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 Sacramento Update
MAKING SAUSAGE IN SACRAMENTO:
The Legislative Process is Underway
BTy Jonathan Arambel and Steve Carlson AAGLA’s Sacramento Lobbyists
he legislative policy committees are
currently getting underway. Despite various Executive Orders, Senate Bill 91’s eviction moratorium, expansion of rent control, and multiple failed attempts to impose just-cause eviction regulations,
our state’s legislators still believe that stronger tenant protections are needed. Apartment owners, especially small business, “mom-and-pop” landlords, have been literally dragged through the mud in the court of public opinion, even after being forced to subsidize tenants affected by the pandemic, with virtually no assistance or relief, for more than a year.
It seems like history is also repeating itself on the issue of homelessness. We are seeing an increasing number of attacks on housing providers who are always being blamed for the inexcusable and problematic increase in California’s homeless population. We are hopeful that the focus on this issue does not similarly lose sight of the root causes of homelessness and real solutions that would help ease this crisis playing out on our streets, highway underpasses, and public lands. Pointing the finger at housing providers for ongoing homelessness problem might be an easy political thing to do, but it never will get an unsheltered person into a home.
 We know that COVID-19 affected us all, and that it was no one’s fault that this virus upended our lives. However, there were few, if any, other industries forced to subsidize their affected customers with no remuneration. That being said, there are now roughly 100 legislative bills that have been introduced in the California State Legislature this year that focus on housing. And many, in differing degrees, impact rental housing providers.
“Legislators cannot help tenants by destroying the incomes of those who provide much-needed rental housing.” Steven Greenhut, Orange County Register
(April 2020)
The percentage of evictions in California is among the lowest, if not the lowest, in the country. By far, most people are homeless due to underlying issues such as mental health and addiction, and not simply because they got evicted. Our state needs to focus more on “wrap-around” services like mental healthcare, addiction counseling, job training, and financial counseling, in order to decrease the amount of people living on our streets today. Throwing bond money at constructing affordable housing at a
For over a decade, instead of focusing on realistic solutions to address California’s housing crisis - building more housing units - property owners have been inundated with more and more restrictive regulations. So, it should be no surprise that the housing crisis is worse than ever more than a decade later.
cost of $600,000 or more per housing unit.
We will continue engaging the state’s legislature and governor’s office on the plethora of proposed housing related bills moving through the Legislature and hope for some relief from the continued barrage of new regulations and restrictions that are putting our small business, “mom-and-pop” housing providers out of business.
 Steve Carlson is the President of Steve Carlson and Associates, a boutique legislative advocacy and government relations firm based in Sacramento, California. Steve has been the chief lobbyist for the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles since 1987. Jonathan Arambel is the Founder and Principal of Third House, LLC a Sacramento, California based lobbying firm. Jonathan is the former Chief of Staff for the California State Assembly and has been a lobbyist for the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles for approximately 5-years.
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