Burbank! Come to an emergency City Hall meeting on 10/29 to deal with the city's eviction crisis!

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/19/oct-26-city-hall-6pm.html

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In before “sigh, it’s just supply and demand, Cory” and “you don’t appreciate how hard it is to be a landlord in a hot market”.

Burbank (at least in the post-sundown-town form I’ve known it) has always struck me as nicely balanced community, with creative- and working-class people and long-time elderly homeowners and young families all living side by side. It really would be a shame if it became yet another unaffordable enclave of trustafarians, media-industrial complex apex predators, and elderly empty-nesters who bought their homes at the right time.

Also, what a beautiful description of the WPA city hall: “a temple to solidarity and good governance”. If I were in town next week I’d come out to the meeting just to see it, and probably will make a special stop the next time I’m in beautiful downtown Burbank.

ETA: Santa Monica city hall is another beauty in this vein. And now I’ve found a whole site dedicated to the “living New Deal”. There goes my morning:




This is why I’m an advocate of laws that restrict or highly curtail corporate ownership of residential property. At the very least there should be a set of tenant protections that are much more strict/harsh if the building is owned by a corporation - making it only attractive to someone who is actually interested in the business of being a landlord - and not just looking for a quick investment.


Can we get a “don’t be evil” act passed in this country, where completely unethical and immoral shit like this can be reversed on a dime and the companies doing it are fined into oblivion?

Seriously, this “if it’s not illegal, then go for it in the name of profit!” attitude of the law needs to come to an end or within 40 years we’re either going to be in a state of open class warfare (the real kind, with guns) or de facto slavery.


I would agree with all of that, based on 40 years of being Burbank-adjacent. And like many Greater LA locations, it has steadily, substantially improved in that time. It’s a much nicer place now than it was 40 years ago,and it wasn’t bad then.


… is an almost pitch-perfect capsule description of “The People’s Republic of Santa Monica”, another independent city in the LA area.

One thing I find particularly striking about the contrast, which I offer for consideration without further comment or conclusion, is that Burbank has never previously had a rent-control ordinance,while Santa Monica has one of the oldest and strictest rent-control ordinances in the region.

Maybe just happenstance, and certainly not the only contributing factor, but I do find the contrast thought-provoking.


It’s the difference between feeling you have to pretend your city is equitable and actually having an equitable city.

Listen to the local residents speaking at any People’s Republic of Santa Monica city council meeting on KCRW and you quickly learn where their true priorities lie.

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I think the hedge funds would say, “This isn’t “evil”; this is “Capitalism”! The system is working exactly as planned! Now, geddoff my property by sundown, or I’ll release the hounds!” Fuckers.


Certainly they shouldn’t be able to own over a certain percentage of single family dwellings or smaller multi family dwellings in a given market area.


In my opinion the rent cap should have been more like 3% plus inflation, but they should have at least allowed for a one-time increase to market rate for those landlords that have been nice enough to not gouge their tenants. And they should have made the anti-eviction provision go into effect immediately so these blanket evictions would not happen.

It is a poorly written law in many ways. Everyone knew that it would cause a wave of evictions as property owners that were charging less than market rate emptied their units so they could bring them up to market rate so they would have a higher base rate for the rent caps.

Probably the worst part of 1482 is the the “5% plus inflation” provision. While there have been a few well-publicized instances of extreme gouging, the reality is that the average rent increase has been far less than the 7-8% per year that 1482 allows. Now landlords will be using “5% plus inflation” as the new norm for annual increases, especially because a) they can’t bank unused increases, and b) there is no provision for appeals for increases made necessary high-cost maintenance expenses.

At least since 7-8% is higher than average rent increases have been we won’t have property owners exiting the rental business and doing Ellis Act conversions unless they are faced with high-cost maintenance bills for unexpected expenses.

We currently have a housing surplus in California, with 10% more housing units than households. But the surplus is in high-cost housing, not in affordable housing. No developer wants to build affordable housing and that’s where we have a severe shortage. 1482 does nothing to address the affordable housing shortage, instead it’s a boon to property owners who now have justification for 7-8% annual rent increases.

SB5 was the one bill that would have addressed the affordable housing shortage. Newsom vetoed it.


Eat the rich! They’re well marbled.


Some Monday mornings it is hard to explain to people in the office why I am giggling uncontrollably. Thank you for a giggle out loud.


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