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New law seeks to aid Palo Alto tenants facing eviction

Original post made on Feb 1, 2022

Palo Alto tenants who face eviction could be eligible for relocation assistance from their landlords thanks to a law that the City Council adopted on Monday night.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 12:51 AM

Comments (13)

Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2022 at 7:31 am

felix is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

Good work City Council for passing this sensible policy.

Except of course to Greg Tanaka who votes consistently anti-renter. He voted no, though the policy change doesn’t apply to “just cause” evictions, and owners of 10 or more units are making a boatload of money and can afford relocation payments.

Tanaka’s vote appeases the rental housing industry which may donate to his campaign, but it surely doesn’t represent most Palo Altans.



Posted by James
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2022 at 8:25 am

James is a registered user.

This is not good for disadvantaged renters. Landlord would demand a credit score 750+ or something like it, or software engineers from India or China on H1B visa applying for green card. Other applicants will be rejected for one reason or another. Now it makes more sense to rent at an effective rate of $2500 to a H1B software engineer, instead of a nominal rent of $3000 to a lab technician single mother. Council members probably knew the ramifications.


Posted by Citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 1, 2022 at 10:51 am

Citizen is a registered user.

This policy is counterproductive, and will reduce investment in housing in Palo Alto, and result in fewer lower income tenants being able to rent in Palo Alto.

Also, it impinges on people's property rights; neither the city of Palo Alto nor the tenants own these properties, yet they place costs and restraints on those who do via their political power.

The outcome will be that landlords will be less likely to rent to tenants who might end up being evicted. Why would a landlord risk that and have to swallow this cost?


Posted by Angie
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 1, 2022 at 11:21 am

Angie is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by WhatAboutme
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 1, 2022 at 12:37 pm

WhatAboutme is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

My opinion on this is that I do not agree with this being as we are still in a pandemic and this new law will go on .. and on,

And also, to FELIX, not all landlords are making 'boatloads of money'.

This entire article... renter's rights, the Palo Alto Renters' Association profits off renters, this is not a 'free for all', and I agree w CITZEN's comment. What landlord will want to lease to anyone if they fear that this person will go from rental to rental (my words not CITIZENS), only to look forward to this 'landfall' of $$ when they are evicted?

We are still in the pandemic, I see no reason why council would've asked this to be looked to later ..

And to FELIX, :
" Tanaka’s vote appeases the rental housing industry which may donate to his campaign, but it surely doesn’t represent most Palo Altans."

No.. you don't know this, maybe Tanaka is quite aware that there are so many that taking all the advantages 'available to them'..and living well I might add.


Posted by W. Reller
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 1, 2022 at 2:05 pm

W. Reller is a registered user.

I am sympathetic with the direction of this effort but not sure it is the correct thing to do.
I wonder how many realize the losses sustained by owners during the pandemic, a little bit the other side off the coin.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 1, 2022 at 4:10 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

Private property rights have gotten way over the top in our land of the "free" and streets of the depraved. This fact is real and run-away capitalism. We are nearing a Bay Area humanitarian crisis with unhoused refugee camps everywhere along the boundaries and interior corridors of the Peninsula. Why was seemed okay to destroy homes and communities when freeways came in the 1950's and 1960's during that infrastructure period. Now. Our unhoused are the first line of defense and are the "elephant in the room" of horrid human neglect right over our white picket fences. A little humanity and dignity goes a long way. I will not give up the fight for our unhoused neighbors, the price gauging of rents, the loopholes cooperate rental markets charge a low-income family to have a roof over their family. The struggle is real. These are not pretty conversations yet the unraveling of our social fabric demands we have these talks to make change for the good. Housing is a human right. Just like healthcare, just like voting, just like that...


Posted by Ed Lauing
a resident of Professorville
on Feb 1, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Ed Lauing is a registered user.

This ordinance amendment applies ONLY to NO-FAULT EVICTIONS of tenants. Such an action is entirely driven by the landlord for their convenience - including situations such as the landlord choosing to house a family member in the unit. The simple goal is to aid the evicted, no-fault tenant for the costs of moving to a new apartment. At the Planning and Transportation Commission last week, on which I serve, we supported this ordinance 5-1. (We were only asked by Council to review the unit size to which the ordinance applies - not the payment amounts.)

