News

Higher rent cap shot down by council

Elected leaders seek greater control over rent control program

The Mountain View City Council hammered out a list of proposed updates intended to add flexibility to the city's rent control program, but the talks fell apart when it came to allowing higher rent increases.

At its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17, the full City Council got its first opportunity to weigh in on a proposed 2020 ballot measure -- now expected to come in March -- that would tweak the city's rent control policies, which have become a third rail of Mountain View politics.

For the last two months, a three-member subcommittee has worked on a loose package of changes to add more nuance to the rigid language of the 2016 charter amendment known as the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA), giving elected leaders more control over its implementation. But up to this point the discussion has mostly avoided touching the cornerstone of any rent control policy: the actual ceiling on rent increases year to year.

That changed on Tuesday night as council members debated whether tenants need to pay more in order to sustain the business end of the housing industry. For a majority of elected leaders, there was no question that the citywide rent control system as currently written is unfair to apartment landlords, motivating them to sell or redevelop their properties. To this point, tenant advocates contend that the number of apartment sales and redevelopments has not substantially changed since the CSFRA was passed in 2016.

The current law limits annual rent increases to the cost of inflation as set by the Consumer Price Index, which generally hovers just above 3%. Ever since rent control was enacted, landlords have complained tying rents to inflation is a pittance, hardly enough to balance the upkeep of their properties.

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Responding to that concern on Tuesday, Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga, who spearheaded the ballot measure effort, pitched the idea of raising that rent cap to a fixed rate of 5%. Tenants had something to gain from this, she explained, because a fixed rate would provide certainty for how much they would be paying year to year.

"Housing has to be worthwhile for landlords to stay in business," she said. "As much as keeping rents low is definitely a useful purpose of the CSFRA, we've also seen cases where it's motivated certain landowners to redevelop their properties."

Overshadowing this discussion, rent control is on the cusp of being enacted statewide in an unprecedented response to California's housing crisis. Assembly Bill 1482, authored by San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu, would force all cities in California to limit annual rent increases to 5% plus the cost of inflation. Last week, the bill passed out of the state Legislature, and it is expected to be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Yet the statewide move toward stronger rental protections has had the opposite impact in Mountain View. Abe-Koga and others have pointed to AB 1482 as a reason why Mountain View should water down its rent control laws, because the city would be following a completely different set of restrictions than other municipalities.

Other council members made it clear the idea of raising the rent cap would be a political non-starter. In a city where 58% of residents are not homeowners, any whiff of higher rents would likely kill the chances of a ballot measure winning voter approval, warned Councilman Lucas Ramirez, a member of the CSFRA subcommittee.

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"Do you want to raise your rents? Then vote yes on this measure," he said. "I don't know how we would justify this in a campaign."

On this issue, the seven City Council members split into three camps. Mayor Lisa Matichak, Councilman John McAlister and Abe-Koga strongly backed increasing the rent cap to 5%. On the other side were Ramirez and Councilwoman Alison Hicks, who argued any hint of higher rents would torpedo the measure's chances at the ballot box.

"I have some grave reservations about the path we're going down," Hicks said. "We're churning this issue over and over again, and I think we should put our time and money on other priorities."

Somewhere in the middle were council members Ellen Kamei and Chris Clark, who were noncommittal and indicated they wanted more options. Clark was receptive to the 5% ceiling on rents, but he wanted it to be reserved for landlords who register with the city and have good inspection records at their properties.

A motion for the 5% rent cap ended up failing in a 3-4 vote, with Ramirez, Hicks, Kamei and Clark opposing. In a follow-up vote, the council unanimously agreed to send the CSFRA subcommittee back to the drawing board to discuss other potential options for revising the rent cap.

In another sign of how the debate is playing out, political activist groups seem to have picked their sides on the rent control ballot measure. California Apartment Association spokesman Joshua Howard praised the council's efforts to revise the CSFRA. In prior meetings, the CAA was more reserved, warning the council's measure could end up competing with their own ballot initiative to weaken the city's rent control.

"It's encouraging to see that you're developing options for the voters to decide," Howard said. "Without fixing the (CSFRA), we're going to see more units taken off the market and potentially more displacement."

Meanwhile, tenant advocates who rallied against the city in 2016 to pass rent control are now signaling they are ready to go to war once again. Like in past meetings, the Housing Justice Coalition listed out several "poison pills" that would result in outright opposition, such as higher rent caps or City Council discretion to change the law.

"Any of these things will trigger a campaign to defend these hard-won protections," warned Alex Nunez, a Housing Justice member. "Please don't go against the will of the people who banded together to pass this law."

While higher rent increases did not win support, the City Council unanimously approved other updates that could be packaged into a future ballot measure. Council members agreed to update the CSFRA petition process, a system for landlords to seek permission to pass through maintenance costs to their tenants. The proposed changes would create a new expedited process for landlords to recoup certain capital costs, such as environmental improvements, seismic upgrades or mandatory code requirements.

Similarly, all council members were in agreement that they should have greater sway over Mountain View's administration of rent control. Up to this point, the rental program has been controlled by the Rental Housing Committee, a five-member panel appointed by the City Council.

The proposed changes would broaden the criteria for rental committee applicants. Landlords who own rental property in Mountain View would be allowed to serve on the committee.

A future ballot measure would contain provisions giving the City Council some kind of oversight over the Rental Housing Committee, particularly on issues that would result in legal risk or costs to the city's general fund. The council's CSFRA subcommittee will discuss specifics at a future meeting for what kind of authority it would seek over the rent control program.

