Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pandemic protections ending for San Diego renters

 September 29, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Thursday September 29th..>>>>

Pandemic protections for renters are ending.. leaving some worried about their future in San Diego..

More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

########

After a month of protests in Sacramento…farm workers will have expanded union rights in California.. Governor Gavin Newsom signed Ab2183 yesterday.. It allows for mail-in ballot voting during union elections, in addition to the in-person process. Newsom had indicated he wasn’t going to sign the bill.. But says a deal was reached to clarify language around its implementation and voting integrity..

########

The governor also signed two bills aimed at increasing housing for low and middle income Californians-- The legislation allows for homes to be built on commercial sites currently zoned for uses like retail, office or parking lots.. It also will expedite the process for new developments.. state senate president pro tem Toni Atkins called the bills game changers for producing desperately needed housing.

#########

A group of Vietnam veterans are visiting the memorials built for their service and sacrifice thanks to a local nonprofit..

This morning 85 navy veterans are heading to Washington DC part of the Honor Flight San Diego program..

Organizers say the veterans, dubbed “seawolves”, are the most decorated naval unit from the Vietnam war.. They were pilots, door gunners and maintenance workers..

Honor Flight San Diego says this is the first group of all Vietnam veterans they are taking on a memorial trip..

######

From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

##########

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says 17 people have died this year in custody. That's one person fewer than last year's record of 18. But justice advocates say that number is wrong… and are demanding accountability from authorities.. KPBS reporter Tania Thorne has the story.

—----- 

Advocates continue to demand accountability for the in custody deaths that have seen an uptick this year. 

 They want District Attorney Summer Stephan to investigate and prosecute over the in-custody deaths or resign. 

 The Sheriff’s Department says there have been 17 in-custody deaths this year. … But they are not counting an inmate who was granted a  compassionate release to a local hospital.

 47:34 - 47:45 

Were worried that as the ICD rates go up, and it looks more embarrassing to the sheriff's dept they will find ways to cover up these deaths and try to explain them away. 

 That’s Dr. Darwin Fishman with the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego. He says that as the number of in-custody deaths goes up, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is looking for excuses. 

 Fishman says   elected officials in the local, state, and federal levels  must get involved   in reform efforts for jail deaths to go down in the county.

 TT KPBS News 

##########

After a long meeting in front of an overflow crowd Tuesday night… Temecula’s city council decided against advancing an anti-abortion proposal. KPBS Reporter Kitty Alvarado was at the meeting.

—-----------

NAT SOUND 

Keep your religion out of our  government 

People descended on Temecula city hall Tuesday… some to protest and others to support a proposal to declare the city a sanctuary for the unborn. 

The council voted four to one against putting the sanctuary resolution on a future agenda. 

The proposal came from council member Jessica Alexander.

But do we stand for death here in our city 

Maryann Edwards is the longest serving member on the council. 

We have to listen to the residents and clearly we had 84 percent of the emails that we received were opposed to having it on the agenda so I think that speaks volumes 

Mayor Matt Rahn says the proposal failed because it lacked clarity… and he said there’s a problem with how resolutions are presented in council meetings 

Matt Rahn/ Mayor of Temecula 

I can propose anything I want to but it doesn’t mean we have the authority to work in that space 

And that, he says, could have put the city in legal jeopardy.

What happens next is our community does need to heal  

Kitty Alvarado KPBS News.

##########

Emergency COVID-19 tenant protections are set to end tomorrow (Friday) in the city of San Diego.

KPBS reporter Jacob Aere says some San Diego renters are worried their living situations could be in jeopardy.

__________________________________________________

Rahmo Abdi (Raw-hu-moh Awb-di) is a mother of six who rents an apartment in City Heights. She’s lived there for decades and says she loves the community of fellow immigrants and refugees.

SOT 3128

Rahmo Abdi | Renter in City Heights

21:50:49 - 21:50:58 (:09)

“So I grew up in City Heights as well and when my family was renting, it looks like community. It looks like where all families stay together.”

But now she’s worried more of her friends and neighbors will be forced to move… as emergency COVID-19 tenant protections are set to phase out on September 30th.

SOT 3128

Rahmo Abdi | Renter in City Heights

21:50:58 - 21:51:07 (:09)

“But now because City Heights is getting expensive because of the lack of protections we have, everybody is spreading out and moving out and being displaced.”

