Advocates say canceling rent, mortgage payments during pandemic more helpful than delay of payment

By Lisa Deaderick : sandiegouniontribune – excerpt

San Diego Rent Strike 2020 is one local organization advocating for the cancellation of rent and mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic

While the moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic provided initial relief, the question of how to pay that back rent continues to hover. If the work environment we were once familiar with remains unsafe, and people can’t rely on the one-time stimulus check or unemployment benefits to cover all of their necessities, the likelihood that most people can afford to pay even one month of these delayed payments is pretty low.

One part of the response to the looming accumulation of this kind of debt has been to protest for the cancellation of rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic. Not a hold or suspension that requires the missed payments to be made later, but an outright cancellation of having to make those payments at all…(more)

State Initiates Environmental Review for Proposed Delta Conveyance Project, Begins Public Scoping

press release : eastcountytoday – excerpt

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for a proposal to modernize water infrastructure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, initiating environmental review in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The NOP, announcing the preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR) for the proposed Delta Conveyance Project, marks the first step under the CEQA process.

The proposed project described in the NOP is a single underground tunnel with two intakes that together have a total diversion capacity of 6,000 cubic feet-per-second (cfs). The NOP notes that there will likely be alternatives identified that evaluate a range of capacities from 3,000 cfs to 7,500 cfs. The NOP signals the start of the scoping process for the EIR and provides an opportunity for members of the public and agencies to provide input on the scope and content of the EIR, including information needs, potential project effects and mitigation measures, and possible alternatives to the proposed project…

The purpose in proposing this project is to develop diversion and conveyance facilities in the Delta necessary to restore and protect the reliability of California’s water deliveries south of the Delta in a cost-effective manner, and consistent with the recently released draft Water Resilience Portfolio.…(more)

Single tunnel water suck from the Delta is under review.

Effort to make LA more eco-friendly means foreclosure for one homeowner

Hosted by Steve Chiotakis : kcrw – excerpt (includes audio)

By Anna Scott

Standing in her den, Gwendolyn Lang looks up at a faded family portrait on the wall. Taken in the late 1970s, it shows Lang and her late husband with five of their six children. “All except one,” she said, adding that the son missing from the photo “never liked being around all the other kids.”

Lang, 80, has lived in this small, beige house in Gardena for 50 years. Now, despite the framed photos still on display, she’s moving out. Half-packed cardboard boxes sit on the floor. Lang was foreclosed on earlier this year because of her participation in a program called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, which provides LA County homeowners with no-money-down loans for eco-friendly home improvements. Borrowers repay the loans in installments that get rolled into their property taxes.

Critics of the program say lax lending standards have paved the way for predatory contractors to take advantage of elderly homeowners like Lang

Dotting the i’s

Cities and counties around the country have PACE programs. In California, PACE has funded more than $3 billion in efficiency upgrades in recent years, according to the state treasurer’s office. The way it works in Los Angeles, the county funds the program but contracts with private lenders to handle the financing. The ground-level work of finding participants and signing them up generally falls to home improvement contractors, sometimes going door-to-door. That’s how Lang met Frank Achuff in January of 2016… (more)

Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirsch on SB50 as his swearing in ceremony.

youtube – excerpt

Full housing remarks and quotable moments, with emphasis on “Sacramento Politicians.”

Some towns have unique ways of swearing in the mayor. Performed March 20, 2019 at the swearing in of John Mirisch as Mayor of Beverly Hills:



City Attorney Outlines Impacts on Santa Barbara of State Housing Legislation

By Giana Magnoli : noozhawk – excerpt

With laws ‘basically designed to strip local control,’ city planners are working to create objective design standards for development projects.

Santa Barbara city planners will spend the next year creating objective design standards for development projects in response to the package of state housing legislation that then-Gov. Jerry Brown approved for California in 2017.

Assistant City Attorney Tava Ostrenger presented a breakdown of the legislation’s local impact to the Planning Commission on Thursday and said it was “basically designed to strip local control.”

The intent of the legislation is to boost housing development and affordability, streamline development, and increase accountability and enforcement of cities’ and counties’ housing goals… (more)

53 percent of Californians want to leave the state, according to new survey

By Alix Martichoux : sfgate – excerpt

Dreaming of greener (read: cheaper) pastures? You’re not alone.

According to a new survey by Edelman Intelligence, 53 percent of Californians are considering moving out of state due to the high cost of living. Millennials are even more likely to flee the Golden State — 63 percent of them said they want to.

Bay Area residents surveyed were especially sensitive to affordability issues, and it’s no surprise. The median home value in San Francisco is $1.37 million, according to Zillow, and $1.09 million in San Jose. In Edelman’s survey, 76 percent of Bay Area residents say they consider cost and availability of housing to be a serious issue.

