUCTED LOW-INCOME HOUSING. With this legislation, THE FEDERAL HOUSING AUTHORITY WOULD INSURE MORTGAGES FOR NON-PROFITS WHICH WOULD THEN CONSTRUCT HOMES FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES. HUD COULD THEN PROVIDE SUBSIDIES TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN THE COST OF THESE UNITS AND A SET PERCENTAGE OF A HOUSEHOLD’S INCOME.”

Just about every resource indicates that the Housing Shortage in California started in 1970. (Web Link). This legislation in effect privatized the housing funding and projects nationwide. The legislation was passed under the false impression that the private sector was more efficient and economical regarding providing housing. It took only 5 years to begin the biggest and longest systemic shortage of affordable housing for the state of California.

On top of this, in 1973 Richard Nixon stopped all public housing project funding.

As well as In 1974, The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 created the Section 8 Housing Program to ENCOURAGE the private sector to provide more affordable housing. VIRTUALLY NO NEW PROJECT BASED SECTION 8 HOUSING HAS BEEN PRODUCED SINCE 1983, but tenant based vouchers are now the primary mechanism of assisted housing. This has been a total failure due to systemic underfunding of the program

On top of this more people became homeless as well after the passage of the 1981 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act which cut funding for mental health facilities. THIS PUSHED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MENTALLY ILL PATIENTS BACK TO THE STATES. In effect, those with mental health problems were made homeless and all future people were also stuck into either homelessness, or being imprisoned regarding the outcomes of not being provided mental health services.

in 1992 with the launch of the HOPE VI program. HOPE VI funds were devoted to demolishing poor-quality public housing projects and replacing them with lower-density developments, often of mixed-income. HOPE VI became the primary vehicle for the construction of new federally subsidized units, BUT IT SUFFERED CONSIDERABLE FUNDING CUTS IN 2004 UNDER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH.

There have been no significant reforms implemented since but the problem still remains and continues to get worse due to budget cuts to fund housing. THIS MEANS THE COMMUNITY HAS HAD TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE WITHOUT PUBLIC FUNDS TO MAKE PROGRESS ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR THOSE IN NEED WHERE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS HAVE FAILED TO ADDRESS THE SHORTFALL IN AVAILABLE HOUSING.

This has resulted in the emergence of semi-permanent homeless tent encampments and increased popularity of Tiny Homes. Even though tiny homes are low-cost and have a low impact on the environment, most city’s zoning laws make it difficult to develop a tiny home community even if you have the land.

So when those arguing against rent control try to put the blame of the shortage of affordable housing on rent control. You have to point out that rent control was passed in 1979 as much as 9 years after the origins of the housing shortages.

WHERE WAS THE PRIVATE HOUSING SECTOR DURING THE YEARS OF 1970-1979? WHERE WAS THE PRIVATE HOUSING SECTOR DURING 1980-1995?

They were picking only high profit projects and not producing any proportional affordable housing and have not done so ever since. If the total lack of affordable housing currently is now at 4 million units. And you can establish that 1970 was the birth of the problem, there has been a systemic deficit per year in California of 81,000 units.

Given that the population of California in 1970 was 19,953,134, and since the average occupancy is about 3 per unit then there should have been 6,651,044 units in 1970. To build the additional 81,000 units in the state it would only have been an increase of housing at 1.2%. And if this had occurred there would be nowhere near the deficit of 4 million units.

Then in 1995 Costa Hawkins was passed to supposedly reverse this problem, but since the passage of it in 1995 the housing shortage has in fact accelerated.

SIMPLY PUT, THERE WAS DIRECT CONTROL OVER HOUSING UP TO 1965 USED BY THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS. THEN THERE WAS NO SHORTAGES OF HOUSING EVEN WITH THE BABY BOOMERS. BUT WHEN PRIVATE INTERESTS CONVINCED GOVERNMENT THEY COULD DO BETTER, THEY WERE A COMPLETE FAILURE.

No one wants to see the real history about this problem.

In response to Bob you said:

“The landlords' greed is unbelievable. Even if FB or Google pay a little more to their employees for their work, why on earth landlords should be getting a cut of that; why local companies should be subsidizing landlords that already benefiting from some of the highest paying rentals in the nation? It's just beyond any reason. Unbelievable.”

This is called PRIVATE taxation philosophy, and even worse, the landlords claim they provide the means to earn a high income. THEY DID NOT. THE HARD WORK TO GET EDUCATED DID. THE WORKERS IN MOST CASES TOOK ON HIGH DEBT TO DO SO. THE LANDLORDS DO NOTHING BUT EXPECT TO COLLECT THESE TAXES.

In response to Cameron you said:

“In a healthy housing market, higher property values would result in rents, and higher rents would result in more construction. So where is the construction? The Mountain View City Council actively kills much-needed construction projects, despite the current councilors running on pro-construction platforms this past election. Now they want to repeal rent control, thereby enriching landlords even further? No f*cking way.”

YES, THE HOUSING SHORTAGE MUST BE FIXED PRIOR TO REPEAL OF RENT CONTROL AND PRICE CONTROLS. My previous history showed that all the state needed to do is build 81,000 units a year since 1970 to keep up. Given that there are 450 cities in the state, the cities just needed to build 150 units a year on average to prevent the shortage we have today. The Private sector couldn’t even achieve such a small number of units.


1 person likes this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2019 at 11:29 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

What happened

Is there any one to discuss how the private housing sector in effect was the CAUSE of the current housing crisis?

Does anyone want even more proof that I possess regarding the CAUSE of the housing problem?

Just in case here is something to think about. The housing sector tries to put the blame on the CEQ act. But that law if you look at the history will demonstrate that hardly any housing cases have ever been filled by developers claiming it impacted their projects. Pleas provide some cases for me to read.


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Aug 27, 2019 at 11:08 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Mickey Rosencky you said previously:

“You are wrong again, there is plenty of evidence that AB1482 will fail in its current form.”

VERY recently the AARP amongst others are NOW actively supporting price control and market regulations seen here (Web Link)

Talking about a VERY powerful voting group regarding the state of CA. This could be the pivot point to open the doors to have this legislation get reactivated. The specific information stated:

“I brought up David Chiu’s AB 1482 (statewide rent caps and just cause eviction) and Nancy Skinner’s SB 330 (expedites housing approval and prevents downzoning) which the Rossmoor activists also knew nothing about. Yet these activists are in a district with a swing Democrat on both measures.

Housing activists trying to pass state measures need more organizing and outreach. California is a challenging state due to its size, which is why I have seen the legislative leadership as playing an outsized role (See “Democratic Leaders Fail California“). But YIMBY activists have gotten engaged in the South Bay and are making a difference. The movement needs to expand its visibility to all districts where high housing costs show the need for reform.

If California is ever going to pass a version of SB 50 and begin building the housing the state desperately needs, seniors must be part of the coalition. I left Rossmoor encouraged that, with the right outreach, this can happen.”

We may in fact see these bills be reborn and acted upon given that either party cannot afford to not work with Senior Citizens and their groups.


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