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Khanna

U.S. Representative Ro Khanna met with members of SILVAR, the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR), and Bay East Association of REALTORS® at the SCCAOR office on Wednesday. Khanna represents the 17th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Cupertino, Fremont, Milpitas, Newark, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

Khanna said he is proud of Silicon Valley because the region is the economic engine of the country and provides its citizens with many economic opportunities for growth and success. Khanna noted it is the valley’s turn to give back to the country and expand these economic opportunities to the rest of the country. Only then will the country be able to break out of its gridlock and be competitive in relation to the rest of the world.

“We have the best and the brightest. When you think of the valley, you don’t just think of the engineers and people in high tech. You also think of the electricians, the REALTORS®, dentists, doctors. It’s the community that works cooperatively toward economic achievement, which has resulted in economic success,” said Khanna. “We are privileged, our kids are privileged, because of all the opportunities we have living in the valley, but we aren’t going to make it as a nation if those economic opportunities aren’t extended to the rest of the country.”

Khanna’s goal in Congress is to create economic opportunities and a pathway for people regardless of where they live. To that end, Khanna shared his three concrete ideas to make this happen: 1) install high speed internet for all, which will enable anyone across the country to work for high tech and other companies that are based anywhere in the country, including California; 2) create technical institutes across the country, much like land grants, with two-year certifications in different industries to prepare people for real life skills; 3) provide tax incentives for companies to hire people in places that have been left out of economic progress.

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SILVAR members get ready to meet their legislators.

 

In light of California’s ongoing housing availability/affordability and supply crisis, this year on Legislative Day, in addition to the “hot issues,” the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) asked REALTORS® to ask their legislators what they propose to do to increase the housing supply in California

C.A.R. senior vice president and chief lobbyist Alex Creel said home prices are too high because of the limited supply of homes and that’s because government at the state and local level is constraining supply and this has led to laws on rent control and exclusionary zoning. The state’s homeownership is among the lowest in the nation. Average rents in California cost 50 percent higher than the rest of the country.

“The solution to the housing affordability crisis is not price control. It is dealing with supply and the constraints that limit supply,” said Creel.

Creel said the legislature can help by streamlining the permitting process, fixing CEQA, requiring local government to meet their housing requirements, fund affordable housing and defeat bills that discourage construction of rental housing.

Thus, after the joint luncheon, SILVAR members met with Senators Jim Beall and Jerry Hill, and Assembly members Evan Low and Marc Berman and discussed the housing issues and asked them to take C.A.R.’s position on the following bills:

AB 1979 (Bonta/Steinworth) – Homeownership Savings Accounts – SUPPORT
This bill allows homebuyers to establish a Homeownership Savings Account (HSA) to purchase a home without paying tax on the interest earned on funds in that account; permits taxpayers to exclude from gross income earned on money contributed to a HSA up to 20 percent of the median home price as determine by the Department of Housing and Community Development; and permits contributions to HSA from relatives and others, as well. This would help families struggling for a down payment on a home, benefiting 3.5 million families.

SB 1469 (Skinner) – Accessory Dwelling Units – SUPPORT
Despite recent changes to state law making it easier to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs), many local governments are using overly restrictive ordinances and other loopholes to deny their development. This bill would streamline the approval process for building ADUs by prohibiting the imposition of impact fees, connection fees and other fees levied by local entities on construction of ADUs and would only permit local government to deny construction if it adversely impacts fire and life safety. It also states if the local government fails to act on the application within 60 days, the project would be approved.

AB 2618 (Bonta) – Specialty Licensing – OPPOSE
C.A.R. opposes this bill because it requires real estate licensees to complete a mandatory property management certification program to perform property management services that they are already licensed to provide. It also requires private owners to obtain this certification even if they use a licensee to manage their property. The measure is unnecessary, duplicates existing law, and provides no additional consumer protections. There is no data to support the need for additional certification or training.

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The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR), presented scholarship awards to 18 graduating seniors from public high schools in Silicon Valley at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Each recipient received a $1,000 scholarship.