It’s not just people fleeing the Bay Area — these businesses are leaving, too

Why people leave the SF Bay Area besides housing costs (more)

Suits, overruns slow condo projects by Chinese developers in SF

J. K. Dineen : sfchronicle – excerpt

In 2014 and 2015, Chinese real estate development company Z&L Properties jumped into the California market with a splash, going on a buying spree that would eventually include 12 housing sites in the Bay Area and Los Angeles that, when built out, would yield 3,400 condos.

The portfolio of valuable land — most of the parcels had already been approved for development — included San Francisco sites in the Transbay area, Hayes Valley, Mid-Market and South of Market. It contained four sites in San Jose, including the 643-unit Silvery Towers development downtown and two high-rises with 708 condos on the former Greyhound bus storage yard…

That hasn’t exactly happened. Instead, years after the sites were purchased, none of the projects has been completed, and several have been derailed by lawsuits, cost overruns and building code violations. One project has been delayed because it is no longer economically feasible. Another was started in September 2017 and then construction was abruptly shut down after the site had been excavated. Another has been under construction for five years — three times longer than it should have taken — and still is not finished… (more)

Glad to see people are beginning to get the true picture of the kinks in the housing pipeline. Housing does not go up the day it is entitled. The building process needs a boost after entitlement. The media needs to conduct an investigation into why thousands of entitled units that are not built. We still don’t have a count of empty units in the city or a method of tracking properties that are being flipped once they are entitled.

Carl DeMaio Names 12 Democrat Legislators as Targets in Campaign to Defeat the Water Tax

By Carl DeMaio

Group that successfully recalled State Senator Josh Newman in 2018 over Gas Tax will now target 12 “Water Tax Weaklings” in State Senate and State Assembly

In 2018, State Senator Josh Newman was successfully recalled from office over his decision to cast the deciding vote on the controversial Gas Tax hike. In light of equally-controversial Water Tax being proposed in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget, Reform California announced it is targeting 12 state legislators (4 state Senators, 8 Assemblymembers) over the issue in an attempt to either block the Water Tax from being passed OR to use it as a wedge issue to defeat these legislators in the 2020 cycle.

“Sacramento politicians are hereby put on notice that if they vote to impose a costly and unfair Water Tax on California’s already-struggling working families they will face consequences at the ballot box,” said Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California.

Targeted Members of the Assembly
Brian Maienschein
Sharon Quirk-Silva
Sabrina Cervantes
Tasha Horvath
Cottie Petrie-Norris
Jacqui Irwin
Christy Smith
James Ramos

Targeted State Senators
Richard Roth
Tom Umberg
Melissa Hurtado
Anna Caballero

These 12 legislators are seen as the most vulnerable members of the state legislature – and more importantly, if 3 State Senators or 7 Members of the Assembly announce their opposition to the Water Tax, it would effectively be killed as any tax hike requires a two-thirds vote in BOTH chambers to pass.

The Water Tax Weakling campaign will include 30-second ads, Facebook ads, text messaging and phone outreach, and storefront canvassing to reach more than 1.5 million high-propensity voters in each of the 12 districts held by the targeted legislators. Voters will be informed of their representative’s unacceptable position on the Water Tax and will be asked to sign a petition to oppose the Water Tax. Links to all campaign creative materials and the Water Tax Petition is at…

“For those who doubt the potency of an issue like the Water Tax, just ask former State Senator Josh Newman whose political career was ended after he voted for the Gas Tax hike,” DeMaio said. “This campaign to target 12 Water Tax Weaklings is just the beginning,” he concluded.

About Reform California: Formed in 2003 by former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, Reform California is dedicated to holding state and local government accountable and fighting costly and unfair taxes, mandates, and fees because working families cannot afford a higher cost of living — and state and local politicians already have enough of our money… (more)

We will watch to see who supports this tax. So far, this is what we have to go on. No bill, but there could be a budget item to pay for the “Twin Tunnels” former Governor Brown was pushing that would draw water from the Delta. More research is needed.

California Lawmakers Push for Oversight of Delta Tunnels Project

By Nick Cahill : courthousenews – excerpt

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – A group of Northern California lawmakers seeking more sway over a mammoth $17 billion water project introduced a proposal Friday that would require new construction contracts to be reviewed by the Legislature.

The Legislative Delta Caucus says because of the scope of the California WaterFix, the project should require more scrutiny from both the public and lawmakers now that former Gov. Jerry Brown has left office.

Brown fiercely advocated for the expensive public works project that he and supporters believe will both update the state’s aging water delivery infrastructure and protect it against sea level rise and other effects of climate change. Also known as the Delta Tunnels, the project calls for two 30-mile tunnels that would funnel water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to aqueducts that supply farmers and cities farther south.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, believes his proposal will shed new light on the “flawed” project that environmental groups bitterly oppose….

Senate Bill 204 would require the state agencies in charge of WaterFix, namely the state Department of Water Resources, to submit information about pending contracts with private companies to the Legislature before finalizing deals…

Democratic Assemblyman Jim Frazier, whose district covers parts of the delta, called SB 204 a “common-sense, good-government bill.”. (more)


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