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Here’s Tio Bernie Sanders’ New Video on L.A.’s Housing Crisis, an L.A. Taco Exclusive

11:53 AM PST on February 14, 2020

[dropcap size=big]C[/dropcap]alifornia’s Primary is creeping up on all of us here in Los Angeles. 

And among the usual relevant national topics like healthcare and immigration, there is no greater local issue to address in L.A. than affordable housing and homelessness. 

Bernie 2020 offered L.A. Taco the following exclusive video on his “Homes for All” affordable housing policy that he plans to implement. It briefly follows a 54-year-old woman who is a longtime resident of Venice, California and her personal struggles with rent as a tenant. She opens up about it as a mother, grandmother, and president of the Holiday Venice Tenant Action Committee: “It was either rent or eat; it kind of screws people.”

The short video exposes actions by predatory landlords and her firsthand account sharing how Bernie Sanders was there for her and her personal struggle. “I truly believe Bernie is for the people.” 

Seeing how the short video doesn’t do a deep dive on the topic. Here is Bernie’s “Housing For All” information page that addresses some concerning loopholes and predatory landlords. Our very own Lexis-Olivier Ray who is the first on the scene when it comes to housing in Los Angeles grilled the presidential frontrunner Bernie Sanders’ campaign office on the charged topic. After all, it is no secret that there is a severe shortage of affordable housing in the city. 

L.A. Taco: Let's say the county passes a rent cap ordinance: There are still hundreds of people who don't know about the ordinance and plenty of predatory landlords that will raise rents illegally and intimidate people into moving out. What will Bernie do to change this? 

Bernie will create an office within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to coordinate and work with states and municipalities to strengthen rent control and tenant protections, implement fair and inclusive zoning ordinances, streamline review processes and direct funding where these changes are made.

He will also create an independent National Fair Housing Agency similar to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dedicated to protecting renters from housing discrimination, investigating landlords who misuse Section 8 vouchers, violate rent control standards, and enforce housing standards for renters. The Fair Housing Agency will also conduct audits to hold landlords and sellers engaged in housing discrimination accountable.

Bernie’s plan also implements a “just-cause” requirement for evictions, which would allow a landlord to evict a tenant only for specific violations and prevent landlords from evicting tenants for arbitrary or retaliatory reasons.

True rent control doesn't really exist in California because of the Costa-Hawkins act which allows landlords to raise rents to market value when tenants move out. How will Bernie's policy address the Costa Hawkins-Act? 

In America today, more than two-thirds of states preempt or limit the ability of their communities to establish rent control or stabilization rules to protect the American people against excessive increases in rent. That has got to change.

We will establish a national rent control standard and allow cities and states to go even further to protect tenants from the skyrocketing price of housing.

In terms of Section 8. We cover hundreds of unhoused people all the time with section 8 vouchers but that can't find a landlord that will rent to them in the city. How will Bernie's policy address this affordable housing discrimination?

Bernie will fully fund tenant-based Section 8 rental assistance at $410 billion over the next 10 years and make it a mandatory funding program for all eligible households. He will also strengthen the Fair Housing Act and implement a Section 8 non-discrimination law, so that landlords can no longer discriminate against low-income families based on their source of income.

Additionally, we will expand and strengthen enforcement of the Small Area Fair Market Rent rule to make sure that landlords are fairly compensated when they participate in Section 8, but do not make a windfall from the program. 

And Bernie will build nearly 10 million permanently affordable homes to end the shortage of affordable, available housing united across the country.

(Editor’s note: We are following up on Tio Bernie’s plan with housing experts and local officials. Stay tuned.)

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