PA ID# 037-70000; City of Santa Monica and the Rent Control Board
DSR ID# 44927; Earthquake-related rent control activities
PURPOSE: To obtain signature on the letter to the California Governor's Authorized Representative denying the City of Santa Monica's (City) request for costs incurred by the Rent Control Board (RCB) for work to remove damaged properties from the rent restriction rolls and/or to increase rents.
DISCUSSION: The City suffered extensive facility damage as a result of the Northridge Earthquake and the RCB subsequently amended its regulations by establishing an administrative appeal process to encourage the prompt rehabilitation of buildings. As a result, FEMA prepared DSR 44927 for $232,338 for costs associated with the earthquake-related rent control activities. Upon review, the DSR was approved for $0 because the rent control activities were not eligible costs, pursuant to the Stafford Act (Act). On September 15, 1995, the State forwarded the City's request of eligibility (treated as a first appeal). The Northridge Area Recovery Manager determined that the rent control programs were not authorized by the Act and denied the appeal. In the second appeal, the City claimed that the RCB activities were essential to ensure that health and safety were maintained and that FEMA's denial was not based on statute or regulation. The Executive Associate Director denied the second appeal and determined that the RCB's work was designed to provide rent restriction relief to owners to induce them to make repairs so that tenants could be rehoused, not for health and safety. The third appeal submission identifies the role of the RCB in relation to other City agencies and reiterates the previous appeals. There is no basis to reverse previous appeal decisions.
RECOMMENDATION: Sign the letter denying the subgrantee's third appeal.