« Return to Blogs

Calif. Laws Prioritizes People Over Corporate Home-buyers

  • Tenants, affordable housing groups and local governments will get first crack at buying foreclosed homes under a measure approved Monday by Gov. Newsom.
  • The bill is designed to keep corporations from snapping up homes and letting some fall into disrepair as they did during the Great Recession.
  •  · The issue drew national attention a year ago when several homeless mothers calling themselves Moms 4 Housing moved into a vacant, corporate-owned house in West Oakland.
  •    · It was among 15 bills Newsom signed into law as renters and home-buyers again struggle during mass layoffs prompted by the pandemic.
  •    · The governor said the measures “will directly lead to more affordable opportunities for renters and homeowners.”
  • · The law bars sellers of foreclosed homes from bundling them at auction for sale to a single buyer.
  •  · In addition, it will allow tenants, families, local governments, affordable housing nonprofits and community land trusts 45 days to beat the best auction bid to buy the property.
  • · Owners of poorly maintained properties can be fined as much as $2,000 a day under the bill.
  • · Sen. Nancy Skinner said her measure gives people who want to live in a house a fair shot at buying it.  
  • · She said the measure that takes effect Jan. 1 sends the message that “We won’t tolerate another corporate takeover of housing.”
  •  · Newsom also signed bills increasing subsidies for dense, affordable housing projects; allowing school districts to use low-income housing tax credits to build affordable housing for teachers and school employees on district-owned land; and exempting bicycle, pedestrian, light rail and bus rapid transit projects from California's strict environmental reviews.
  •  · Another bill expands a law that allows crime victims to break their leases without penalty.
  •   · The law had applied only to victims of domestic violence, stalking, elder abuse or human trafficking.
  •   · The expansion adds crimes that result in injury or death; & bars landlords from refusing to rent to tenants who have taken advantage of the law.