the night of June 16th, the Richmond City Council became the
second city in the California to enact a "Just Cause" ordinance
protecting tenants from unfair evictions from foreclosed homes.
renters in California have become unseen victims of the foreclosure
crisis. When a rental property goes into foreclosure, tenants are
often times notified by the landlords at the last minute or not at
all. Not only do families lose their housing with little to no
notice, but renters have lost hundreds to thousands of dollars in security
deposits and prepaid rent. In Richmond, 50% of residents are renters,
and with 2,000 current foreclosures and a 30% increase predicted over the
next year, the City faces a serious crisis. With an eviction on record,
residents have difficulty finding new homes and many families have become
unanimously, the ordinance spells out 12 specific circumstances where eviction
is allowed, none of which is foreclosure. The ordinance provides an
affirmative defense for a tenant in an unlawful detainer action, contains
retaliatory eviction protection and it requires payment of a relocation fee
in the amount of two times the monthly rent plus $1000.
Chinn, chairperson of the Richmond chapter of Contra Costa ACORN states,
"This is a huge win for the residents of Richmond. Although we are
celebrating this great victory with the rest of the REDI collaborative, the
struggle is not over. This economic and housing crisis is an
opportunity to create a better Richmond. Moving forward, we need a Just
Cause eviction ordinance that will protect renters throughout this city
from 'all' unjust evictions. People need to know that there are laws and
ordinances that will protect them from slumlords and those that would try
to unjustly evict or take advantage of them."
Costa ACORN and the other members of Richmond Equitable Development
Initiative (REDI) have been pushing for a set of housing-related policies
to help protect the Richmond communities from the devastating effects of
the foreclosure crisis. In March, over 500 community residents
attended a town hall meeting where the coalition presented elected
officials with their platform, which included policies to:
- Stabilize and revitalize Richmond neighborhoods
- Create more long-term affordable housing
- Put Richmond residents back to work rebuilding Richmond.
the town hall, ACORN and other REDI community leaders have been meeting
with council members and city staff to implement these policies.
Councilmember Dr. Jeff Ritterman introduced the "just cause"
measure - one important step towards stabilizing Richmond