Commentary: Costa Mesa has the right idea. Let’s share its tenant advocacy with the rest of Orange County
Costa Mesa’s new tenant protection ordinance mirrors the policies in state legislation SB 1482 and AB 567. As the Legislature saw, the assistance is much needed, but the city’s mechanism isn’t sustainable. We need to build the capacity of the Fair Housing organizations to deliver this assistance. The first step is educating tenants and landlords about the protections and assistance owed to tenants under state law. The second step is ensuring that any additional protections enacted by local governments are consistent so education and enforcement can be a regional effort and not done by city staff on a city-by-city basis. City staff are neither lawyers nor social workers and come with pension liabilities. We can do this work to protect tenants for less money if we build the capacity of the non-profit sector and share the cost across all the cities in Orange County.