People rally in support of COVID eviction protections outside the County of Alameda Administrations building in Oakland on Sept. 1, 2020. Photo by Anda Chu, Bay Area News Group

Here’s three pieces of California housing news, three ways:

  • California’s housing department is asking about 5,400 tenants and landlords to return money received through the state’s COVID rent relief program, for reasons including overpayment, renters allegedly withholding funds from landlords and fraudulent activity, the Sacramento Bee reports. It’s the latest development suggesting the state has struggled to effectively administer the program: A superior court judge last week ordered the California Housing and Community Development to stop denying people’s applications for pandemic rent relief and suspend any rejections issued in the last 30 days until further notice.
  • Meanwhile, landlords across the state will be able to raise rents by as much as 10% starting Aug. 1 due to skyrocketing inflation rates, the Los Angeles Times reports. Although only apartment complexes built before 2007 and not otherwise subject to local rent control measures are eligible for the 10% uptick, it marks the first time landlords will be able to charge the maximum allowable increase under a 2019 state law capping annual rent hikes.
  • With home prices soaring between 2020 and 2022, approximately 1.2 million Californians now have at least $1 million in equity in their homes, according to a Public Policy Institute of California analysis released Thursday. About half have lived in their current home for more than 20 years, and almost all are white or Asian/Pacific Islander.