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SAN DIEGO – Aiming to secure further protections for San Diego renters and help prevent homelessness, Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera unveiled a new framework today that seeks to add greater local protections for renters and provide clarity for rental-housing providers.
The product of meaningful collaboration, the tenant protections framework incorporates input from residents, tenant advocates, and rental housing providers, including recommendations provided at the Oct. 31 City Council workshop on proposed reforms to prevent homelessness, displacement and harm to the housing market.
“The data is clear: More people are falling into homelessness than in years past, requiring policy reforms at the local level that will help keep roofs over San Diegans’ heads as well as connect people to more affordable housing,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “I’m confident that this framework will help us take the necessary steps to protect renters from wrongful terminations, provide clarity and consistency to our rental housing stakeholders and prevent people from falling into homelessness.”
Following the City Council’s Oct. 31 tenant protection workshop, the Mayor and City Council President have been working closely with interested parties – both renters and rental housing providers – to identify important policy areas that would offer renters more protection from wrongful terminations. Additionally, the tenant protections framework would create enhanced support and resources for renters and rental housing providers consistent with state law and, in some areas, go beyond state law to address issues facing the local rental housing market.
“San Diegans who are paying their rent and following the rules need and deserve protections that will provide them with the housing security necessary for a stable life,” said Council President Elo-Rivera. “The provisions agreed upon will provide renters more security while offering rental housing providers with clear and equitable parameters as we reduce unnecessary tenant removals and help prevent people from falling into homelessness. I look forward to bringing these strengthened protections to City Council as soon as possible. I want to thank the community advocates, who have courageously fought for these improvements, and the industry stakeholders, who have authentically engaged in addressing this issue.”
The proposed tenant protections framework would enhance transparency, consistency and equity in San Diego’s rental housing market by providing:
- Consistency with the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482), a state law that provides greater tenant protections than the City’s current regulations, known as Tenants Right to Know. Changes would include additional noticing to renters; confirmation of definitions for “No Fault” and “At Fault Termination of Tenancies” so that the terms and definitions are clear to both renters and rental housing providers; Opportunity to Cure to assist renters and rental housing providers with additional opportunities to address issues that could result in wrongful terminations; relocation assistance or rent waivers; property exemptions; and defined requirements on issues on which the current City ordinance is silent.
- Exploration of a long-term revenue stream in conjunction with rental housing providers to expand support, resources and opportunities for the City’s rental housing stakeholders, both renters and providers;
- New services and resources for seniors and disabled individuals, as defined by The Fair Housing Act, that make it easier to find rental housing; and
- Development of new renter resources related to noticing, online resources and partnerships with not-for-profits.
In addition to bringing San Diego up to the baseline protections of AB 1482, Mayor Gloria and Council President Elo-Rivera intend to bring forward additional protections, including at minimum:
- Just Cause Protections beginning on Day 1 of tenancy;
- Additional relocation assistance beyond the requirements in AB 1482;
- Additional time for seniors and disabled residents to find new housing when receiving a no-fault termination notice; and
- Additional time for renters to remedy violations that may be causes for eviction.
“I applaud the Mayor and Council President for their collaboration and engagement with us to evaluate a framework that will provide fairness between renters and rental housing providers,” Lucinda Lilley, President of the Southern California Rental Housing Association. “With a balanced approach, we will continue to support more San Diegans being housed while also preventing unintended negative impacts to the local housing market.”
“We are thankful to the Mayor, Council President, and staff for prioritizing the strengthening of tenant protections and taking the first crucial step to stabilize housing and prevent homelessness,” said the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA) and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE). “We hope to continue engaging with our elected officials, including the Mayor and City Council, to fully close the no-fault eviction loopholes, expand protections, and provide greater relocation assistance for displaced tenants.”
The tenant protections framework serves as a foundation for City Council consideration. Council President Elo-Rivera will continue working with stakeholders to close existing loopholes, build in accountability measures to ensure compliance with the law and expand resources and education for the most vulnerable population. In addition, the Mayor has directed City staff to work with the City Attorney’s office to draft an amended ordinance reflecting this framework for consideration by the City Council. The ordinance is anticipated to come before the Council in early 2023.