Councilmember Tanaka and others claim this ordinance creates a possible future expense which means landlords will raise rents at the beginning of a lease to cover costs of this ordinance – just in case they someday choose to execute a no-fault eviction. Hence, the argument goes, housing now will be less affordable. I don’t buy that economic analysis. Why would a landlord raise rents higher than their competitors based on the slight chance that a year or so from original occupancy they might CHOOSE to pull the trigger on evicting a no-fault tenant? On a two-bedroom unit the landlord would have to raise rent $1000 month. That won’t work in a competitive market.

Hopefully, there is an incentive in the amended ordinance for landlords to reduce no-fault evictions, pay no relocation amounts, and reduce disruption in the lives of our city’s renters.

-


Posted by Virginia Smedberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 2, 2022 at 12:12 am

Virginia Smedberg is a registered user.

I agree with Ed - Hopefully, there is an incentive in the amended ordinance for landlords to reduce no-fault evictions, pay no relocation amounts, and reduce disruption in the lives of our city’s renters. - would n't that be the more ethical route (i.e. considering the least harm to the fewest and the most benefit to the most people)? A house - a roof and walls to rotect one from the elements, and for the kids a space to call their own - is SO important in a family. And for teachers, who make much less money than some of the techies, we need them IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, not commuting hours. What is the valuable i.e. exchangeable with the community, product of a landlord? it SHOULD be homes for people to create stability, from which they can then work without all the worries of losing that place they can call home. PLEASE look at the big picture from a humanitarian perspective.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 2, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

Thank you Virginia ! Feels like the safely housed and securely housed in this city are beginning to listen and hear and act on how dire the unhoused reality is in The Bay Area ... further this reality is the tipping point of everything economic, CoVID, supply — all in between. We have to take responsibility for the decisions made over last 40/50 years in our US of A. A culture shift in what it means to be free, to be Democratic to feel safe. Q: it’s a real, tragic truth here: it’s easier right now to own a gun than is to have a safe, reasonable, equitable home in which to thrive, dream and grow.


Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 2, 2022 at 2:07 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

Clarification. It's easier to own a gun and more accessible to live in a car, or end up in jail, then it is to be housed under a safe reasonably priced residence in the Bay Area. When did providing a home for ourselves and/or our families become such that only an elite, lucky few get to participate. Meaning. Those earning $100 thousand dollars a year or more. Reality check. We have no other choice but to be stacked 14 people deep in tiny squeezed rental spaces. Palo Alto parents demand excellence from our teachers and yet we provide nothing in return. No local homes for those we trust in leading our children to adulthood. Shame filled as well as unacceptable behavior.


Posted by Blurie
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 26, 2022 at 12:36 pm

Blurie is a registered user.

Nothing a cap, That is, rent control wouldn’t fix! Why give preference to H1B visa foreigners when our own people cannot afford rent in Palo Alto to do their work or afford to live near their work, wtf.
Might as well be a communist country here


Posted by Jim King
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2022 at 9:08 am

Jim King is a registered user.

* "Why give preference to H1B visa foreigners when our own people cannot afford rent in Palo Alto to do their work or afford to live near their work, wtf."

^ Because in many ways the highly skilled & talented H1B designated engineers from abroad are making key contributions in the area of high-tech developments and innovations.

This cannot be said for many of the recently displaced renters being discussed.

Sometimes it is better to accommodate those individuals whose work benefits all of society rather than focusing on a few abstract evictions involving lesser talented and educated individuals.

After all, how many of us here are using Apple iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, and various Google products and services?

Silicon Valley is synonymous with high-tech development as is Redmond, WA where I currently work and reside.

And besides, landlords have a right to maximize profits on their rental properties...just ask any of the wealthier commercial landlords along University Avenue in Palo Alto.

Given the demand, when one tenant (or renter) departs, chances are there will be countless others clamoring for the site and willing to pay the asking price.

This is pure Reaganomics and economic Darwinism...not rocket science


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