Earlier this year, three California Assemblymembers — Richard Bloom, David Chiu & Rob Bonta — took Sacramento by surprise, introducing AB 1506 to repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Recent grassroots organizing by tenant groups laid the groundwork for this important legislation. Since 2015, numerous cities have been organizing for rent control, and in that time tenants in Richmond, San Jose, Union City, and Mountain View have already won new protections.
Costa Hawkins Act
Tenants Together monitors legislation in Sacramento that impacts California renters. We are currently monitoring dozens of bills in an unusually crowded state docket. There are hundreds of bills in the legislature this year as the state attempts to address our housing crisis. We are also supporting bills to protect tenants more broadly from threats at the federal level. Click on the bill name to see the text and follow its status as it moves through the legislature.
Currently, TT supports the following bills:
Under pressure from the California Apartment Association and other real estate interests, Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, has put on hold a bill that seeks to increase renter protections amid California’s widening housing crisis.
Bloom wants to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a state law passed in 1995 that curtails the type of housing covered under local rental control laws and prevents cities from strengthening tenant protections for renters.
Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a Los Angeles tenant advocacy group, said that despite the delay, the bill’s introduction in itself has created the possibility of changes once considered far-fetched. Before AB 1506, the only repeal bill submitted was one in 2000 that never came up for a vote, according to Bloom’s office.
“It’s the beginning of a groundswell,” Gross said.
Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s bill that would allow for the return of extreme rental housing price control eliminated two decades ago has received a mixed reaction statewide.
But his bill has the full support of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board. The board voted unanimously Thursday to endorse Bloom’s proposal (AB 1506).
The board also endorsed another of Bloom's bills, AB 982, that would require landlords to provide a one-year notice to tenants before evicting them under the Ellis Act, which allows property owners to get out of the rental business.
A housing hearing in San Francisco got heated Friday over a plan that would make it much easier for residents to find a rent-controlled place in California.
In the Bay Area, almost nothing gets people riled up like housing prices.
“This is what the legislature should be working on: building more affordable housing stop government waste,” said retired teacher Marlene Tran.
Assembly Democrats on Friday announced a slew of proposed new laws aimed at bringing the Bay Area’s sky-high prices back to earth.
An Assembly bill that would repeal state limits on rent control laws drew protest Friday at a hearing in San Francisco from landlords who said it would put many of them out of business and take housing units off the market.
Assembly Bill 1506 would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act, which prohibits rent control on units built after 1995, exempts single-family homes and condos and allows landlords to raise rents to market value between tenants.
Assemblymembers Bloom, Bonta & Chiu have introduced AB 1506, a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Tenants Together welcomes the growing interest in Sacramento in repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a failed 1995 law that has exacerbated California’s affordable housing crisis. The Act unfairly ties the hands of cities that are attempting to deal with runaway housing costs at the local level. Tenant organizations in California have all identified Costa-Hawkins as a major barrier to strong rent control and universal displacement protections.
Five Bay Area cities will be voting on whether to implement rent control in November, but a California law has long-restricted rent control statewide.
Five cities, five ballot propositions all with the goal of stopping big rent increases and protecting tenants.
The proposition in Burlingame says they’ve suffered from unreasonable rent increases, in San Mateo it says exorbitant rent increases, in Mountain View, excessive rental increases, in Richmond it says housing has reached a crisis level, and in Alameda, it says high rents are an immediate threat to the public.