Call to Action: Please attend the April 24th San Jose City Council Meeting

This is an urgent call to action!

Where: San Jose City Hall
What:   City Council Meeting
When:   April 24th at 3:00 PM

Dear SCCAOR Members,

Coming before the San Jose City Council on Tuesday, April 24th will be a bevy of housing issues including amendments to the Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO), the Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO), and the Ellis Act. Of primary concern are the proposed amendments to the Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO) and the Ellis Act.

The amendments to the ARO, which regulates the affordable housing market (units built in or prior to 1979 and are subject to Rent Control) in San Jose, would severely limit the ability for property owners with master-metered units to pass on utility costs incurred by the tenants.

The City Housing Department is making the following recommendations regarding the Ratio Utility Billing System (RUBS):

  1. Determine that RUBS is not allowed in San Jose.
  2. Allow landlords with written utility pass through contracts for water, sewer, and/or garbage in place prior to January 1, 2018, to petition for a one-time rent increase equal to the lesser of:
      1. The average monthly charges for water, sewer and/or garbage passed through to the tenant over the 2017 calendar year; or
      2. An amount equal to the sum of the 2018 Santa Clara County Housing Authority
      3. Utility Allowance rates for multifamily water, sewer, and garbage costs; and
  3. Allow landlords with written gas and/or electric pass through contracts in place prior to January 1, 2018 to petition for a one-time increase if a landlord’s units are not separately metered for gas and electricity and the landlord has complied with the requirements of Civil Code Section 1940.9. The increase shall be the lesser of:
      1. The average monthly charges passed through to the tenant over the 2017 calendar year; or
      2. An amount equal to the sum of the 2018 Santa Clara County Housing Authority Utility Allowance rates for multifamily gas and electric costs.

These recommendations are violations of YOUR property rights and those of your clients. They interfere in the contractual relationships between property owners and their tenants, and inhibit the ability for property owners to turn a profit. This will only encourage these units to be pulled from the market whereby decreasing the supply of valuable affordable housing.

What SCCAOR is proposing instead:

1) Keep RUBS as is until a technological alternative is developed that is cost effective to implement.
Right now, it would cost up to $15,000 per unit to install sub-meters. This is simply not a reasonable cost to incur without the ability to recoup the cost. With the 5% rent increase cap, it is impossible to factor costs of this scale into the allowable rent increase.

2) Develop a strategy and a reasonable timeline to retire RUBS only after the cost-effective alternative to sub-metering has been developed.

RUBS is a system utilized by mom and pop housing providers that allows for tenants in master-metered units to pay their fair share of utility costs that THEY incur. Without RUBS, what incentive will tenants have to act responsibly when it comes to utility usage? What about water conservation? Energy efficiency? Without skin in the game, there is no incentive.

The one-time pass-through which the Housing Department is proposing is not a solution. It is a band aid that will only kick the can down the road or force housing providers to incur and absorb unreasonable costs associated with switching to sub-meters.

We need to ensure that the San Jose City Council doesn’t fall for this trick. Let’s remind San Jose City Council that property rights matter and that the REALTO voice is strong.

The second matter of concern coming before City Council on April 24th is an amendment to the Ellis Act (the provision that guides and regulates removal of ARO units from the market) which changes amends the re-control provisions. Re-control is the part of the Ellis Act which dictates how many units MUST come back to the market as affordable units.

The Housing Department is proposing the following Ellis Act amendments:

  1. Modify the re-control provisions to subject the greater of either the number of apartments removed from the market, or 50% of new apartments built to the Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO).
  2. Modify the re-control provisions to subject all new units (not just the affordable units) to the current annual general increase of 5%.
  3. Allow an exemption from the re-control provisions if at least twenty (20) newly constructed rental units are being created. The re-control requirement under this Section will be waived if the property owner:
    1. Develops fifteen percent (15%) of the newly constructed units as on-site affordable rental units consistent with the affordability restriction requirements in the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance; and
    2. Develops an additional five percent (5%) of the newly constructed units as on-site affordable rental units restricted at 100% of area median income.
  4. Include apartments buildings with three units under the Ellis Act.
  5. Allow non-ARO apartments with three units or more built after 1979 to provide 120-day notification to their tenants and the City and to provide relocation consultant services to impacted tenants.

What SCCAOR is proposing instead:

  1. Reject staff recommendation #1 and replace with: Subjecting new units to re-control at the greater of a 1:1 replacement ratio of the previously existing number of units; OR, 20% of the total project units.
  2. Support staff recommendation #3: allow an exemption from the re-control provisions if at least twenty (20) newly constructed rental units are being created. The re-control requirement under this Section will be waived if the property owner:
    1. Develops fifteen percent (15%) of the newly constructed units as on-site affordable rental units consistent with the affordability restriction requirements in the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance; and
    2. Develops an additional five percent (5%) of the newly constructed units as on-site affordable rental units restricted at 100% of area median income.
  3. Reject staff recommendations #2, #4, and #5

The reasoning is that by limiting the required number of units subject to re-control to 20%, it aligns with existing requirements in the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance. Also, maintaining an option for developers an option for exemption from the re-control provision is a step in the right direction.

The remainder of the Housing Department’s recommendations however, are just attempts to start pushing rent control on market rate units. This is an unacceptable assault on private property rights.

Join SCCAOR on Tuesday, April 24th to protect private property rights and mom and pop businesses from predatory regulations.

Your Role: you will have 2 minutes to advocate for the REALTOR® position on the proposed violations to your property rights.