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Higher rent cap shot down by council

Elected leaders seek greater control over rent control program

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Sep 18, 2019, 5:36 pm

The Mountain View City Council hammered out a list of proposed updates intended to add flexibility to the city's rent control program, but the talks fell apart when it came to allowing higher rent increases.

At its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17, the full City Council got its first opportunity to weigh in on a proposed 2020 ballot measure -- now expected to come in March -- that would tweak the city's rent control policies, which have become a third rail of Mountain View politics.

For the last two months, a three-member subcommittee has worked on a loose package of changes to add more nuance to the rigid language of the 2016 charter amendment known as the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA), giving elected leaders more control over its implementation. But up to this point the discussion has mostly avoided touching the cornerstone of any rent control policy: the actual ceiling on rent increases year to year.

That changed on Tuesday night as council members debated whether tenants need to pay more in order to sustain the business end of the housing industry. For a majority of elected leaders, there was no question that the citywide rent control system as currently written is unfair to apartment landlords, motivating them to sell or redevelop their properties. To this point, tenant advocates contend that the number of apartment sales and redevelopments has not substantially changed since the CSFRA was passed in 2016.

The current law limits annual rent increases to the cost of inflation as set by the Consumer Price Index, which generally hovers just above 3%. Ever since rent control was enacted, landlords have complained tying rents to inflation is a pittance, hardly enough to balance the upkeep of their properties.

Responding to that concern on Tuesday, Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga, who spearheaded the ballot measure effort, pitched the idea of raising that rent cap to a fixed rate of 5%. Tenants had something to gain from this, she explained, because a fixed rate would provide certainty for how much they would be paying year to year.

"Housing has to be worthwhile for landlords to stay in business," she said. "As much as keeping rents low is definitely a useful purpose of the CSFRA, we've also seen cases where it's motivated certain landowners to redevelop their properties."

Overshadowing this discussion, rent control is on the cusp of being enacted statewide in an unprecedented response to California's housing crisis. Assembly Bill 1482, authored by San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu, would force all cities in California to limit annual rent increases to 5% plus the cost of inflation. Last week, the bill passed out of the state Legislature, and it is expected to be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Yet the statewide move toward stronger rental protections has had the opposite impact in Mountain View. Abe-Koga and others have pointed to AB 1482 as a reason why Mountain View should water down its rent control laws, because the city would be following a completely different set of restrictions than other municipalities.

Other council members made it clear the idea of raising the rent cap would be a political non-starter. In a city where 58% of residents are not homeowners, any whiff of higher rents would likely kill the chances of a ballot measure winning voter approval, warned Councilman Lucas Ramirez, a member of the CSFRA subcommittee.

"Do you want to raise your rents? Then vote yes on this measure," he said. "I don't know how we would justify this in a campaign."

On this issue, the seven City Council members split into three camps. Mayor Lisa Matichak, Councilman John McAlister and Abe-Koga strongly backed increasing the rent cap to 5%. On the other side were Ramirez and Councilwoman Alison Hicks, who argued any hint of higher rents would torpedo the measure's chances at the ballot box.

"I have some grave reservations about the path we're going down," Hicks said. "We're churning this issue over and over again, and I think we should put our time and money on other priorities."

Somewhere in the middle were council members Ellen Kamei and Chris Clark, who were noncommittal and indicated they wanted more options. Clark was receptive to the 5% ceiling on rents, but he wanted it to be reserved for landlords who register with the city and have good inspection records at their properties.

A motion for the 5% rent cap ended up failing in a 3-4 vote, with Ramirez, Hicks, Kamei and Clark opposing. In a follow-up vote, the council unanimously agreed to send the CSFRA subcommittee back to the drawing board to discuss other potential options for revising the rent cap.

In another sign of how the debate is playing out, political activist groups seem to have picked their sides on the rent control ballot measure. California Apartment Association spokesman Joshua Howard praised the council's efforts to revise the CSFRA. In prior meetings, the CAA was more reserved, warning the council's measure could end up competing with their own ballot initiative to weaken the city's rent control.

"It's encouraging to see that you're developing options for the voters to decide," Howard said. "Without fixing the (CSFRA), we're going to see more units taken off the market and potentially more displacement."

Meanwhile, tenant advocates who rallied against the city in 2016 to pass rent control are now signaling they are ready to go to war once again. Like in past meetings, the Housing Justice Coalition listed out several "poison pills" that would result in outright opposition, such as higher rent caps or City Council discretion to change the law.

"Any of these things will trigger a campaign to defend these hard-won protections," warned Alex Nunez, a Housing Justice member. "Please don't go against the will of the people who banded together to pass this law."

While higher rent increases did not win support, the City Council unanimously approved other updates that could be packaged into a future ballot measure. Council members agreed to update the CSFRA petition process, a system for landlords to seek permission to pass through maintenance costs to their tenants. The proposed changes would create a new expedited process for landlords to recoup certain capital costs, such as environmental improvements, seismic upgrades or mandatory code requirements.

Similarly, all council members were in agreement that they should have greater sway over Mountain View's administration of rent control. Up to this point, the rental program has been controlled by the Rental Housing Committee, a five-member panel appointed by the City Council.

The proposed changes would broaden the criteria for rental committee applicants. Landlords who own rental property in Mountain View would be allowed to serve on the committee.

A future ballot measure would contain provisions giving the City Council some kind of oversight over the Rental Housing Committee, particularly on issues that would result in legal risk or costs to the city's general fund. The council's CSFRA subcommittee will discuss specifics at a future meeting for what kind of authority it would seek over the rent control program.

