Panel: New Tenant-Landlord Clashes Emerge as Council Eyes Rent Control; Can Capps Clear the Field?
Conflict between renters and landlords over economics and health and safety issues in Santa Barbara's tight housing market was Topic A on this week's edition of Newsmakers TV.
Also: lots of politics.
SB Independent staff writer Jun Starkey leads off, reprising her reporting on appalling conditions at the Eastside's Tropical Gardens Residential Community, where the Tenants Union is pressuring the property owners, Pacific Current Partners, to clean up widespread black mold and repair prevalent leaks that cause it, and also recounting the story of a Mesa renter who's constructed a styrofoam "bubble" inside his apartment to protect himself from similar problems.
Then Josh Molina breaks down the extended and emotional debate at City Council, which took the first step towards imposing stringent rent controls in the city, when they approved on a 4-3 vote a supplemental $200,000 expenditure for a consultant to study the matter, and Nick Welsh posits that long-term policy arguments targeting rent control as antithetical to construction of affordable housing will have less political traction than demands for immediate relief for tenants amid the pandemic and increasing inflation.
Then the gang dissects the robust, fast-moving and nimble entry of school board member Laura Capps into the 2nd District race for the Board of Supervisors -- raising $60,000 in a few days after her announcement while rolling out a series to top endorsements, including Rep. Salud Carbajal -- and examines the political chances her show of strength will discourage other challengers from getting into the contest for the soon-to-be-open seat.
Plus: a sudden spike in Covid deaths, a class action lawsuit against Ty Warner for shutting down the Biltmore-Four Seasons, the SBPD's loss of one-fifth its workforce and what's behind the exodus of employees at the Humane Society. All this -- and an extraordinary cameo by Henry.