Now on its 18th year, Charitable Foundation’s scholars program recognizes students who have exemplified outstanding achievements in academics, extracurricular/employment activities and community involvement. The selection committee includes representatives from the local business community, area high schools, area colleges and SILVAR.

Students who received scholarships, the schools from which they graduated, and the colleges and universities they plan to attend are: Manasa Gogineni, Cupertino High School (UC Davis); Meryem Esa, Fremont High School (Santa Clara University); Archer Olson, Gunn High School (UC Berkeley); Yu-Ying Chua, Homestead High School (UCLA); Madeleine Gibbons-Shapiro, Leigh High School (Georgetown University); Simge Yildiz, Los Altos High School (UC Davis); Ginger Wang Brown, Los Gatos High School (Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo); Carolyn Zhong, Lynbrook High School (Carnegie Mellon University); Megan McDonnell, Menlo-Atherton High School (Northwestern University); Lucas Chang, Monta Vista High School (Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo); Shayla Joy Tonge, Mountain View High School (Chapman University); Zoe Dellaert, Palo Alto High School (University of Chicago); Aryan D’Rozario, Prospect High School (UC Santa Cruz); Megan Bettencourt, Santa Clara High School (UC Davis); Julie Cai, Saratoga High School (New York University); Ariana Sadar Ghahary, Westmont High School (UC San Diego); Poojita Dasika, Wilcox High School (UCLA); and Rogelio U. Sanchez, Woodside High School (UC Riverside).

“The seniors selected this year are very deserving of recognition not only because of their academic accomplishments, but also for their contributions to their communities,” said Charitable Foundation Scholarship Chair Nina Yamaguchi. “We are happy we are able to assist the deserving winners in the beginning of their college careers.”

The Charitable Foundation thanks the following members who presented the scholarships to the recipients at their respective senior award ceremonies: Chris Alston (Keller Williams), Mark Burns (Referral Realty), Nina Daruwalla (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage), Mary Kay Groth (Sereno Group), Penelope Huang (Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty), Young Jacob (Intero Real Estate Services), Theresa Loya (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage), Bill Moody (Referral Realty), Russell Morris (Coldwell Banker), Moise Nahouraii (Referral Realty), Jose Padilla (Alain Pinel Realtors), Robert Reid (Keller Williams), Mary Tan (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage), David Tonna (Alain Pinel Realtors) and Denise Welsh (Alain Pinel Realtors). 

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SEE 2017 SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4744.JPGAbout 50 SILVAR members joined over 2,000 California REALTORS® in Sacramento on Wednesday for the annual California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Legislative Day, the one day each year that the state’s REALTORS® meet with their legislators and discuss real estate-related policies and issues.

California Governor Jerry Brown spoke to California REALTORS® at the Sacramento Convention Center during the C.A.R. morning briefing. Brown said the economy has its cycles and at present the state’s economy is doing well, thanks to the business sector.

“California is the land of sunshine and smart people. That’s why people want to be here. Silicon Valley has the smartest people in the world,” declared the Governor.

Brown told REALTORS® to stay the course, stating, “REALTORS® are the backbone of what California looks like, of what California is.”

At a joint luncheon with members of the San Mateo County Association of REALTORS® and Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®, Los Angeles Times Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers analyzed the state’s political landscape. He indicated California has “places of great success and places of great struggle,” a dichotomy between urban versus rural, haves versus have nots, the highly employed places versus low employed.

Myers said it will be interesting to see how the state plans to implement the $15 minimum wage; how the state will expand the family leave law; and what arises from discussions on affordable housing. Other fundamental issues looming over California are education, transportation and water.

According to Myers, this year’s state elections may be the last chance to bring new blood to the state legislature, since new legislators will be serving 12-year terms due to the passage of Proposition 28. Myers also warned REALTORS® to expect a longer and confusing U.S. Senate ballot for the June 7 primary because of how the names of the 34 candidates seeking to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer are laid out on the ballot. Choose only one candidate. Selecting two or more candidates would disqualify your vote.

