June 28th, 2017 by Duarte Dispatch
The California State Assembly Transportation Committee voted 12-1-1 to pass SB 400. SB 400 is a bill authored by State Senator Anthony Portantino, D – La Cañada Flintridge, that requires Caltrans to freeze the rent for the homes located in the 710 corridor. Decades ago, Caltrans purchased these homes to pave the way for the 710 freeway. Caltrans is currently in the process of selling the homes. After hearing concerns from renters in the corridor that rising rents may force tenants to move just as the prospect of selling the homes is approaching, Portantino agreed to write legislation to give these tenants certainty and relief.
“I am extremely grateful to my friends in the State Assembly who voted to bring peace of mind and financial relief to these long-standing tenants. SB 400 is an attempt to provide certainty and opportunity to put these homes in their rightful place, the private ownership of long-standing tenants,” commented Portantino.
LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently voted on a measure that recommends an alternative approach to the region’s transportation needs other than building the 710 tunnel. MTA’s action is the de facto end to the threat of the 710 tunnel and clears the way for the homes to be sold. Earlier this month, Portantino, working with the county assessor’s office, Caltrans and the Brown Administration, inserted language into the state budget to ensure a fair property tax assessment to facilitate the affordability of these homes. SB 400 continues the shared mission to make these homes affordable and to give current tenants every opportunity to purchase their homes.
SB 400 passed with bipartisan support and is now headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It places a 2-year moratorium on rent increases for the 400 Caltrans parcels that will soon be sold. The bill was supported by the mayors of Los Angeles, Pasadena, and South Pasadena. Earlier in the year, Portantino held a town hall with Caltrans and the tenants in an effort to create a more efficient process for home purchases in the 710 corridor.