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  • 06/06/2023 10:54 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

     A monthly poll of Santa Monica residents found that crime and homelessness remain the top concerns, while few approve of the new City Council's performance so far.

    The text message poll of some 140 residents concerned with public safety also found that nearly two-thirds support an agreement that averts about a dozen "builder's remedy" projects.

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  • 06/05/2023 10:17 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Prop. 19 allows homeowners 55 and older, the severely disabled or the victims of a wildfire to move their lower Prop. 13 tax base up to three times anywhere in California.

    Before the law was enacted in 2021, homeowners only got one base tax transfer and it only worked if the new home was of equal or lesser value. Also, only a handful of counties at the time allowed the tax transfer. Today, owners can buy up with the price differential added to their property tax rate.

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  • 06/05/2023 10:14 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Amid a housing shortage that's pushed low-income renters onto the streets and made it difficult for moderate earners to find affordable options, California lawmakers introduced new measures this year to mitigate high costs of living and prevent evictions.

    Here are two bills to help renters that cleared a major hurdle and one proposal that flopped this week as the Legislature took action before a key deadline on Friday:

    Passed: Limiting security deposits

    Passed: Curbing evictions

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  • 06/05/2023 9:50 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    A 9000 unit increase corresponds to about a 20% percent increase in our population or about 18,000 new residents. To put that number in perspective, Santa Monica took nearly seventy years to increase its population by 18,000 to our current nominal 91,000 residents. Now in only eight years, we are supposed to do what took seven decades? This massively anticipated buildout will presumably be occurring while the statewide population of California and Santa Monica is actually declining, including throughout Los Angeles County, which has seen a population decline of 200,000 people in the past eighteen months due to the interactive effects of Covid, the lack of affordable housing, the fear of crime, and the high cost of living. 

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  • 06/05/2023 9:49 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    After State Farm announced a pause on new business and personal lines property and casualty insurance in California on May 27, Allstate announced today publicly that they stopped writing new such policies for California late last year. 

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  • 06/02/2023 9:07 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Sen. Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced gleefully today that the Senate passed his Senate Bill 423, legislation to extend his SB 35 from 2017, “one of the state’s most successful tools for accelerating development of affordable housing,” according to the Senator. SB 423 eliminates the sunset date on SB 35 which created “a streamlined, ministerial approval process for infill developments in localities that have failed to meet their regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) numbers.”

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  • 06/01/2023 11:40 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    California lawmakers are considering a measure this session that would tax short-term rentals to fund affordable housing projects, a proposal that has revived dormant tensions at the state Capitol over the rise of companies like Airbnb and Vrbo and their responsibility for the state’s constrained housing supply.

    Senate Bill 584 by state Sen. Monique Limón, a Santa Barbara Democrat, would impose a 15% tax on short-term rentals — the homes and rooms that owners rent out like hotels for 30 days or less at a time — starting in 2025. This statewide surcharge, an addition to the local transient occupancy taxes that most communities already require, could generate an estimated $150 million annually to build or rehabilitate low- and middle-income housing.

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  • 06/01/2023 11:38 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Last week, Senate Bill 7 (SB7) failed to advance in the Senate Appropriations committee. Introduced by Senator Catherine Blakespear from Encinitas and co-sponsored by Venice-based Safe Place For Youth (SPY), the bill would’ve mandated that California provide free, permanent housing for any homeless person currently in the state.

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  • 06/01/2023 11:09 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Following a brief two-month rise, rents in Santa Monica dropped by -0.9 percent in May and have fallen -0.4 percent so far this year, according to Apartment List's latest monthly report released Wednesday.

    The drop over the first five months compares with a 5.1 percent rent growth during the same period last year, according to data compiled from listings on the popular rental website.

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  • 05/30/2023 10:08 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Proponents of the Justice for Renters Act say they've gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot in 2024

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