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Mutual Housing California and the Sacramento Housing Alliance.

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Presentation on theme: "Mutual Housing California and the Sacramento Housing Alliance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mutual Housing California and the Sacramento Housing Alliance

2  California and local laws set forth standards for renters’ rights, requiring landlords to keep housing sufficiently safe and healthy for their tenants.  However, there is no consistent process for enforcing these standards across all the various jurisdictions in the state.  In many locales, it is up to the tenant to complain if they believe there are unsafe or unhealthy conditions in their home. This is called a reactive enforcement system.

3  Problems with reactive enforcement: ◦ Fear of retaliation/eviction ◦ Lack of familiarity with or fear of public agencies ◦ Language barriers  To address these issues, some jurisdictions have taken the lead by creating proactive enforcement programs, through which inspectors check on all local rental units over a specified period of time.

4  During its 2008-2009 fiscal year, the City of Sacramento conducted inspections at 2,943 rental housing units. ◦ Inspectors found one or more violations in 69 percent of the units they inspected. ◦ There were a total of 9,892 individual violations; often multiple violations in a unit. ◦ What are the most common things they find? Let’s take a look.

5  Missing smoke detectors  Faulty electrical service

6  Lack of GFCI protection  Lack of weather protection

7  Lack of door viewer at front entry  Faulty water heater installations

8  Improper venting systems  Faulty plumbing

9  Hazardous wiring  Inadequate heating

10  Health ◦ Asthma ◦ Infection  Safety ◦ Fires ◦ Shocks  Community Character and Property Values

11  The earlier-cited numbers from the City of Sacramento were for the first year of its proactive rental housing inspection policy.  For the 2011-12 fiscal year, the City inspected 6,847 rental units. ◦ Only 30 percent had health and/or safety violations, down from 69 in 2008-09. ◦ There were 9,223 violations found, less than in 2008-09 in over twice as many units inspected.

12  City adopted the program thanks in part to a strong advocacy effort among groups that represent diverse low-income renters  Key policy/program points: ◦ All rentals inspected once every five years ◦ Mandatory registration, $28/unit annual fee ◦ 30 days to correct violations ◦ Re-inspection fees if non-compliant ◦ Self-certification for landlords who pass, with some audits even for those units

13  In the unincorporated areas of Sacrament County, there are approximately 41,000 parcels with rental units.  13,754 of these 41,000 parcels have been entered into the county’s RHIP database.  There are approximately 92,000 total rental units in the unincorporated County.  The County receives approximately 1,000 rental housing complaint calls each year and responds to all.  Approximately 12,000 rental units have been proactively inspected for the RHIP program over the last three years.

14  Approximately 6,600 multi-family rental unit inspections conducted. ◦ 90% of inspected units had at least 1 violation ◦ 2,600 were initial inspections ◦ 2,500 units required re-inspections for compliance ◦ 1,500 were still in violation after the first re- inspection  Approximately 500 single family rental inspections conducted. ◦ 90 percent of units had at least 1 violation ◦ Upon re-inspection, 80% were in compliance

15  Self-certification system by owners  $12 per unit annual fee  Still basically a reactive system, with burden on renters  Some indication that the county may follow the city’s example and overhaul their program  Communities must be vigilant to make sure the County adopts a proactive policy

16  Full list of best policy/program practices available on request.  To report unsafe or unhealthy living conditions, call: ◦ City of Sacramento: 311 ◦ County of Sacramento: 916-876-9020  Call or write your elected officials  To get involved with promoting best policy/program practice, contact Rachel Iskow of Mutual Housing California at

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