Call Umberg & Min Today: Pass the HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION ACT!

Yeah, this is late notice, but it’s imperative that if Tom Umberg or Dave Min is your State Senator, that you call them today – MONDAY APRIL 24 – because tomorrow, Tuesday, the Homelessness Prevention Act is being voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which they both sit, and neither Democrat has committed to supporting this vital legislation. In fact, Umberg is the CHAIR of that committee, so if he wanted to he could KILL this bill in his infancy – but you won’t, right, Tom?

  • UMBERG (representing Santa Ana, Orange, Fullerton, most of Anaheim, La Habra, Placentia, and parts of Long Beach & Whittier) – (714) 558-3785 or (916) 651-4034.
  • MIN (representing Irvine, Anaheim Hills, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Laguna & Newport Beach, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, & parts of Orange & Huntington Beach) – 949.223.5472 or 916.651.4037.

NOW you want to know – as well you should – “What IS this HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION ACT?” Lawmakers are sometimes a bit clever when nicknaming their bills, but “Homelessness Prevention Act” is a VERY appropriate name for Senator Maria Elena Durazo’s SB 567 – if it passes its greatest effect would be preventing the homelessness of thousands and thousands of tenants over the coming years … and we don’t need more homelessness out there, do we?

But basically, SB 567 is a revisiting and strengthening of 2020’s AB 1482, “the Tenants Protection Act,” which was certainly progress but very compromised and full of holes – it’s been largely unenforced including here in Anaheim, there were too many loopholes in the eviction protections, and the yearly rent increase cap of CPI + 5% generally means an unmanageable 10% raise per year. It’s high time to revisit and strengthen the Tenants Protection Act, and that’s what we’re doing here.

  • FACT. The nonpartisan US Government Accountability Office has determined that a $100 increase in rent prices translates to a 9% increase in homelessness – THUS, SB 567 is properly called the Homelessness Prevention Act.
  • FACT. CORPORATE LANDLORDS – who are by far the worst offenders, not the mom-and-pop landlords down the road – raked in $55 BILLION since COVID times. Nobody is driving them bankrupt or trying to.

Here’s a FACT SHEET for the bill, and here’s a real handy SUMMARY and FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. But its basic three components as I mentioned are:

  • Lowering AB 1482’s rent cap from what’s generally 10% right now (CPI plus 5%) to JUST CPI, and NO HIGHER THAN 5% (rent raise per year!)
  • And adding some enforceability, or TEETH, to this thing! We’ve already noticed, particularly in the Spanish-speaking sections of Anaheim, landlords continuing to behave as though AB 1482 never happened – and most of the tenants don’t know any better either. Click here for the details on more effective ENFORCEMENT.

Dispelling some myths.

The side with all the money in a political disagreement is always real creative in devising and propagating certain MYTHS, to help keep things going the way they want. I mean, they got loads of capable people on their PAYROLL whose very bread and butter is the creation of these myths! Here are a few:

  • “Nobody’s gonna want to develop new housing any more, it won’t be worth it.” BULLSHIT. Under both existing AB 1482 and proposed SB 567, new properties ARE EXEMPT FROM RENT CAPS FOR 15 YEARS. Besides that, a USC review of numerous rent control studies showed that ordinances like this have little to no impact on new construction.
  • “Why should anyone build affordable housing now?” DUMB QUESTION. For one thing, affordable housing units are exempt from the existing law (AB 1482) and that won’t change under SB 567. This bill does not impact affordable housing rent caps.
  • A friend of mine who calls himself “a good landlord” frets that with rent control, most landlords will not be motivated to keep up their properties and then we’ll have substandard housing… because they’re not making a profit! COME ON! Of COURSE they’ll still be making a profit and will need to fulfill their responsibilities! How did the cap in AB 1482 come to include CPI PLUS 5% ANYWAY? Why should landlords enjoy some God-given right to INCREASE THEIR PROFITS 5% EVERY YEAR? Enough already, people are hurting! Let me remind you again – CORPORATE LANDLORDS RAKED IN $55 BILLION SINCE COVID TIMES.

Mobile Home Owners are Screwed as Always

(thanks to John Saunders of course)

We’d been following the progress of Assemblyman Muratsuchi’s AB 1035, which aimed to extend the protections of the Tenants Protection Act (AB 1482) to the more-and-more rent-gouged, and often elderly, population of mobile home owners. And we were devastated to hear that a powerful committee chair had changed that into a “two-year bill” which means it’ll be put off another year or two.

Well, now we’ve learned why – everyone is waiting for the outcome of rent-gouging Mobile Home Park speculator John Saunders’ (left) LAWSUIT against Sharon Quirk-Silva’s AB 978 for unfairly singling out his Rancho La Paz park for protection.

And as it turns out one of the original intentions of this new Homelessness Prevention Act was to “expand the protected population” by including mobile home owners … but that just got amended OUT of the act (hopefully temporarily), again, because of Saunders’ lawsuit. So, go to hell, John Saunders!

