Since the Ellis Act was enacted in 1986 in Sacramento, giving property owners the right to exit the rental business, thousands of rent controlled units have been lost in Santa Monica. Coupled with the passage of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act in 1999, allowing owners to raise the rents of rent-controlled units when tenants relocate or are evicted for non-payment, real affordable housing is under constant threat.
The Pico Neighborhood Association (PNA) in partnership with the Rent Control Board of Santa Monica and the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project have put together a map illustrating the impact of the Ellis Act since it’s passage, on Santa Monica over time.
Presently, the pressures of gentrification along the designated transit corridor using Transit Oriented Development (“TOD”) plans has already pushed many low-income families out of their rental units, the most egregious example is Village Trailer Park, that resulted in more than 100 rent controlled units and the displacement of dozens of long- time elderly residents of Santa Monica. Unfortunately, with the increase in property values & market pressures in Santa Monica along with TOD, we expect that there will be increase in evictions and resident displacement which will no doubt continue the elimination of rent controlled apartments.
We are beginning to experience the negative impact of TOD and over-development on renters, in particular low-income communities alongside the transit corridors. The result of the displacement of low-income households undermines the goal of reducing automobile use and creates an unintended consequence of pushing out low-income families that are the most reliable users of public transportation.
Feeling the real pressure of accelerated development, gentrification and resident displacement, the PNA launched the: Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors: Anti-Resident Displacement Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to monitor evictions, inform residents of their rights and discuss possible solutions within the upcoming zoning ordinance update and most importantly establish unity and solidarity among residents in pushing back the City staff’s effort to approve development projects that will destroy our City’s character and diversity.