Pasadena: “Pasadena’s affordable-housing search site popular with landlords, tenants.” by Janette Williams, Pasadena Star-News, March 18, 2010
As many as 900 people in a single day have logged into pasadenahousingsearch.com to offer housing or check listings, according to William Huang, the city’s housing director.
“I can tell you how many people are using it – it’s tons,” Huang said, “Every time I look I just get stunned.
Daily numbers have varied from about 200 unique users when the service was started in late December up to 905 on one day last week, Huang said, adding that there were almost 19,000 “successful searches” in the past month.
For wider searches, Pasadena’s housing Web site is linked to and patterned on one covering Los Angeles County.
The site is open to everyone, Huang said.
California: “Panel to Review Torture Memo Author’s Anti-Rent Control Ruling,” by Dean Preston, BeyondChron, March 16, 2010
Torture memo author Jay S. Bybee, now a federal judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, authored a controversial decision in September 2009 to invalidate a local rent control law in the city of Goleta, California. The Goleta law provides a strong form of rent control (known as “vacancy control”) for residents in mobile home parks. Last week, the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit ordered review of Judge Bybee’s anti-rent control ruling. Chances are the decision will be reversed, sparing mobile home residents in Goleta (and elsewhere in California) from higher rents and loss of equity in their mobile homes.
Fairfax County, VA: “Affordable housing needs some public funding,” by Roger K. Lewis, The Washington Post, March 13, 2010
Fairfax County aspires to greatly increase the amount of affordable housing at Tysons Corner for workers who now must commute there from afar, consuming time and fossil fuel while contributing to traffic congestion. But this newspaper reported recently that achieving Tysons’s affordable housing goals appears to be an economic non-starter.
Residential property owners and real estate developers in Tysons say that without greater public-sector subsidy, the numbers won’t work. Affordable housing always requires subsidy in some form to bridge the wide financial gap between the actual cost of producing a dwelling unit and the price affordable by America’s workforce — teachers, police officers, nurses, office workers and people employed in retailing, restaurants, hotels, factories, construction and other service enterprises.
Los Angeles: “Sometimes, good legal help is the best medicine,” by Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times, March 12, 2010
Maria Perez’s fever had climbed to 103, her body ached and she had trouble breathing. After being told in the emergency room that she had pneumonia, Perez went to a clinic in South Los Angeles for a follow-up appointment.
The doctor asked Perez about her housing situation. Her apartment had cockroaches and mice, Perez said, and rain came through a broken window and filled the walls with mold. The doctor wrote prescriptions to treat the pneumonia and an asthma flare-up and then did something that he hoped would prevent her from getting even sicker: He sent her down the hall to talk to a lawyer.
The attorney, Dennis Hsieh, contacted both the landlord and the Los Angeles Housing Department. The living conditions improved, and so did Perez’s health.