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Menlo Park council splits on law to help displaced renters relocate

Original post made on Feb 13, 2019

A proposed law to help renters forced out of their homes for no cause or because they cannot afford major rent increases received mixed responses from the Menlo Park City Council on Feb. 12.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 1:02 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by P. Anders
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 13, 2019 at 4:25 pm

I do not support these Nanny State laws. If the City of Menlo Park wants to ease the financial hardships from displaced renters, then the city should dispense and distribute financial aid from the general fund. Property owners should be left free to lease, or not lease, and to manage the lease of their property as they see fit. If market rates increase, then market rates increase.

It is up to the renter to decide what type of leasing arrangement they want to join into. If the rental terms are not to their liking, then they should not rent the property. That said, if a landlord is going to price gouge and run up rents, then they are going to find themselves with vacant properties. But that is their prerogative.


Posted by new guy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 13, 2019 at 6:01 pm

Love that people brought pictures of people that they have selected as the winners in this proposed deal. I bet these people would also like to end prop 13. Oh wait, creating winners for those already here is the same thing!


Posted by Thomas Paine
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Feb 14, 2019 at 9:20 am

Be careful what you wish for. When LA passed a rent control ordinance restricting increases to 2% annually, many landlords who did not plan on increasing rents were forced to raise rents. I know because I was one of them. What will happen in MP if this passes is that landlords will increase rents every year just under the threshold of incurring relocation assistance. If MP wants to assist renters, it should provide a subsidy out of the general fund based on income/need. It could also require developers of any new construction to add housing to their projects. Imagine what happen if Facebook was given an exemption to add an additional story to their new buildings containing apartments. X percent would be mandated to be available for teachers, firefighters and police.


Posted by SandyB
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 14, 2019 at 12:30 pm

SandyB is a registered user.

No matter if you are neutral, for or against this proposal, it requires a very large bureaucracy for enforcement with many opportunities for challenges. Who will pay for this oversight? Time churns slowly in a bureaucracy.
It is now very difficult for a single homeowner to add to the housing stock. I look at my neighbor who wanted to add a granny unit to her property. The planning department moved very slowly (I understand that was due to staffing shortages), then demanded a revision that significantly increased the cost thereby pricing the construction to an uneconomical level.
This new layer of bureaucracy will not encourage an increase in rental units in Menlo Park. Any new units will need to be built by large corporations for they will be the only ones who have the time and the resources to build and sustain.


Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 14, 2019 at 2:40 pm

It would make just as much sense to force Menlo Park home owners to limit the resale price of their homes to purchase price plus CPI over their period of ownership.

That is to say, very little sense indeed.


Posted by lnon
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 14, 2019 at 3:06 pm

It looks like MP wants to turn into SF South in this case. We already have our little infestation of homeless people complete with multiple shopping carts on Santa Cruz Ave. What's next---poop in the streets and people shooting up in front of Starbucks? I didn't move to MP to have the geniuses in local government tell me what to do or not do with my private property. Let the market decide. Get out of our faces, and let the landlords decide what they want to do. If a landlord wants to give below-market rents, God bless them, they should be allowed. If a landlord wants to charge above market, good luck on getting renters. The market, and the property owners should decide what happens, not our local politicians.


Posted by Fact Cheque
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 14, 2019 at 7:34 pm

The initial version of this article said something like "Cecilia Taylor, the only renter on the Council..." but that text is no longer there. Did something change with that statement? On top-notch news sites, a correction is appended to an article letting readers know if published text was found to be inaccurate.


Posted by Kate Bradshaw - Almanac Reporter
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 15, 2019 at 10:16 am

Kate Bradshaw - Almanac Reporter is a registered user.

Hi Fact Cheque, thanks for your attention to detail. One of our readers flagged the detail for me and I took it down while I was checking it. It turns out I was wrong and I have posted a correction.


Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 15, 2019 at 11:49 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Kate-Superbly well handled:

"Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Vice Mayor Cecilia Taylor as the only renter on the City Council. Councilman Drew Combs is also a renter."

Thank you!


Posted by Heather Hopkins
a resident of Las Lomitas School
on Feb 15, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Heather Hopkins is a registered user.

Inon, I can't think of a less kind descriptor of people experiencing homelessness.


Posted by lnon
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 15, 2019 at 2:40 pm

Heather:
Just reality. There are multiple organizations in our area who offer housing, especially for those with chronic homelessness or mental issues. It is sad that these folks aren't taking up the offers of housing from those charitable and/or governmental organizations. It is, indeed, very unfortunate.


Posted by Where in the world?
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 15, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Calling in from Dubai....Catherine Carlton....


Posted by Jen Mazzon
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Feb 16, 2019 at 10:34 am

Jen Mazzon is a registered user.

This ordinance is not rent control because it sets no limit for rent increases.

With the proposed ordinance, landlords can still charge whatever they want for rent. Only if the increase is above a certain amount AND the renter earns below a certain amount would relocation assistance kick in. With relocation assistance, the outgoing tenant receives a cash disbursement to avoid temporary homelessness, and the landlord can charge whatever they want to the incoming tenant.



Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Portola Valley: other

on Feb 17, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Portola Valley: other

on Feb 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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