Comments

Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Sep 18, 2019 at 9:46 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2019 at 9:46 pm
9 people like this

Oversight or the power to undermine rent control? The truth is that one cannot determine how rent control is affecting landlords without knowing the tenant turnover and higher rents established for new tenants. The repeated refusal of Councilmembers to look into the effect of "vacancy de-control" suggests that some or most of them are acting on behalf of landlords - not the public. In 2016, Councilmember Chris Clark sponsored the City Council's cynical attempt to draw votes away from initiative Measure V with a competing measure (W) that could NOT have controlled rent gouging or evictions designed to get wealthier tenants. Ellen Kamei was among the City Council candidates secretly supported by landlords in 2014. She did not win - but ran again in 2018 and got on the Council. The landlords did not send out mailings supporting Kamei for nothing. So, we actually seem to have 5 of 7 City Councilmembers working for the landlords. Any measure this pro-landlord City Council puts on the ballot will need to be scrutinized.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2019 at 10:56 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2019 at 10:56 pm
3 people like this

The best defense is an offense.

Even though there is a provision in AB 1482 that prevents "local governments" from expanding rent control that they have for current Costa Hakins rules.

The argument can be made that a BALLOT INITIATIVE is not part of that provision. the provision in AB 1482 only states:

“(k) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that the unique circumstances of the current housing crisis require a statewide response to address rent gouging by establishing statewide limitations on gross rental rate increases.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that this section should apply only for the limited time needed to address the current statewide housing crisis, as described in paragraph (1). This section is not intended to expand or limit the authority of local governments to establish local policies regulating rents consistent with Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 1954.50), nor is it a statement regarding the appropriate, allowable rental rate increase when a local government adopts a policy regulating rent that is otherwise consistent with Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 1954.50).

(3) Nothing in this section authorizes a local government to establish limitations on any rental rate increases not otherwise permissible under Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 1954.50), or affects the existing authority of a local government to adopt or maintain rent controls or price controls consistent with that chapter.”

So this would mean that the City Government is not allowed to establish Limitations on the newer properties.

But there might be a loophole here.

A Ballot Initiative is NOT a local government action legally. And in fact, the courts do not treat them the same if you read the following:

“The Power of Initiative is “Reserved by the People” and Courts will Liberally Construe in Favor of Initiative/Referendum Rights.

In 1911, California voters amended the state Constitution to provide voters the power to enact initiatives and referenda. The courts will generally go to great lengths to protect the rights of citizens with regard to initiative and referenda:

“Drafted in light of the theory that all power of government ultimately resides in the people, the amendment speaks of the initiative and referendum, not as a right granted the people, but as a power reserved by them. . . . If doubts can reasonably be resolved in favor of the use of this reserve power, courts will preserve it.”(Fair Political Practices Com. v. Superior Court (1979) 25 Cal.3d 33, 41.)

Based on this history, the courts have described the right to initiative and referendum as a fundamental right the voters have reserved to themselves, which must be construed in favor of the voter. The right to adopt laws by initiative and referendum is “one of the most precious rights of our democratic process. It has long been our judicial policy to apply a liberal construction to this power wherever it is challenged in order that the right not be improperly annulled.” (Associated Home Builders, Inc. v. City of Livermore (1976) 18 Cal.3d 582, 591.)

All presumptions will favor the validity of initiative and referenda measures. Initiative and referenda measures “must be upheld unless their unconstitutionality clearly, positively, and unmistakably appears.” (Legislature v. Eu (1991) 54 Cal.3d 492, 501.)

The reluctance of courts to interfere with the right of initiative has been described as either a "judicial policy of liberally construing the power of initiative" or as a "presumption" in favor of the initiative power absent a clear showing of legislative intent to the contrary. (Empire Waste Management v. Town of Windsor (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 714, 718.)

In Rossi v. Brown (1995) 9 Cal.4th 688, 711, the California Supreme Court noted that in construing the rights of voters, courts will begin with "the established principle that all reasonable doubts must be resolved in favor of the people's exercise of the reserved initiative power.” The Supreme Court further noted, “[t]he initiative power must be construed liberally so as to promote the democratic process established by inclusion of the initiative and referendum in the Constitution.” (Citations omitted.)

Consequently, there can be no doubt that California laws favor the right of initiative and construe that right in favor of the proponents who qualify an initiative measure. However, that right is not absolute, and may be subject to other principles and constitutional provisions.

Also:

“4. Matters Beyond the Power of the Electorate to Enact Through the Initiative Process.

As a general matter, acts that would be illegal if taken by the legislative body, are also beyond the power of the people to adopt by initiative or referendum. For example, a proposed initiative measure which, if approved, would result in altering the terms of private parties can not be adopted by initiative. (See e.g., Calfarm Ins. Co. v. Deukmejian (1989) 48 Cal.3d 805 [Prop. 103 requirement to cut insurance rates by 20% and prohibiting insurance companies from voiding policies was unconstitutional impairment of contract, but severance clause allows other provisions to take effect].) “

So far a CSFRA Ballot expansion does not appear to constitute an impairment of contract, so this case would not apply Also:

“Other examples of illegal acts arise in the context of development approvals, i.e., that a measure would result in a “taking” or would create a land use scheme that is inconsistent with the general plan or state land use laws. Two cases illustrating this are deBottari v. City Council (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 1204 (“deBottari”) and City of Irvine v. Irvine Citizens Against Overdevelopment (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 868 (“Irvine case”). “

An expansion of the CSFRA do not raise to the level of a land use scheme, and does not alter the states land use laws.