After the luncheon, SILVAR members met with Senators Jim Beall and Jerry Hill, and Assembly members Rich Gordon and Evan Low. Members asked their support on the following bills:

SUPPORT C.A.R.-sponsored bill AB 2693 (Dababneh) – PACE Loan Disclosure, which seeks to change the super-priority status of PACE loans and to require disclosures to consumers before they obtain such a loan. A PACE loan allows a homeowner to borrow money to finance energy upgrades. The loan is then repaid as a surcharge on the property tax. The PACE loan takes primary position to the mortgage. If a homeowner takes out a PACE loan they may have difficulty refinancing or selling their home if the new mortgage holder, like Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), does not allow for PACE loans. If the cost of repaying the PACE loan and any mortgages on the property exceeds the purchase price of the home, the seller will be forced to make up the difference. This will prevent some homeowners from selling when they need or want to. Current disclosures given to homebuyers do not explain the potential consequences of using PACE loans. AB 2693 will require Truth in Lending type disclosures to borrowers.

SUPPORT C.A.R.-sponsored bill AB 2760 (Mathis) – Support Animal Regulations seeks to distinguish between a medically necessary companion or support animal and other animals kept as pets. C.A.R. wants to clarify current law to allow legitimate support animals to share rental housing and to allow landlords to avoid unnecessary litigation. Service animals, as defined under federal law, are animals individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual, like guide dogs and signal dogs. Companion animals simply provide comfort to an individual. They are not afforded the same protections under the ADA or California State Law as service animals, even though they are kept as the result of a mental health professional’s prescription, causing confusion for housing providers. The vagueness in state law allows individuals without a legitimate need to claim a status for pets that is not deserved. AB 2760 will allow tenants to keep a support animal on the property provided that the tenant has a prescription validating the need for the support animal from a California-licensed mental health professional. They must also comply with all federal, state and local requirements, such as vaccination or sterilization mandates.

OPPOSE SB 1053 (Leno) – Sec. 8 Housing Mandate, which seeks to expand protected classes under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include those who receive government rental subsidies. SB 1053 forces residential rental property owners to participate in the federal and local government’s voluntary Section 8 housing program. Section 8 was always intended to be a voluntary program. By forcing property owners to accept tenants with housing vouchers or other subsidies, SB 1053 forces landlords to participate in Section 8 without regard to the property owner’s specific circumstances. It forces landlords to endure administrative burdens and increased costs due to delays that result from understaffed housing authorities and requires landlords to accept objectionable and burdensome lease terms. Under HUD rules, housing authorities must use a HUD formula to determine an “acceptable” rental rate.

RSVP_logo_2004(SILVAR) CORRECT ONE

Seniors and the homebound residing on the Peninsula and in the South Bay may request free assistance with household tasks through the REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP) during the week of May 2-6. RSVP is offered each year in the month of May by REALTOR® and affiliate members from the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) and neighboring REALTOR® associations to qualified seniors who cannot perform certain household tasks due to physical or financial constraints. The deadline for seniors to apply for this free assistance is April 8.

“RSVP is our way of thanking our seniors for all they have done for our communities,” said Eileen Giorgi, SILVAR’s RSVP Committee chair. “Through the RSVP program, REALTORS® and affiliates can make the difference between a senior remaining independent as a homeowner or renter, or having to give up that independence to some form of caregiving and dependence on strangers,”

During RSVP Week teams of REALTORS® and affiliates (professionals who provide industry-related services) will visit senior households and perform various cleaning and maintenance tasks free of charge. Seniors can request to have light bulbs replaced, furnace filters changed, windows cleaned, mattresses turned, new smoke detector batteries installed, and other light housekeeping tasks.

The annual community service program was started by members of SILVAR in 2001, and adopted as an official association community outreach project the following year. The program has since expanded to neighboring REALTOR® associations. Last year 130 volunteers from SILVAR assisted 97 senior households in the Menlo Park/Atherton, Palo Alto, Los Altos/Mountain View, Cupertino/Sunnyvale and Los Gatos/Saratoga communities.

Seniors residing in the communities of Atherton, Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Woodside, Portola Valley, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Campbell, Saratoga, Monte Sereno and Los Gatos may apply for this free service by contacting the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® at (408) 200-0100 for information and an application. Seniors may also visit www.silvar.org to download an application and submit to SILVAR before the April 8 deadline.

 

 

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