Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

National City had earthquake plan but not a flood plan

Mobile home, apartment dwellers by Division Street and 7th Street channel ghosted for two days

On January 26, tenants of hard-hit Highland View apartments were told the repairs would take months.
On January 26, tenants of hard-hit Highland View apartments were told the repairs would take months.

The county's 60-day ban on evictions and rent increases after historic flooding in January ends this month, while uncertainty lingers.

National City officials voted 3-2 last week to continue to rely on the existing county ordinance, rather than create local tenant protections that might include provisions such as relocation assistance and the right to return after repairs.

"It's clear the county's moratorium will end at the end of the month," said councilmember Jose Rodriguez, who urged the city to act now, given the low apartment vacancy rate.

Other council members wanted to hold off on an emergency ordinance, saying the city needs more information about what landlords need to rebuild, how long repairs will take, and whether the county might extend the moratorium.

"We can always call a special meeting and have an urgency ordinance," said mayor Ron Morrison.

According to city attorney Barry Schultz, the county ordinance doesn't address whether tenants must pay rent while not in their units or if they have a right to return without a rent hike. The displaced tenants have, however, been advised to keep paying rent to hold on to their rentals.

The industry trade group, California Apartment Association, opposed any new ordinance protecting tenants in National City — just as they did when the county imposed its ban on evictions and rent hikes for the hardest hit neighborhoods.

Spokesperson Melanie Woods said property owners should not have to pay relocation and temporary benefits after the disaster. "The vast majority of tenants have qualified for emergency aid. They don't need relocation assistance to find stable housing while their units are being repaired."

Property owners are making large, unexpected repairs, she added, often without collecting rent. The group also objects to the delay of rent increases, which typically occurs when signing new leases. Blocking that, she said, would just delay signing new leases.

Sponsored
Sponsored

"They're gonna push back until they can increase it to the desired amount. Tenants would be put on month-to-month leases until the rent cap is lifted, she said. "This short-term cap could actually result in less housing stability." 

To date, the county's emergency measure has provided temporary lodging to 770 families, according to Carlos Aguirre, the city's housing director. Both the state and National City declared a state of emergency, which helped bring funding to those who were flooded out of their homes.

Six weeks on, most of those families have been helped, Aguirre said. But in a city where, according to mayor Ron Morrison, there are almost zero vacancies — the end of the moratorium may not be a soft landing for all.

The city has now twice held back on enacting an emergency rent protection ordinance that would help renters if, say, apartment remodeling leads to big rent hikes.

According to the city attorney, there have been no evictions. Not that this was always clear as the disaster unfolded on January 22.

"Nearly 200 units were completely flooded, many of them tenants," said Rodriguez. The next day, as city crews assessed the damage, they realized a cluster of mobile homes and apartments by Division Street and the 7th Street channel were severely flooded. Apartment managers in the area said everything was fine, the tenants would be taken care of.

"Then what happened was, people were ghosted for two days." Twenty-four families had been given a two-day voucher, then were not contacted at all. When they finally were, on January 26, tenants of hard-hit Highland View apartments were told the repairs would take months, and they would have to seek new homes.

They received checks for two months' worth of rent. The county hadn't yet acted and, amid the confusion, dozens of families were facing eviction.

Mayor Morrison agreed there "really wasn't a plan." The city has an earthquake plan, he said. "But this one, there really wasn't a plan for there to be a flood in San Diego."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego tow truck drivers tell Tesla war stories

Heavy batteries hell on the tires
Next Article

WHISKYGIRL juices its genre

Metalcore, but maybe violins and trumpets, too
On January 26, tenants of hard-hit Highland View apartments were told the repairs would take months.
On January 26, tenants of hard-hit Highland View apartments were told the repairs would take months.

The county's 60-day ban on evictions and rent increases after historic flooding in January ends this month, while uncertainty lingers.

National City officials voted 3-2 last week to continue to rely on the existing county ordinance, rather than create local tenant protections that might include provisions such as relocation assistance and the right to return after repairs.

"It's clear the county's moratorium will end at the end of the month," said councilmember Jose Rodriguez, who urged the city to act now, given the low apartment vacancy rate.

Other council members wanted to hold off on an emergency ordinance, saying the city needs more information about what landlords need to rebuild, how long repairs will take, and whether the county might extend the moratorium.

"We can always call a special meeting and have an urgency ordinance," said mayor Ron Morrison.

According to city attorney Barry Schultz, the county ordinance doesn't address whether tenants must pay rent while not in their units or if they have a right to return without a rent hike. The displaced tenants have, however, been advised to keep paying rent to hold on to their rentals.

The industry trade group, California Apartment Association, opposed any new ordinance protecting tenants in National City — just as they did when the county imposed its ban on evictions and rent hikes for the hardest hit neighborhoods.

Spokesperson Melanie Woods said property owners should not have to pay relocation and temporary benefits after the disaster. "The vast majority of tenants have qualified for emergency aid. They don't need relocation assistance to find stable housing while their units are being repaired."

Property owners are making large, unexpected repairs, she added, often without collecting rent. The group also objects to the delay of rent increases, which typically occurs when signing new leases. Blocking that, she said, would just delay signing new leases.

Sponsored
Sponsored

"They're gonna push back until they can increase it to the desired amount. Tenants would be put on month-to-month leases until the rent cap is lifted, she said. "This short-term cap could actually result in less housing stability." 

To date, the county's emergency measure has provided temporary lodging to 770 families, according to Carlos Aguirre, the city's housing director. Both the state and National City declared a state of emergency, which helped bring funding to those who were flooded out of their homes.

Six weeks on, most of those families have been helped, Aguirre said. But in a city where, according to mayor Ron Morrison, there are almost zero vacancies — the end of the moratorium may not be a soft landing for all.

The city has now twice held back on enacting an emergency rent protection ordinance that would help renters if, say, apartment remodeling leads to big rent hikes.

According to the city attorney, there have been no evictions. Not that this was always clear as the disaster unfolded on January 22.

"Nearly 200 units were completely flooded, many of them tenants," said Rodriguez. The next day, as city crews assessed the damage, they realized a cluster of mobile homes and apartments by Division Street and the 7th Street channel were severely flooded. Apartment managers in the area said everything was fine, the tenants would be taken care of.

"Then what happened was, people were ghosted for two days." Twenty-four families had been given a two-day voucher, then were not contacted at all. When they finally were, on January 26, tenants of hard-hit Highland View apartments were told the repairs would take months, and they would have to seek new homes.

They received checks for two months' worth of rent. The county hadn't yet acted and, amid the confusion, dozens of families were facing eviction.

Mayor Morrison agreed there "really wasn't a plan." The city has an earthquake plan, he said. "But this one, there really wasn't a plan for there to be a flood in San Diego."

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Gonzo Report: Grinnells serve jazz for breakfast at Books & Records

Superlative French press coffee bolsters the buzz
Next Article

Dr. Seuss: The Spark of an Icon, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, 2024 Sumo National Championship

Events May 30-June 1, 2024
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.