“However, compare the de Bottari and Irvine cases, with Shea Homes Limited Partnership v. County of Alameda (2003) 110 Cal.App.4th 1246, where opponents of Measure D challenged its validity after it was approved. Measure D amended the general plan by revising the urban growth boundary of the eastern Alameda County to reserve less land for urban growth and more land for agriculture and open space. The court held that Measure D was consistent with the general plan since it was possible to read the measure’s provisions and find that them substantially compatible with the goals and policies of the general plan. “(Web Link)

THUS, a Measure to expand the CSFRA by BALLOT INITIATIVE could in fact supersede the Costa Hawkins Act exception written into AB 1482?

Maybe the writers of AB 1482 created a backdoor to overcome Costa Hawkins?

So I would consider trying to get advices on how to make CSFRA even STRONGER and get that onto a Ballot Measure.

It just looks like Chiu did a great job in giving the people the power to protect themselves.


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Sep 19, 2019 at 3:26 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2019 at 3:26 am
6 people like this

AB 1482 includes "vacancy de-control." But it also includes some rental units not covered by Measure V. The pro-landlord City Councilmembers may use the enactment of AB 1482 as an excuse for a proposed amendment to Measure V (which is written into the city's local constitution called the "city charter"). Whatever the excuse(s), voters will need to READ THE FINE PRINT of any proposed changes. For example, suppose a change would mandate a "streamlined" process for passing through some or all of the cost of capital improvements such as city-mandated seismic retrofit. A landlord who would normally be frugal in incurring some costs might - because of the opportuniy for pass through - hire his cousin AL to do the work for twice the price - splitting the extra take from tenants. It is just what DONALD TRUMP and his father reportedly did to rent controlled units in New York.


TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal
Old Mountain View
on Sep 19, 2019 at 7:20 am
TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal, Old Mountain View
on Sep 19, 2019 at 7:20 am
35 people like this

The residents of Mtn. View will decide if they want to vote for any changes to the rent control. The council does not change the law. It has to go before the voters and they will decide.

Just because Lenny Siegel/Job Lopez, the Voice and the outside activist group object, does not mean that the people have a right to examine what was written as Measure V and to make changes to it as needed.

I looked at what the new state wide rent control law will be,that the governor will sign soon, and I say that it shows how extreme Mtn. View rent control law really is. There is no reason for our city to be so extreme and out of step with the state law and we should repeal the city's rent control law and be one with the new state rent control law.


Remember, our cities rent control law from written by a one sided, outside tenants activist group who hates landlords and wrote the measure to screw them. There is nothing fair about it.



The Business Man
Castro City
on Sep 19, 2019 at 8:39 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Sep 19, 2019 at 8:39 am
4 people like this

In response to TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal you said:

"The residents of Mtn. View will decide if they want to vote for any changes to the rent control. The council does not change the law. It has to go before the voters and they will decide."

So true, you said:

"Just because Lenny Siegel/Job Lopez, the Voice and the outside activist group object, does not mean that the people have a right to examine what was written as Measure V and to make changes to it as needed."

Correct, but the fact is that so far you have not proven it is too strict. The fact that lobbyists manipulated the new state law does not mean that CSFRA is Too Strict at all. Only that you demonstrated that the lobbyists succeeded in watering the state law down. You said:

"I looked at what the new state wide rent control law will be,that the governor will sign soon, and I say that it shows how extreme Mtn. View rent control law really is. There is no reason for our city to be so extreme and out of step with the state law and we should repeal the city's rent control law and be one with the new state rent control law."

IT was extreme because it was a negotiation point, and the CAA and the landlords DID NOT negotiate a better deal before the election. If you have anyone to put the blame on CSFRA is the landlords that dictated it was the their way or no way. You said:


"Remember, our cities rent control law from written by a one sided, outside tenants activist group who hates landlords and wrote the measure to screw them. There is nothing fair about it."

That is nothing but a personal attack that is simply wrong. The Citizens did get advice, but the citizens of Mountain View did the work. NOT LIKE the MeasureVTooCostly group that paid signature gatherers per signature to collect them. And since the registrar of voters does not validate the signatures, there is plenty of questions whether they were falsified, or false information was presented to influence the signers.

The FACT is that the landlords had 2 years to negotiate a better deal. They thought they could never lose regarding CSFRA, and it was proven wrong.




TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal
Old Mountain View
on Sep 19, 2019 at 10:08 am
TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal, Old Mountain View
on Sep 19, 2019 at 10:08 am
32 people like this

This is the outside activist group that wrote Measure V, the rent control law in our city. They also targeted several other cities in our state for rent control.
Web Link

@TBM,
Please list the names of all of our citizens in our city, who you say wrote Measure V, and where did the $200,000 come from to run the Measure V, the printing of the petition, the paid signature gathers, the 2 public polling that was done, the legal fees, and all the other expenses. Why has this never been disclosed to the public?

@TBM,
Please submit your evidence/proof/videos that signatures where as you say, "there is plenty of questions whether they were falsified, or false information was presented to influence the signers."

This is only coming from activist like you who are renters and want to screw the landlords. Your side had plenty of time, and instructions at the time to video tape these alleged incidences, but you can not produce any proof of your allegations.

Whatever your objections are to paid signature gathers are, let me remind you that the Mountain View Tenants Coalition used them too. It does not matter how many signatures where gathered, you used them.

It is like either you are pregnant or you are not.

Your constant misleading information has been very clear from your constant rants on this subject. You always have to have the last word on this, and you seem to believe that only what you say is the correct answer.

I get it, you are trying to prevent your landlord from conducting like any normal business, like any other business in this state, or the country for that matter. It is all about you so your rent does not get raised from 3% to 5% a year.

Do you seriously not get why most people do not want to respond to you? I made this one exception to do so. Most people that I know only mention how tired they are of your constant "over spamming" of posts here.