**b-roll rental units, PANA office, condos/apartments, rental signs**

Rahmo works at Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans, or PANA.

Asma Abdi (AW-smuh AB-dee) is PANA’s policy associate. She says she wants an extension of tenant protections, and is urging the San Diego City Council to take action.

SOT 3117

Asma Abdi | Policy Associate at PANA

21:43:23 - 21:43:39 (:16)

“It means that many families, even if they do absolutely everything right – they pay their rent on time, they don't violate their lease agreement – they can still be at risk for eviction. So it creates a lot of uncertainty in our community and people don't know whether or not they remain in their homes.”

**b-roll rental units, PANA office, condos/apartments, rental signs**

Once the no-fault protections expire, the city will be left with its Tenants’ Right to Know ordinance.

It requires landlords to provide at least one of nine listed reasons before terminating a lease with a renter who has lived at a property for more than two years.

Rahmo is worried the prior ordinance will allow for landlord abuse in an expensive housing market.

SOT 3128

Rahmo Abdi | Renter in City Heights

21:52:57 - 21:53:11 (:14)

“I'm very nervous. Every day we see cases like how many community members walk into our office having eviction letters and getting evicted. Sometimes their rent increased which they can not afford to pay.”

+

21:55:51 - 21:56:00 (:09)

“We really really need more affordable housing where families can afford to live in City Heights.”

**b-roll rental units, PANA office, condos/apartments, rental signs**

San Diego City council President Sean Elo-Rivera says he submitted a potential set of updates for the tenant protection ordinance to the city attorney’s office.

SOT Zoom

Sean Elo-Rivera | City Council President

6:39 - 6:53 (:14)

“There’s additional legal review that the city attorney's office has suggested would need to or should be one prior to the council considering the item.”

**b-roll rental units, PANA office, condos/apartments, rental signs**

Asma says PANA’s goal is to update the City of San Diego’s 2004 Right to Know law to a stronger Tenant Protection Ordinance or T-P-O.

SOT 3117

Asma Abdi | Policy Associate at PANA

21:45:14 - 21:45:29 (:15)

“We are hoping that the tenant protections ordinance will provide stronger protections for our low-income, elderly, disabled and terminally ill tenants – some of our most vulnerable community members. And allow them the right to relocation payments in the event that they are evicted.”

**b-roll rental units, PANA office, condos/apartments, rental signs**

Current state law – with some exceptions – limits rent increases at 10 percent.

While that sounds like a lot, Lucinda Lilley of Southern California Rental Housing Association says landlords have also faced difficult circumstances over the past few years.

SOT Zoom

Lucinda Lilley | Southern California Rental Housing Association

1:41 - 1:49 (:08)

“We're looking forward to it expiring. Its put some rather significant burden on rental property owners, rental property providers”

+

6:12 - 6:22 (:10)

“We couldn't terminate a tenancy even if there was an extremely bad actor on a property. So rental housing providers have really risen to this.”

**b-roll rental units, PANA office, condos/apartments, rental signs**

The affordable housing crisis has been magnified in San Diego and other cities across the country… especially for low-income earners.

Elo-Rivera says he wants to help San Diegans living in fear of rent increases and potential displacement, while also preventing homelessness.

SOT Zoom

Sean Elo-Rivera | City Council President

4:20 - 4:32 (:12)

“Any protection that goes away that makes it easier for folks to be evicted and put out into the rental market is one that creates added vulnerability. And that concerns me.”

**b-roll rental units, PANA office, condos/apartments, rental signs**

Lilley wants solutions for struggling renters, but stands against any form of extending the protections.

SOT Zoom

Lucinda Lilley | Southern California Rental Housing Association

8:03 - 8:21 (:18)

“This isn't going to result in an avalanche of people getting termination notices for no reason. Just cause is just cause and if an owner needs to move into a property, then they need to move into a property. If they need to sell because they can no longer afford to support the property, then they need to be able to do that.”

**b-roll rental units, PANA office, condos/apartments, rental signs**

While time is of the essence for many renters, it could be a while before any form of the TPO can be enacted.

With the rising cost of overall living, that's pushing many tenants over the edge.

