“Although Porter has not been an active ‘full-time’ employee at UC Irvine since 2019, she continues to reap the benefits of subsidized affordable housing,” the FEC filing stated.
A Jan. 9 letter signed by 50 Congressional Democrats urged President Biden to take “timely executive action…to address the urgent issue of historically high rental costs and housing instability.” The letter went on to state “rent is too high and millions of people across this country are struggling to stay stably housed as a result…Median asking rents have increased by 31% and house prices have increased 48%.”
Among the signatories asking for government intervention in rental prices was Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), but Porter herself is facing a Federal Election Commission Complaint filed by the Committee to Defeat the President.
Porter, a former active full-time faculty member at UC Irvine, continues to reside in housing developed by the university as a means of securing affordable housing for its full-time employees in an area where housing costs are high.
The complaint alleges that “Although Porter has not been an active ‘full-time’ employee at UC Irvine since 2019, she continues to reap the benefits of subsidized affordable housing in a pricey housing market.”
The alleged infraction of the Federal Election Campaign Act has to do with whether the discretionary action of the university in allowing Porter continued residency and “the benefit of significantly reduced mortgage payments constitutes knowing acceptance of a prohibited corporate contribution.”
Those wanting to access the affordable university housing have in recent years been put on a wait list as demand outpaces availability. Porter’s continued residency could mean that a current active full-time employee is unable to access affordable housing.
The letter to the president suggests a number of rent control measures through governmental agencies to help Californians struggling with high rents, while Porter benefits from affordable housing meant to attract premiere faculty to the university.
California’s Tenant Protection Act (2019) already enforces a number of rent control measures.