You have a good day!


Randy Guelph
Cuernavaca
on Sep 19, 2019 at 10:44 am
Randy Guelph, Cuernavaca
on Sep 19, 2019 at 10:44 am
8 people like this

As with most of these arguments from wealthy interests like landlords, the core argument is projection. For example, let's look at "TOO"'s concern about "outside interests" and examine the millions spent by the CAA fighting Measure V, attempting to weaken it, and funding a candidate like John Inks.

This article itself has yet another example of "outside interests": they want to allow non-residents to serve on the Rental Housing Committee precisely because there aren't enough landlords that actually live in our city. Why should these "outside interests" get to directly legislate in our governmental bodies?


Alex Nunez
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Sep 19, 2019 at 11:05 am
Alex Nunez, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2019 at 11:05 am
8 people like this

I moved to Mountain View specifically to be an outside interest. *ghost voice* OoooOOoooo look out behind you!!!


Alex M
Registered user
Willowgate
on Sep 19, 2019 at 2:18 pm
Alex M, Willowgate
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2019 at 2:18 pm
4 people like this

One paragraph of this article has the line "In a city where 58% of residents are not homeowners..."

That, there, is the crux of the problem. Rather than dick around with rent control policies that are doomed to fail in the long run, maybe the city council can work on policies that will encourage more home ownership.

In the past few years I've seen the city council do far too much rubber-stamping of expensive new rental housing projects rather than new condo projects. Why is that?


Dave C
Slater
on Sep 19, 2019 at 2:46 pm
Dave C, Slater
on Sep 19, 2019 at 2:46 pm
9 people like this

"Responding to that concern on Tuesday, Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga, who spearheaded the ballot measure effort, pitched the idea of raising that rent cap to a fixed rate of 5%. Tenants had something to gain from this, she explained, because a fixed rate would provide certainty for how much they would be paying year to year."

What??? I don't understand this at all. God forbid my rent goes up 3.6% instead of the 3.5% I planned for. I'd be much better off if it was always 5%. What strange logic...


Numbers
Cuernavaca
on Sep 19, 2019 at 3:24 pm
Numbers, Cuernavaca
on Sep 19, 2019 at 3:24 pm
2 people like this

Council...
Have the courage to fix this. 58% does NOT necessarily correlate with the number of voters. And yes, some rentals ARE being converted...and each of those times your meetings are flooded with renters bemoaning that.
What about properties that are being rented at 10% - 30% below market? How do those landlords, who've been kind to their tenants, ever catch up? Maybe the increases should be "5% or to market"?


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 4:26 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2019 at 4:26 pm
4 people like this

In response to TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal you said:

“Please list the names of all of our citizens in our city, who you say wrote Measure V, and where did the $200,000 come from to run the Measure V, the printing of the petition, the paid signature gathers, the 2 public polling that was done, the legal fees, and all the other expenses. Why has this never been disclosed to the public?”

You are confusing things here. The tenants did NOT spend $200,000 for their petition. BUT the landlords spent $260,000 to get signatures for their ballot found here (Web Link). Specifically:

“Nearly $220,000 of those funds went to a focused effort to collect signatures, which picked up steam starting in April. Nearly all that money was paid to Arno Petition Consultants, a Rancho Cordova-based company specializing in on-the-ground politicking. To get the initiative on the ballot, the group needed to collect 5,150 signatures, preferably with a few hundred extra to offset any invalid names.” You said:

“Please submit your evidence/proof/videos that signatures where as you say, "there is plenty of questions whether they were falsified, or false information was presented to influence the signers."”

Here is the proof from the Mountain View Voice (Web Link) where more than 300 people formally submitted withdrawal for the ballot due to misleading representation stated here:

“Collecting signatures for the measure had been an ongoing struggle for its supporters, who organized under the name Measure V Too Costly. The group raised about $260,000, mostly from landlords, to hire signature gatherers to canvass the city. The frenzied push for signatures led to many reports of paid workers bending the truth or outright lying in an effort to get registered voters to sign. About 350 residents later wrote to the city demanding that their names be removed from the petition, many saying they'd been told the petition was to save or expand rent control.” You said:

“This is only coming from activist like you who are renters and want to screw the landlords. Your side had plenty of time, and instructions at the time to video tape these alleged incidences, but you can not produce any proof of your allegations.”

Simply put whenever ANYONE attempted to video any on these people, they closed their tables and left. There simply is evidence produced to establish my legitimate questions that need answering. You said:

“Whatever your objections are to paid signature gathers are, let me remind you that the Mountain View Tenants Coalition used them too. It does not matter how many signatures where gathered, you used them.”

The number of signatures collected by paid collectors for Measure V can be found to have only been about 10% of the total. The comparison is simply ridiculous. You said:

“Your constant misleading information has been very clear from your constant rants on this subject. You always have to have the last word on this, and you seem to believe that only what you say is the correct answer.”

I don’t have any answer. The fact is that the clear proof of that prevention of rent control provides more housing is false. And everyone who chooses to be in the business of housing takes a very big risk of losing money. And you know that. You said:

“I get it, you are trying to prevent your landlord from conducting like any normal business, like any other business in this state, or the country for that matter. It is all about you so your rent does not get raised from 3% to 5% a year.”

If the property has not been IMPROVED in any way, there is no justification to raise rents. THAT is simple common business sense.


Really, Shot Down? Hyperbole Much
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 4:59 pm
Really, Shot Down? Hyperbole Much, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 4:59 pm
2 people like this

Only an idiot banker would loan money on a rent controlled property (30% LTV best case if anyone could or wanted to qualify for a loan). Only a moron would pay cash for a rent controlled property at this point without the guarantee of destroying it.

