We are protecting existing housing units, tenants’ rights, and advocating for services & policies that create more affordable housing and lift people out of homelessness.
Our Major Victories
In October, shortly after signing SB567, Governor Newsom signed another bill that was part of our #HomeIsSacred campaign, SB4: Affordable Housing on Faith Lands. This law will expedite affordable housing development on lands owned by religious institutions and nonprofit colleges, opening up 171,000 acres of land now available for housing in California. San Diego’s faith leaders and congregations are looking forward to implementing this bill by building more affordable housing for families in our region.
On September 29th, over six months of advocacy work culminated in Governor Newsom finally signing SB567, the Homelessness Prevention Act, into law. From dozens of research meetings and actions with Senators and Assemblymembers to hundreds of miles traveled to the State Capitol, we gave power to the stories of our community members experiencing housing insecurity and affirmed that #HomeIsSacred. SB567 will protect California’s tenants from no-fault and unjust evictions, prevent corporate landlord loopholes, and empower renters to take legal action against landlords who violate tenant protection laws.
SDOP leaders, Ana and Cristina, are experiencing a housing crisis many San Diego residents can relate to: high rent, scarce housing options, and skyrocketing rental application fees. At a research meeting with Eric Joyce, Oceanside City Council member, Cristina shared her experience with increasing rent spikes and Ana posed an important question: what can we do to limit rental application fees and reduce barriers to housing security?
On June 7th, after months of organizing, Ana and Cristina’s pain turned to solace. Oceanside City Council voted 4-1 in favor of a pilot program allocating $50,000 to provide financial assistance for rental housing application fees. Many renters often apply to multiple apartments and pay hundreds of dollars in application fees, without securing their housing unit or being reimbursed if they’re denied. This pilot program will alleviate a financial burden for prospective renters and create more equitable opportunities for families in Oceanside. We congratulate Ana, Cristina and all of our fearless North County leaders for their arduous work and using their testimonies as proof that equitable change is possible.
For over two years, the St. Francis’ organizing team has been advocating for an inclusionary housing policy and access to affordable housing in Vista. An inclusionary housing policy would require housing developers to dedicate a certain percentage of new residential units to lower-income housing.The team embarked on months of organizing: attending 2 city council meetings, hosting a worship on the issue, leading 5 research meetings and 1 action with Vista City Council, and surveying over 400 fellow congregants.
On January 10, 2023, 350 community members flooded the Vista City Council halls to send a strong message to the city: institute inclusionary housing in Vista. And the city did just that.
Thanks to our advocacy efforts, Vista City Council passed the inclusionary housing policy in a 4-1 vote that will dedicate 9% of Vista’s housing developments for affordable housing.
Inclusionary housing in Vista is an important step to making our housing justice vision a reality.
Antonio Sanchez and his wife own a trailer and rent the land at Keystone Trailer Park, National City. During summer 2022, the new property manager at Keystone nearly doubled Antonio’s rent, and increased the prices of parking and utility fees. The management also treats the tenants very badly, threatening Antonio and his wife and entering their home without permission.
For months, Antonio and other Keystone residents have been organizing with SDOP, speaking at City Council meetings about the urgency of the rent increases and poor park conditions. Thanks to SDOP’s organizing and advocacy efforts, the National City City has voted to bring the rent control for mobile home tenants ordinance forward.
On December 6th, National City City Council passed rent control for mobile home tenants, preventing over 270 families from experiencing homelessness and protecting tenants from rent increases of over 5% until 2024. This is the first policy of Its kind In National City!
30 SDOP leaders attended the City of San Diego’s first ‘Housing Day’ on July 24, 2018, which has since been dubbed “Housing Action Day”. At the meeting, San Diego City Council members approved a ban on discrimination against recipients of Section 8 housing vouchers. The measure, which passed on a 6-1 vote with two council members absent, allows landlords to use credit scores and other legal means to select tenants, but prohibits them from saying “no” to an applicant based solely on whether they pay rent with a government subsidy.
Due to the expiration of an affordable housing covenant, more than 300 tenants in affordable housing site Peñasquitos Village were initially set to be displaced from their homes with nowhere to go, lacking protection or a plan for their welfare by the City of San Diego. SDOP joined tenants, faith leaders and labor allies to negotiate a resettlement agreement with the housing developers to fund a relocation program and to build on-site affordable housing to protect low-income families.