If you’ve read this far…

Don’t forget the important thing today (Monday) is to call Senator Umberg at (916) 651-4034 and/or Senator Min at (916) 651-4037 and ask them urgently to support the Homelessness Prevention Act in their Judiciary Committee tomorrow (Tuesday.) And if you’re still not convinced, then maybe this letter from A VERITABLE S-LOAD of caring organizations will help:

Dear Senator Durazo:

Our organizations are pleased to support SB 567, the Homelessness Prevention Act, which will protect California renters from unjust evictions and exorbitant rent increases. According to a recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, a $100 median rent increase led to a 9% increase in homelessness. By enacting these protections your bill promises to prevent more people from being pushed into homelessness and provide greater housing stability for low-income renters, predominantly people of color, who are disproportionately impacted by the state’s housing crisis.

In 2019, California enacted AB 1482 (Chiu), the Tenant Protection Act (TPA), which provided some protections for certain California renters. For renters covered by the TPA, it established both a rent cap to prevent the most egregious rent gouging and just cause eviction protections that for the first time at the state level provided that renters cannot be evicted unless the landlord can establish that they have a valid reason for the eviction. These just cause protections allow a landlord to evict a tenant for at-fault causes such as non-payment of rent, but limit the circumstances in which a landlord can evict a tenant when the tenant is not at fault.

While helpful, the TPA left numerous loopholes leaving renters vulnerable to homelessness. After several years of experience with the TPA, we know that the state’s renters need more. Too many tenants remain unprotected, rents are still allowed to be increased beyond what most renters can afford, and loopholes in the current law have led to widespread abuses that leave many covered renters vulnerable to eviction even when they are in compliance with their lease.

Between 2017 and 2022, homelessness increased 30% across the state, faster than anywhere else in the country. Now that eviction moratoriums and many of the pandemic-era renter protections that kept families housed are gone, homelessness will continue to rise at an even faster rate unless we act. Over the last several years, property values have increased substantially. As landlords and homeowners continue to grow their equity, essentially profiting off of the state’s dire housing shortage, we must ensure renters have housing stability by limiting rent increases and strengthening eviction protections.

Our organizations hear from renters every day who are facing rent increases or no-fault evictions who are either not covered by the TPA or for whom the protections of the TPA’s no-fault just cause provisions are illusory. Rapidly rising rents are endemic in California and threaten the stability of all renter households, yet the TPA leaves hundreds of thousands of renters unprotected by allowing unlimited rent increases for renters living in most single-family homes and condos. Even those who are protected by the TPA’s rent cap provisions can face a rent increase of as high as 10% each year, far too high for many struggling renters and unnecessary for landlords–increasingly large corporate entities–to make a reasonable return on their investment.

One of the central goals of the TPA was to prevent unjust evictions without cause. Unfortunately, for covered renters, those protections do not even begin until they have lived in their home for at least 12 months and sometimes not until two years into their tenancy. Additionally, once covered by this protection, renters too often find that the “no-fault” provisions that allow an eviction for owner-move-in, substantial rehabilitation, or withdrawal of the unit from the rental market provide no meaningful protection at all. Landlords too easily claim to be doing one of these things without any requirement of proof or any post-eviction obligation to follow through. “Withdrawal from the rental market” and “substantial rehabilitation” in particular have become magic words for landlords seeking a free pass to avoid all of the protections of the TPA.

Because the law lacks sufficient parameters–parameters that are common in many locally enacted rent stabilization ordinances–landlords can assert a no-fault just cause as the reason for eviction without having to prove anything about their actual intent. Tenants facing an unjust eviction cloaked in these magic words are nearly powerless to defend themselves. The result is rising evictions and, for the most vulnerable tenants, the very real prospect of homelessness.

SB 567 responds to the present-day reality faced by millions of California renters and provides greater housing stability for more renter households by strengthening the Tenant Protection Act, closing easily exploitable loopholes, and providing for robust enforcement. The bill:

  • Lowers the annual rent cap to the increase in the consumer price index (CPI) or 5%,
    whichever is lower.
  • Provides greater specificity around the allowable “no fault” just causes for eviction to
    address rampant abuse of these provisions.
  • Requires just cause to evict tenants from the beginning of a tenancy.
  • Enhances tenants’ ability to defend themselves in eviction cases by requiring landlords
    to strictly comply with the TPA.
  • Expands both public and private enforcement of the TPA.

As inflation soars, and state and local eviction protections enacted during the pandemic come to an end, the gaps in existing state protections are impacting more and more renters, who are facing significant rent increases and a spike in “no fault” evictions. The Homelessness Prevention Act will provide critical safeguards to stop abuses and ensure that renters can stay in their homes.

Thank you for your leadership on this important issue. We look forward to working with you to enact these critical protections.


Now call Tom and Dave.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.