Kudos all the way around, another mistake in a string of genius moves that is California. Poop maps and 400,00 free needles down the drain in SF courtesy of the former mayor. Free RV street parking is now considered "outside the box" thinking according to our former mayor.

Asking a CPA the other day (for a friend), "they" would fill out a "A Mountain View HOUSING PROVIDER PETITION FOR UPWARD ADJUSTMENT OF RENT UNDER THE CSFRA" for a couple thousand dollars but they would not sign it. A landlord would never complete and sign a 43 (43 page!!!) page document unless they knew how to fill out the document and were willing to assume the cost and liability (unless they are morons). Being a pack rat for the IRS is a necessary evil and less than 43 pages are required for for most federal tax returns:). Being a pack rat for the RHC is problematic and idiotic. Does the RHC require a high school diploma at a minimum? Or just somebody that's angry?

Game Over. It's no longer about keeping up with property taxes, sewer rates, water fees, debt service, capital improvements, necessary repairs, tenant safety, city salaries, pension costs, RHC fees, maybe striping the parking lot, it's about being guilty until proven innocent. Time to sell, actually a few years ago but sooner rather than later would be the better choice.

Rent control will bring more owner occupied homes to Mountain View and that can't be argued as being bad. Lots of people would like to own a home in Mountain View. Good luck trying to find a place to rent.


PEW PEW PEW
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 5:13 pm
PEW PEW PEW, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 5:13 pm
2 people like this

Shot down.


TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal
Old Mountain View
on Sep 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm
TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal, Old Mountain View
on Sep 19, 2019 at 5:23 pm
22 people like this

@TBM, Is this the best you can do? All you did was not answer my questions, then deflex-distract-and write tons of garbage that has nothing to do with the questions at hand.

Question 1-
@TBM,
Please list the names of all of our citizens in our city, who you say wrote Measure V, and where did the $200,000 come from to run the Measure V, the printing of the petition, the paid signature gathers, the 2 public polling that was done, the legal fees, and all the other expenses. Why has this never been disclosed to the public?

Where are the names and where did the money come from! You made my point as well, I know the tenants did not pay the $200,000 for the Measure V campaign, it came from the outside groups.

Question 2-
@TBM,
Please submit your evidence/proof/videos that signatures where as you say, "there is plenty of questions whether they were falsified, or false information was presented to influence the signers."

You did not submit any proof to the question at hand. The Mountain View Tenants Coalition chased off the people where ever they set up tables to gather signatures. You do not believe in free speech and intimated the people and ran them off. It would have been too simple to simply hold your cell phone in hand and started to record your conversation, but that never happened. All these signatures in the story you linked to, the Mountain View Tenants Coalition had this planed out to sign the petition, then you later withdraw your name to damage the legitimacy of the petition. They even posted that in one of the stories here. A dirty trick in which you knew about.

Your constant misleading information has been very clear from your constant rants on this subject, and it continues with your latest post. You always have to have the last word on this, and you seem to believe that only what you say is the correct answer.

Now, I am going back to never reading your stuff again, it is such a waste of time to try and discuss issues when someone is being so dishonest.


Yimby #2
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm
Yimby #2, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm
10 people like this

Measure V is poor quality legislation which has the un-intended consequences of reducing the housing supply. This exacerbates the housing shortage. Housing shortage plus expanding demand from the High-Tech industry is what is driving up housing prices and rent.

Please note that the High-Tech industry now accounts for much more of the National Gross Domestic Product than it did 10, 20, and 30 years ago. Silicon Valley remain the premier Research and Development area on a planetary basis. Not making enough housing + soaring demand = increased rent and housing prices. This is how the world works. Supply and Demand.

For those who think you can just pick up and re-locate the Silicon Valley eco-system into the middle of nowhere do not understand how Silicon Valley works. It is an eco-system of suppliers/expertise/capital/education which is hard to replicate. Over the last 10 years, every major autonomous vehicle design/mfg. has opened up an R&D lab here. Not in Detroit where it is cheap. Did they want to open up labs here? Nope. They had to/were forced to open up labs here because this is where the eco-system of expertise is. I had the good fortune to be on teams that built some of the largest systems coming out of this valley. Also note that a lot of non-core functions such as break-fix, professional services divisional HQ and pretty much all manufacturing have left the valley. The number of start-ups here is declining also because it is too expensive.

I. Key areas where reform is needed.

1. Include direct price increases in water/sewer/electricity into the yearly allow rent increase
a) There have been two increases in these expenses since measure V implemented
b) Expense recognition of these items have been excluded for political reasons

2. Streamline petition process
a) 70% of housing is 11 units are less (according to Abe-Koga)
b) These are mom and pop operations
c) Mom and Pop operations try to do everything themselves because many can’t afford expense items like bookkeepers. Some of these housing providers have limited understanding of accounting or finance.
d) The current petition requires a lot of record keeping, then organizing into a presentable format
e) I get frustrated by people supporting a lot of government reporting. It takes time/money/expertise to comply with government reporting. And then they ding you if you don’t get it just right. Bigger companies can hire a compliance office with dedicated experts. Mom and Pops do the best they can with what they have. For me, I’d rather spend my time sending a motorized snake down my sewer system to make sure I do not get unplanned outages rather spending a bunch of time keeping records for government.