 

THE SCCAOR MINUTE 04.16.2018

Highlights from this SCCAOR Minute
Learn more about Legislative Day 2018
Learn more about the 50th Anniversary of the Fari Housing Act
Learn more about the SCCAOR Ombudsman Service
To see the new Class/Event Calendar, visit SCCAOR.com and scroll down the page

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Christina Garavaglia-Branche Joins SCCAOR as Government Affairs Director

Christina Garavaglia-Branche

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) has announced the hiring of Christina Garavaglia-Branche as their Government Affairs Director. Christina will manage SCCAOR’s legislative and political affairs program in developing local, regional, state and federal public policy governing private property ownership and other related issues.

“I am excited to join SCCAOR and work on behalf of its members to meet their political needs as real estate professionals,” said Garavaglia-Branche. “I look forward to using my experience in politics and housing policy to facilitate lasting relationships and strengthen SCCAOR’s voice and influence in the community.”

Garavaglia-Branche’s local political experience will be a huge benefit for SCCAOR’s goal of promoting and protecting private property rights. Christina was Dev Davis’ Campaign Manager during her successful run for the District 6 City Council in 2016. Christina then worked as a Policy Liaison for Councilmember Davis. Prior experience includes working as legislative staff at the California State Assembly where Christina focused on statewide Housing and Economic Development Policy.

SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins is also pleased with the Association’s newest addition. He said of Garavaglia-Branche’s hiring, “She brings a wealth of political knowledge to the table. There is no bigger issue than the lack of housing in Santa Clara County so I knew we needed to hire a professional with real housing policy experience. It’s great to have someone like Christina fighting for the REALTOR® Party.”

One of her first tasks as Government Affairs Director will be to lead a group of SCCAOR Members to Sacramento for California Association of REALTORS® Legislative Day. Over 2,000 California REALTORS® will come together for the opportunity to meet and discuss real estate issues directly with their state legislators and staff.

 

George and Grace

A graduate of San Jose State University (Go Spartans!), Christina enjoys calligraphy, horseback riding, and photography. She lives with her husband Matt and their two dogs, George and Grace in South San Jose.

 

For more information about SCCAOR Government Affairs, visit our website.

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Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® Commemorating 50th Anniversary of Fair Housing Act

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) will join REALTORS® across the country to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, one of our country’s most significant laws guiding the real estate industry today.

“As REALTORS®, we stand at the forefront of advancing best practices of fair housing while committing to the highest standards of fair housing issues,” said SCCAOR President Kevin Cole. “Community by community, Fair Housing makes us stronger as we embrace diversity within all of our neighborhoods,” he said.

All year long, members of SCCAOR will lead efforts to raise awareness of fair housing issues by reaffirming their commitment to uphold fair housing laws and offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.

“The passage of the Fair Housing act represents a huge step toward ensuring that all Americans have a chance to live where they choose, but there’s still much for REALTORS® and others in the real estate community to do,” said SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, 1968, noting that the right to fair housing “is now a part of the American way of life.” The legislation now prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin.

Click here to learn more about the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. You can also participate in NAR’s commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act by sharing your story.

SCCAOR’s Commercial Council Launches New Monthly Event

The SCCAOR Commercial Council is excited to announce a new monthly event, Commercial Referral Network LIVE. This free event, occurring on the first Friday of each month, will cover all things Commercial. Our kickoff event will feature a panel of Commercial Real Estate experts — we hope you can make it! Click here to learn more or register for free by clicking the button below.

Meet Samantha Gutierrez: SCCAOR’s new Membership Coordinator

Samantha Gutierrez has joined SCCAOR as our new Membership Coordinator. She will work with our membership team to assist our members with questions or issues they may have with their Association membership.

“I am so excited to be the newest team member of SCCAOR,” said Gutierrez. “I hope my years of experience in customer service and event management will bring in a positive and fun energy for our members.”

In her role, Samantha will work with new REALTORS® and guide them through all the benefits and services that come with a SCCAOR Membership. Click here to view the full list of SCCAOR Membership benefits.

“We are pleased to bring Samantha on board,” said Tracey Lee, Membership Services Manager. “She has already proven to be a great addition and I am confident that she will strengthen our Association and bring great value to our members.”

In her free time, Samantha enjoys practicing the art of Improv comedy. “I try to take the positive lessons that Improv gives you and bring it into my professional and personal life,” she said. She also enjoys watching the San Jose Sharks and enjoying the Bay Area music scene.

You can reach our Membership Services team by phone (408-445-8500), email (membership@sccaor.com), and also via live chat on our website.

SCCAOR Partners with VNARP for 2nd Annual Vietnam Trade Mission

By Evan Huynh, 2018 SCCAOR Global Investment Council Chair

From March 26, 2018, to April 6, 2018, The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) will be collaborating with the Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals (VNARP) on their second annual Trade Mission to Vietnam. Our delegates will host conferences in four major cities in Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Da Nang and Nha Trang. We will build on established business relationships with the mission to strike a business referral network and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with some of the largest developers in Vietnam.

For the second year in a row, the trade mission will be led by the former Mayor of City of San Jose, Mr. Ron Gonzales. He will be providing updates and insights to hundreds of Vietnamese investors, developers, and government officials on the economic forecast of Silicon Valley and our 2020 plans of growth.  On behalf of SCCAOR and the Global Council Committee, we are seeking the opportunity to promote SCCAOR’s membership expertise on Silicon Valley and to assist VNARP on establishing a referral network to bring the direct benefits back to SCCAOR members, who are looking to sell or buy real estate in Vietnam.

 

About the SCCAOR Global Investment Council

SCCAOR’s Global Investment Council aims to create a platform that coordinates with other internal committees and external organizations to make sure that SCCAOR is the recognized local resource for global real estate and multi-cultural clients. Visit our Global Council page where you can learn more about upcoming events and sign-up for our Global Council Newsletter.