Counting the benefits and costs of California deportation bans during the pandemic

Solano has been allocated $ 13.3 million in PIU funds, administered by Catholic Charities of Yolo-Solano. So far 3,064 applications have been received, requesting assistance totaling around $ 10 million, but only less than $ 200,000 has been paid to 16 applicants, with an additional $ 10,000 pending, according to Anne Putney, analyst at main management for the county.

“A number of requests are pending documentation,” Putney said.

Impacts on owners

The California Apartment Association has collected approximately 4,000 letters to lawmakers in its call to action among rental property owners and managers to oppose a substantial extension of SB 91, as long as applicants can document the impact. of the pandemic on their inability to pay rent.

“We’re saying the state only needs a month or so to withdraw the money,” said Debra Carlton, executive vice president of state public affairs, referring to the ERAP program. “State and local governments are extremely late in releasing the money.

In early June, one of the letter’s authors was FPI Management, which oversees more than 130,000 units in 17 states and is the largest manager of rental housing in California, with 89,670 units for approximately 1,000 homeowners.

REIT said it had about $ 40 million in rents, fees and utilities in arrears at the time. Just over 4,500 tenants requested help from state and local portals, asking for $ 23.2 million in assistance, but only about 3% had been received, for a total of $ 709,000.

Solano Property Management is still awaiting the outcome of dozens of claims submitted for tenants in arrears of nearly $ 100,000 in the more than 2,000 mostly residential units the company manages in Solano, Napa and Yolo counties, according to Susie Slankard, who runs the Fairfield office. A Vacaville tenant has $ 20,000 in arrears.

“We have tenants who haven’t asked for help. We’re trying to get them to apply, ”Slankard said. “Some don’t pay at all, and some pay what they can.”

Keith Becker, Managing Director of DeeDee’s Rental Property Management, manages more than 500 mostly single-family homes and condominiums in Sonoma County for approximately 400 clients. The number of tenants in arrears is only 14, or less than 3%. That’s about $ 100,000 in arrears for client landlords, but it’s on top of two other levels of rent restrictions in recent years, he said.

Among these is the state anti-scam law (passed as penal code 396), which limits price escalation by more than 10%. The law comes into play when jurisdictions approve declarations of emergency.

This cap came into effect with the Tubbs and other North Bay fires in October 2017 was extended by the Russian River flood in 2019 and the Kincade fire, as well as the Glass fires and of Walbridge in 2020.

And that was before a statewide rent cap and just cause evictions law (SB 1482) was signed early last year, limiting rent increases to the slightest. 10% per year or 5% plus the local consumer price index until 2030.

“There’s another ugly factor: Long-term tenants don’t pay the same amount in rent as new tenants,” Becker said. “If they paid a low rent before the fires, as soon as they hit, PC 396 says you can’t increase the rents by 10% over an already low rent. Some homeowners over the past four years have not caught up.

When Sonoma County passed emergency eviction restrictions limiting evictions to public health and safety concerns or the exit of landlords from the rental market, some landlords began to seek the exit, Becker said.

“We haven’t seen a massive exit yet,” he said. “I have 19 properties that, as of the start of 2021, are either owners or family members move in, taking them off the rental market, or they are sold. “

But one effect of the state’s emergency and rent control measures is a slowdown in the number of multi-family property sales transactions, according to Scott Gerber of Meridian Commercial.

While nationwide pandemic economic relief efforts have driven down the cost of financing single family homes over the past year and led to a surge in offers and soaring prices, the same is not happening. It’s not produced for sales of multi-family rentals, especially small complexes, he said.

“The prices haven’t gone down, but they haven’t gone up,” Gerber said. “Given the obstacles to the flow of income (due to non-payment of rents), it should be noted that we have not seen prices increase. The largest multi-family lender still requires a year of principal and interest to be impounded as protection against collections related to COVID and tenant financial hardship. “


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Mary Moser

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