3. Fee Sharing
a) Fees to support the Petition Process should be split evenly between tenants and housing providers

4. Measure V calls for housing providers to absorb all expenses above 5% inflation rate
a) All expenses beyond 5% inflation rate should be shared between tenant and housing provider
b) At best, this provision of Measure V is very unfair and un-business like and should rescinded
c) At worse, this is an abuse of power. Who ever wrote this provision is seeking to place the entire burden of increased expense on the housing provider? Why would a housing provider want to do business under this kind of governmental rule? Government forcing the private sector to operate at a loss in an inflationary environment? This rule fundamentally conveys the follow message: City of MV want to wants the mom and pop operator to bear a disproportionate burden of increased expenses in an inflationary environment.
d) Some may argue 5% inflation is unlikely. I suggest you pay attention to the following 1) US Federal Reserve -Chairman Jay Powell 2) Secretary of the Treasury – Steve Mnuchin 3) CNBC/MarketWatch 4) Independent Financial Analysts. Net/Net: Increased risk in inflation in context of wide difference between what the Administration is asserting and what the raw economic data is telling us.

5. Housing providers should be allowed to pass on the cost of earthquake retrofit
a) Additional investment of capital into real estate results in more value (earthquake resistance) justifies cost recovery

6. Make it clear in advance what the program will cost.
a) First year it was $2.6 Million dollars- how many people really voted for this?
b) No cost data was disclosed other than “A small fee”
c) “A small fee” is an amateur level of financial planning
d) This level of financial planning would be unacceptable in the private sector

7. Rent Cap

a) This is based on the CPI
b) Anybody who thinks the CPI represents the actual rate of inflation is naïve and doesn’t
understand what is happening in term of the misleading statements issued by the Federal Gov.
c) There is a reason why the State of CA is recommending minimum 5% rent cap
d) Just examine the lack of business competence exhibited by the pro rent control proponents


II. I am disappointed by the knowledge or behavior of people who advocated for Measure V.

1. Lack of recognition of the Supply/Demand imbalance is the primary cause of price/rent increases
2. Instead they choose:
a) Demonize housing providers
b) Base their demands on platitudes such as “Housing is a Human Right” which every one can obviously can agree on but does nothing to solve the problem of supply/demand imbalance.

Lenny Siegal demonizes the housing provider community. Jobs Lopez demonizes the housing provider community. Job Lopez was caught tearing down the campaign signs of someone he opposed, and removing signs from the property of private citizens – he seems to be against a private citizen’s right to free speech. Yet the MV Voice continues to portray him as an activist rather somebody breaking the law and seeking to silence the opinions of others.

At the municipal, country, regional, State, and National level, *shortage* is recognized to be the problem. And that is why Senate Bill 50 was introduced as a means to break the roadblock to increasing supply. Whether you support/oppose SB 50, we should recognize the level of desperation at the State level to increase housing supply to address the core problem: Shortage.

Yet, Lenny and Job have focused on demonizing housing providers. And if you go to their rallies, you will see signs “Housing is a Human Right”. Nothing wrong with stating the obvious. But demonizing housing providers and stating the obvious does not do anything to solve the core problem: shortage.

There is a sub-field of Economics referred to as Econometrics. How is this relevant? The point is you can create mathematical equations that show that the rate of price increases accelerates the more severe a shortage is. We are in a severe shortage situation, and that is why prices gone up so high. This applies to pretty much everything in the marketplace; from firewood, cooking oil, and yes, houses. Price discovery is an important element to a healthy market since it acts as a signal to attract (or repel there is not margin) more investment to alleviate shortage. Of course, modern markets do not act precisely to according to market theory, and that is why the State is hashing out all the different perspectives around SB 50. We should reject the behavior of Lenny Siegal and Jobs Lopez stop demonizing housing providers, and focus on solving the housing shortage.

If Lenny and Jobs was to be constructive, they should help sort out the issues around SB 50, and stop demonizing housing providers.

I was listening to a nice young lady explain how rent control in Berkeley worked out just fine, and gave housing provider enough money to maintain their properties. She pointed out the housing provider went out and got a home equity loan. What she didn’t understand is the reason why you go out and get a loan is because you don’t have enough cash on hand. Furthermore, it adds more debt on top of your primary mortgage. Not good.

I was referred to as a “Liar” by a Measure V supported for merely citing official City of MV cost for
Measure V at $2.6 Million. The poster insisted the cost was just “Just a Small Fee” instead of the more accurate and factual $2.6 M. Is this the level of skill you want advocating for rent control?


The point of this last few stories? The advocates of Measure V seem to be:
1) Focused on wrong things; prefer demonization, opinion suppression instead of working on shortage
2) Limited understanding of how markets work
3) Limited ability to understand the importance of accurately understanding and representing financials
4) They are advocating one-sided policies which are dis-incentives to mom and pop housing providers to stay in business in MV.


To close, Measure V is a poor-quality piece of legislation which needs to be reformed.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 6:06 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2019 at 6:06 pm
1 person likes this

In response to TOO STRICT/amend/or repeal you said:

“Where are the names and where did the money come from! You made my point as well, I know the tenants did not pay the $200,000 for the Measure V campaign, it came from the outside groups.”

What proof do you have to claim that that money was spent? You are making allegations with no evidence to support it. You just want to blame the “outsiders”. The fact is that the CAA has spent as much a $1,000,000 as an outside group. So before you claim that the tenants outspent the landlords you have got to to better homework. Especially when the landlords fail to persuade the voters. You said:

“You did not submit any proof to the question at hand. The Mountain View Tenants Coalition chased off the people where ever they set up tables to gather signatures.”

Getting a camera to document misrepresentation is perfectly appropriate. You call it “chasing” off, it was nothing but “community policing” the actions of these people, you said:

“You do not believe in free speech and intimated the people and ran them off.”

