UPDATE 7/31/2018: 

Thank you! More than 129,000 REALTORS sent over 423,000 emails to Senators and members of Congress asking to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Today, that effort paid off!

Under legislation passed by the U.S. Senate today, NFIP will continue renewing or issuing new insurance for four more months. The bill, which cleared the House last week, is expected to be signed into law shortly (before tonight’smidnight deadline).  

We applaud lawmakers for taking this needed action to prevent disruptions to closings in thousands of communities across the country. Now extended through November 30, 2018, the NFIP is in desperate need of reforms that will make the program solvent and sustainable in the long run. The National Association of REALTORS will continue fighting for these reforms as the next NFIP reauthorization discussions loom later this year.

Thank you again for taking action on this critical legislative victory for our real estate industry!

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will expire on July 31, denying necessary insurance coverage to homeowners and buyers in more than 20,000 communities nationwide. Congress must act now to reform and extend the NFIP.

Urge Congress to extend the NFIP and pass meaningful reforms to ensure long-term viability of the program.

SCCAOR supports:

  • Reauthorizing and gradually strengthening the NFIP so it is sustainable over the long run;
  • Encouraging the development of private market options to offer comparable flood insurance coverage at lower cost than NFIP;
  • Providing federal assistance to high-risk property owners, including guaranteed loans, grants and buyouts in order to build to higher standards and keep insurance rates affordable;
  • Provide fair flood insurance rates that better reflect the property’s flood risk;
  • Improving flood map accuracy, so fewer property owners have to file expensive appeals.

Tim Beaubien has joined the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) as their new Government Affairs Associate. Beaubien will be working under our Government Affairs Director, Christina Garavaglia, and will be focusing his advocacy efforts on San Jose.

“Tim is an excellent addition to our Government Affairs team,” said Garavaglia. “Also coming from a municipal background, Tim understands the protocol and process of city government and will be a strong advocate for REALTORS® in San Jose.”

A graduate of the University of Arizona, Tim studied Public Management and Policy. He recently worked in the City Manager’s Office for the City of San Marino, located in Los Angeles County.

“I am excited to take on this role and use my experience to help strengthen the advocacy program here at SCCAOR,” said Beaubien. “I look forward to building relationships with our members as well as local government officials.”

With housing being the hot topic, both locally and statewide, SCCAOR Leadership acknowledged that now is the time to grow the Government Affairs department by bringing on a Government Affairs Associate. Many cities in our jurisdiction are having issues come up that have the potential to further impact the housing crisis here. By creating the associate position, SCCAOR will be able to double down on our advocacy presence.

“Over the last two years, REALTORS® and property owners have been under attack,” said SCCAOR CEO Neil Collins. “I want to thank the SCCAOR Leadership Team for allocating the resources needed to expand our Government Affairs Department so that we can create a more favorable business environment for our members.”

In his free time, Tim enjoys playing sports and going to the gym. He has spent many summers traveling with his father to different Major League Baseball stadiums around the country. “We’ve been to 18 different stadiums so far,” he said. “Last summer we visited Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City and Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Our goal is to eventually visit all 30 ballparks.”

For more information, visit our Government Affairs page.

UPDATE 6/1/2018: Thank you for responding to our Red Alert! AB 2364 was killed in the Assembly on Thursday.

SCCAOR opposes AB 2364 (Bloom and Chiu), which deters property owners from returning to the rental housing business for 10 years. AB 2364 significantly weakens the Ellis Act by discouraging new rental housing investment and will ultimately make the state’s housing crisis even worse. AB 2364 will be considered by the entire Assembly this week.

Action Item

Call 1-800-798-6593 and enter your NRDS ID (or your Legislator’s 4 digit code in the table below) followed by the # sign to be connected with your legislator’s office.

Ask your Assembly Member to vote NO on AB 2364.

Click here for a full list of Assembly Members

Issue Background

In 1985, C.A.R. successfully sponsored the Ellis Act, which is a bipartisan compromise reached by the Legislature to allow rental property owners to go out of business. Prior to the Ellis Act, unlike any other business, rental property owners were forced to stay in business, even when subjected to extreme financial conditions. The Ellis Act provides a reasonable solution that gives certainty to both rental property owners and tenants alike.

Specifically, the Ellis Act requires a property returned to the rental market before a 5-year period expires to include any deed-restricted or rent-controlled units previously located on the property. C.A.R opposes AB 2364 because, among other things, it seeks to weaken the Ellis Act by discouraging rental property owners from returning rental units to the market by effectively extending this 5-year period to 10 years.


Why We Are opposing AB 2364

  • Discouraging investment in rental housing is bad policy. AB 2364 will have a chilling effect on the state’s housing supply crisis. Substantially diminishing a rental property owner’s ability to return their property to the market will not only limit the number of available units, but also adversely affect property values and the ability to finance property.
  • Rental property owners cannot see TEN YEARS into the future. Existing law sets reasonable and foreseeable standards for rental property owners and tenants. AB 2364 imposes unreasonable constraints on rental property owners who simply want to return their property to the market after 5 years.


Questions?  Please contact chrissy@sccaor.com


Nothing beats a tailgate and a baseball game! Thanks to all our members who came out to the San Jose Giants game. The pre-game tailgate is always a big hit, and this year we were joined by several great sponsors, including: Always the Best Home Staging & Redesign, First Statewide Realty, New American Funding, Adeline Team, Financial Tax Strategies, and Property Inspection Service.

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.


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.

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR) has been appointed to Vietnam as Ambassador Association by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). This strategic appointment gives SCCAOR members and citizens of Santa Clara County a unique opportunity to meet and conduct business with counterparts in Vietnam.

“The City of San Jose is home to the largest Vietnamese population in the United States and there is a great synergy between the two counties,” said SCCAOR President Kevin Cole. “This will be a great opportunity to help diversify our population and create new business opportunities within San Jose and surrounding cities.”

SCCAOR will partner with the Vietnam National Real Estate Association (VNREA), a real estate trade association based in Ha Noi, Vietnam. With this partnership, both Associations will share economic updates, upcoming projects/developments, and other opportunities between the countries.

The Ambassador Association program, newly revamped in 2018 by NAR, provides an organization-to-organization contact for our associations to share best practices, ideas, and solutions to common problems. Based loosely on the International Sister-City program, this program provides a direct connection between real estate professionals in each country.

Earlier this month, the Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals (VNARP), a trade association based in the Bay Area, organized their 2nd annual real estate trade mission to Vietnam. The 36 official delegates, which included many SCCAOR Members, hosted real estate conferences in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Da Nang and Nha Trang.

Learn more about the Ambassador Association program on the NAR Website.

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.