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Some Chico Renters Displaced Due to Housing Crisis

After the Camp Fire led to a huge demand for housing, many Chico landlords are evicting their tenants to make room for family members, or to sell their homes in the now inflated market.

Posted: Feb 8, 2019 3:44 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2019 4:55 PM

Chico, Calif. - "When I first saw this place, I didn't even come inside and I said, 'I love this place, it's ours. Downtown Chico, but a neighborhood, cause I have a young one," said Annemarie Parrelli Peters.

Two years ago, Annemarie Parrelli Peters thought she found the home where she'd raise her daughter, and put down roots.

Then, a text from her landlord changed everything.

"She said I'm selling the house, putting it on the market on Monday - this was the day before Thanksgiving- and you'll have the escrow period to get out," said Parrelli Peters. "And I said, there's nowhere to go. There's no other places in town, and you know that I wanted to buy this".

After thousands of people lost their homes in the Camp Fire, the housing shortage in Chico is now a crisis.

"I said 'You just can't throw someone out, I'm a single mom, you really to think about this'," said Parrelli Peters.

With desperate evacuees paying thousands above market value for houses, many landlords are cashing in.

Across Chico, shocked renters are asking for help.

Ann Schwab asked her fellow City Council Members to consider adopting an "Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance", requiring landlords have some sort of reason to ask a renter to leave - like not paying rent or not caring for the property.

Attorney Dirk Potter says it’s actually legal, and 7 California communities - including West Hollywood, San Jose and Berkeley - have passed these types of laws.

But the rest of city council said, no way – too many upset homeowners, who say they have a right to do what they want with their own properties.

"It stirred up a lot of controversies to mandate that property owners not be able to sell their own property - it's just not something that was palatable to our community, they spoke out in large numbers and I think that had an impact on the council," said Mayor Randall Stone.

So what can you do if you're counting the days to eviction?

Attorney Potter says if you're on a month-to-month, all you have a right to is at best, a 90-day notice.

But Schwab's not giving up.

"The North Valley Home Owner's Association and some realtors in the community have come forward to me and said they want to find a solution, not an ordinance but coming from themselves because they care so much about this community," said Schwab.

"Yes, it would be really nice to make a lot of money at once, but in this situation... you have to dig deep, know you're going to do the right thing and it will come back in ten-fold," said Parrelli Peters.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 292560

Reported Deaths: 6718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1232563643
Riverside21957515
Orange20225376
San Diego17842406
San Bernardino16586293
Imperial7464125
Fresno728184
Alameda7245142
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Marin323226
Stanislaus300450
Kings282338
Monterey227017
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Merced162311
Sonoma148714
Placer97011
Madera8578
San Luis Obispo8453
Yolo76028
Santa Cruz5033
Napa4534
Sutter3234
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Glenn1530
Lake1001
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Mendocino980
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Del Norte580
Tuolumne580
Mono491
Amador350
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
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Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
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Hi: 97° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 95°
Oroville
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Paradise
Few Clouds
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Hi: 92° Lo: 68°
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Chester
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Red Bluff
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Willows
Few Clouds
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Hi: 101° Lo: 64°
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The heat continues to rise around northern California as we progress through the week, and no real relief from this current heat wave is in sight.
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