Free speech involves not being deceptive. If these people were not making false claims, they would have just went about their business. The fact was they were attempting to avoid being caught on video and you know it. You said:

“It would have been too simple to simply hold your cell phone in hand and started to record your conversation, but that never happened.”

These people had escorts prepared to provide a warning before the cell phone could catch the actions, pure and simple. You also said:

“All these signatures in the story you linked to, the Mountain View Tenants Coalition had this planed out to sign the petition, then you later withdraw your name to damage the legitimacy of the petition. They even posted that in one of the stories here. A dirty trick in which you knew about.”

Can you in fact demonstrate there was a strategy to sign these documents and do it for the sole purpose to withdraw it? Nice idea, but the public is not THAT smart. Only one with the intent to deceive would even think of that kind of behavior. You said:

“Your constant misleading information has been very clear from your constant rants on this subject, and it continues with your latest post. You always have to have the last word on this, and you seem to believe that only what you say is the correct answer.”

WRONG, I just provide the public information that might “challenge” your opinion. You have a right to your opinion, but by writing anything in a public forum, you explicitly consent to the situation that another can express their first amendment right to a DIFFERENT point of view. Clearly you do not believe in the first amendment, since you want the opposition just to keep their mouth closed.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2019 at 6:21 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2019 at 6:21 pm
3 people like this

In response to Yimby #2 you said:

“Measure V is poor quality legislation which has the un-intended consequences of reducing the housing supply. This exacerbates the housing shortage. Housing shortage plus expanding demand from the High-Tech industry is what is driving up housing prices and rent.”

This must be Curt Conroy because he also keeps saying that Measure V is legislation. IT IS NOT LEGISLATION. A Ballot Initiative is not legislation. You said:

“For those who think you can just pick up and re-locate the Silicon Valley eco-system into the middle of nowhere do not understand how Silicon Valley works. It is an eco-system of suppliers/expertise/capital/education which is hard to replicate. Over the last 10 years, every major autonomous vehicle design/mfg. has opened up an R&D lab here. Not in Detroit where it is cheap. Did they want to open up labs here? Nope. They had to/were forced to open up labs here because this is where the eco-system of expertise is. I had the good fortune to be on teams that built some of the largest systems coming out of this valley. Also note that a lot of non-core functions such as break-fix, professional services divisional HQ and pretty much all manufacturing have left the valley. The number of start-ups here is declining also because it is too expensive.”

AB 5 being signed into law is going to result in massive relocation of the workers in California because employers like Google have as much as 60% of their workforce being contractors. Symantec has filed a WARN notice which involves the following:

“A plant closing, layoff or RELOCATION OF 50 OR MORE EMPLOYEES WITHIN A 30-DAY PERIOD, regardless of percentage of workforce, REQUIRES NOTICE. Relocation is defined as a move to a different location MORE THAN 100 MILES AWAY”

So this can be a declaration that Symantec intends to move their operations out of California. This will not be the only employer. Come January 1st, there will be a significant relocation wave that will hit the whole state of California. You said:

“I was listening to a nice young lady explain how rent control in Berkeley worked out just fine, and gave housing provider enough money to maintain their properties. She pointed out the housing provider went out and got a home equity loan. What she didn’t understand is the reason why you go out and get a loan is because you don’t have enough cash on hand. Furthermore, it adds more debt on top of your primary mortgage. Not good.”

It appears that that landlord did not understand the business risks of being a landlord. Or worse they did not understand the responsibility of being a landlord. The public are not responsible to “insure” that a landlord makes the expected profits of the investment. And the courts have clearly stated that over and over. The LAW does not give any advantage to those who claim superior “economic” knowledge, the court is responsible to make decisions based on the LAW. The LAW cannot put private interests above the public and you know that.

And just wait there’s more: AB 1482.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2019 at 7:28 am
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2019 at 7:28 am
Like this comment

What happened? Why is it so quiet in here?


Titanic
The Crossings
on Sep 21, 2019 at 12:48 pm
Titanic, The Crossings
on Sep 21, 2019 at 12:48 pm
Like this comment

It's a random event whether this passes. No one has much incentive to support it. Rent control isn't guiding building sales. That's just dumb like saying shaving makes hair grow.


@BM
North Whisman
on Sep 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm
@BM, North Whisman
on Sep 21, 2019 at 4:20 pm
18 people like this

@BM,

You said,
"What happened? Why is it so quiet in here?"


Here's a clue, you have to have respect from others, and be honest in your comments, for people to respond back to you.

You are just talking to yourself, over and over and over again. No one cares, except for your squad, like Job Lopez, Lenny Siegel, Alex N., the Voice, etc.


LOL
Blossom Valley
on Sep 21, 2019 at 4:54 pm
LOL, Blossom Valley
on Sep 21, 2019 at 4:54 pm
2 people like this

The @ Dude is back! How is your weird stalking of Lenny and Job going?


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm
Like this comment

In response to @BM, you said:

“Here's a clue, you have to have respect from others, and be honest in your comments, for people to respond back to you.”

Actually, I am trying to see if anyone will provide any constructive conversation. Why are there no one in support of the landlords providing any of their first amendment rights to express themselves? Simply put either use those rights by providing something other than personal insults or unfounded claims of dishonesty? An example of this kind of non-constructive comments was this one:

“You are just talking to yourself, over and over and over again. No one cares, except for your squad, like Job Lopez, Lenny Siegel, Alex N., the Voice, etc.”

Again, it looks like all you can do is make your opinion known but with only expressing your distaste of those that you do not agree with. I provide independent objective research, and in a “respectful” and “honest” manner. But my research is threatening to those who have a “financial” interest to make any possible argument to defend the current business practices. You always still reserve the right to do the same.


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