SOT 3128

Rahmo Abdi | Renter in City Heights

21:56:56 - 21:57:11 (:15)

“Luckily I have four bedrooms, but some other families can not afford to rent four bedrooms. That's why there's a lot of hidden homelessness in our community where families are doubling up in one bedroom, two bedrooms because they can not afford the rent.”

PANA says the updated ordinance would close loopholes that landlords can use to wrongfully evict families. It would also require landlords to provide relocation assistance to tenants who face no-fault evictions. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

##########

Coming up.... Kids as young as four years old have access to transitional kindergarten.. And now thanks to new legislation after school care is also an option.. More on that just after the break.

######

Kids as young as 4 years old can go to Transitional Kindergarten in California…but those young kids couldn’t go to after school care. That changed this week after Governor Newsom signed a new law. KPBS reporter Claire Trageser has details on what this means for local families.

____________________________

Sara LaPietra has been figuring out school for her four-year-old son Teddy. Because Teddy is not 4 years 9 months old, he couldn’t go to aftercare.

SOT (04:47)

We just juggled having a four year old in the house while we did our work for 5 hours a day.

But that should now change with the signing of the Education Omnibus Bill. Courtney Baltiyskyy is the director of advocacy for the San Diego YMCA.

SOT (12:51)

Any child in school, so that includes TK, now is eligible for school age licensed care.

Many schools get out at 2 pm and noon on Wednesdays—making it difficult for working parents to send their kids to TK. The law changes that, but Baltiyskyy says it should have been done before the school year began.

Claire Trageser, KPBS News

##########

Jews across San Diego County continue to celebrate their community’s most High Holy Days…

This week, Rosh Ha·sha·NAH marks the New Year … KPBS Education Reporter M.G. Perez has more on students who are sharing their faith.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They call themselves the Jew Club…it’s an untraditional name they say honors their very traditional faith. The students meet once a week at lunchtime on the campus of Patrick Henry High School.

While they celebrate the New Year 5783 …they are also committed to educating their non-Jewish friends …on the importance and relevance of their religion at this time of year.

Ben Mathews is a senior …

SOT:   “I’ve had more friends been more curious rather than abrupt with their conversation and language towards me…I’m really excited to be out there educating and being part of the holidays.” 

Those holidays continue with the most holy day of atonement Yom kee-pur which begins at sundown October 4th. MGP KPBS News

##########

A local tech giant brought the world of science and engineering to Hoover High School.. Yesterday Qualcomm and the San Diego Workforce Partnership hosted the event.. KPBS Science and Technology reporter Thomas Fudge says the goal was to convince students from underrepresented backgrounds to aspire to STEM careers.

STEMDAY 1  :56   …soq. 

AMBI

Careers in science and engineering are plentiful in San Diego and some of these 9th graders at Hoover High are looking for a path to get there. Stem day at Hoover brought the kids together with some engineers at Qualcomm whose backgrounds weren’t so different from theirs. 

“My high school was very overpopulated and underfunded and there was a lot of gang violence going on there.”

That’s manufacturing engineer Olivia Carrizales, originally from Chicago, who now prototypes technology for cell phones and computers for Qualcomm. Her message got through to one Hoover Hight student, Daniela Martinez 

“She really had to motivate herself because everyone there just didn’t really care and she pushed herself. She kept trying even though she would fall at times.”

One of the organizers from the workforce partnership said a key to getting kids excited about science and engineering is showing them adults who are excited about it. And hopefully that’s what was happening at Hoover High School. SOQ. 

##########

PEN America recently announced the winners of their 2022 Prison Writing Awards. The awards recognize exceptional works from incarcerated writers that will be published in a forthcoming anthology. The first place winner for both the fiction and nonfiction categories is San Diegan Frank Kensaku Saragosa. Saragosa was homeless in San Diego for several years before being taken into federal custody on drug-related charges. He was released last month, and spoke with KPBS/Arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. Here's their conversation.

TAG: That was formerly incarcerated San Diegan Frank Kensaku Saragosa, winner of two 2022 PEN America Prison Writing Awards, speaking with KPBS/Arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. You can read an excerpt from Saragosa's work on our website, and the anthology will be published this December.

That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says there have been 17 in-custody deaths this year, but advocates say that number is wrong and are demanding accountability. Emergency COVID-19 tenant protections are set to end Friday in the city of San Diego. Plus, a local tech giant brought the world of science and engineering to Hoover High School.