The Democratic controlled (super-majority) Legislature is apoplectic about the President’s immigration plan. This has resulted in a frenzy of immigrant protection bill introductions.. This morning Asm. David Chiu (D – San Francisco) introduced AB 291, the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act of 2017. According to the author, the bill would protect tenants from deportation threats. The Western Center on Law and Poverty and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation are co-sponsors. Asm. David Chiu is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development.
AB 291 would:
- Prohibit landlords from threatening to report tenants to immigration authorities, whether in retaliation for engaging in legally-protected activities or to influence them to vacate.
- Bar landlords from disclosing information related to tenants’ immigration status.
- Provide tenants the right to sue landlords who report them to immigration authorities.
- Codify an existing defense to unlawful evictions based on immigration status.
- Prohibit questions about tenants’ immigration status in discovery or at trial.
- Prohibit attorneys from reporting, or threatening to report, the immigration status of persons involved in housing cases.
According to the author, these protections already exist in employment law and it makes sense to extend them to landlord-tenant law. Your AAGLA lobbying team is already involved in conversations with other apartment industry stakeholders. Given the mood of the Legislature this will be a difficult bill to oppose. The discussions will continue as the bill will get a committee hearing in March or April.
Department of Housing and Community Development: Statewide Housing Assessment 2025
The California Department of Housing and Community Development released a draft report on California’s Housing future. Two issues worth mentioning are production and renters. Production averaged less than 80,000 new homes annually over the last 10 years, and ongoing production continues to fall far below the projected need of 180,000 additional homes annually. The majority of Californian renters — more than 3 million households — pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent, and nearly one-third — more than 1.5 million households — pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent.
There will likely be a spotlight on lowering “high rents” to help make California more affordable for everyone. We intend to steer the conversations toward building more housing units. We believe the latter will have the greatest positive impact on the housing crisis.
A link to the full report – http://www.hcd.ca.gov/policy-research/plans-reports/docs/California’s-Housing-Future-Full-Public-Draft.pdf