Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Why I'm Running for SM Rent Control Board by Naomi Sultan/ Nicole Susan Phillis

"rent control is a key tool that must be preserved to ensure tenants can age in place in Santa Monica"

 

August 3, 2018

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Naomi Sultan candidate for Rent Control Board

Why I'm Running for Rent Control Board by Naomi Sultan

Hello everyone - This is my first time running for public office and I would like to introduce myself and explain what I'm about.

I am a veterans' rights attorney and longtime Santa Monica tenant and I am running as a challenger for Santa Monica Rent Control Board!

I am running because we need a new voice on the Board to ensure that Santa Monica neighborhoods and tenants who live in our community are protected.

Without Rent Control, there would be no place in Santa Monica for middle-income folks like me, let alone people like my veteran clients who are mostly seniors and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes. Unfortunately, Santa Monica tenants and our neighborhoods continue to be at risk due to Ellis evictions, and companies avoiding regulations and turning homes into exorbitant corporate housing.

If elected, I will fight to keep Santa Monica's neighborhoods livable and ensure that we renters are safe and secure in our homes! I have already begun working with current Rent Board members on a proposal for City Council to increase Relocation Assistance for renters subject to Ellis Act evictions.

I look forward to a hard-fought campaign where we honestly explore this and all the other pressing issues facing Santa Monica renters and our broader community. I will be attending the NOMA meeting tomorrow night (7 pm at the Montana Library) and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at this and at other community events!

Why I'm Running for Rent Control Board by Nicole Susan Phillis

I am running for re-election of the Rent Control Board because I believe rent control is a key tool that must be preserved to ensure tenants can age in place in Santa Monica. 

There are changes the Board can implement to strengthen the law, and I am currently spearheading efforts on a few of those changes.  I am currently focused on prohibiting rentals of rent controlled apartments to non-natural persons (i.e., corporations).

We know that landlords use corporate entities as a subterfuge to flout our short term rental ordinance.  Prohibiting rentals to non-natural persons would prohibit landlords from using corporate shells to acquire rent controlled tenancies and then sublet them to short term occupants with impunity.

If the repeal of Costa-Hawkins passes, I expect we will be faced with significant opportunities for rent control law changes – including potential vacancy control and expansion of the Rent Control Charter Amendment (RCCA) to properties constructed after 1978.  Both potential reforms present massive opportunities to strengthen our rent control law that should be evaluated thoughtfully and carefully.

I am particularly interested in expanding application of the RCCA to older buildings to help replenish our shrinking rent controlled housing stock and working with City Council to create incentives to preserve rent controlled buildings.

 

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