The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act has been a disaster for California renters. A special-interest law backed by the real estate industry that passed in 1995 statewide, Costa-Hawkins ties the hands of cities when it comes to protecting tenants from landlords who charge runaway rents.
Californians are living in overcrowded, uninhabitable conditions and are paying more than half their income in rent. Meanwhile cities primarily produce luxury market-rate housing (if they produce any at all), lack basic anti-displacement policies, and code enforcement departments don't prioritize the needs of tenants.
We need to change our priorities to protect people first, not profits. Instead of housing policy for the few, we propose these guiding principles to inform state and local legislative solutions:
If you don't think landlords have a right to unlimited rent increases and to evict tenants for any reason, then you believe in rent control to curb rents and just cause to prevent unfair evictions.
Santa Rosa voters face a decision on whether to adopt rent control in Sonoma County's largest city. Here are answers to some of the most frequent questions about Measure C.
Who would be affected by Santa Rosa’s rent control law?
Anyone living in an apartment built before Feb. 1, 1995, would be covered by rent control and just-cause eviction rules. People who rent single-family homes, duplexes or owner-occupied triplexes would not be covered.
How many people is that?
Real estate interests upped the ante in their already high-stakes fight against Santa Rosa’s rent control law, pumping another $334,000 last week into the record-breaking campaign against Measure C.
Opponents of the city’s rent control law ordinance, which is suspended until voters weigh in during the June 6 referendum, have now blown away all political fundraising records for a city race, raising $815,791 to date.
The last remaining legal challenge to a controversial Mountain View rent control law ended last week, and the city continued to push forward with the law’s implementation.
Mountain View City Attorney Jannie Quinn last week confirmed that a group of plaintiffs ended their challenge to Measure V May 10, on the heels of the California Apartment Association’s (CAA) announcement ending its legal challenge.
On a drizzly day in early February, state representative Will Guzzardi stood in front of a group of housing activists and community organizers in Bronzeville to announce his new bill, which is just seven words long: "The Rent Control Preemption Act is repealed." The act, he said, was passed in 1997 by state legislators in fear of "the bogeyman of rent control." Days after the announcement, it became clear that the bogeyman is alive and well, as Guzzardi was inundated with a flood of protest e-mails and calls ominously predicting that his bill would spell the end of development and rehab of
California’s housing crisis is a hot topic for both residents and lawmakers — and for good reason, too.
Earlier this year, the California Department of Housing and Community Development published a report that uncovered a pretty bleak future for the state’s housing. According to the report, about 1.8 million new homes need to be built between 2015 and 2025 to meet the state’s projected population growth.
Santa Rosans begin voting next week to determine whether the city should implement rent control in a special election that is shaping up to be the most divisive and expensive in the city’s history.
A sharply split City Council passed the controversial policy last fall, seeking to address soaring rents and a spike in evictions. In response, local landlords and the statewide organizations that support them funded a petition drive that suspended the law and forced a referendum on the issue.
The California Apartment Association has announced it is dropping its legal challenges to rent control measures in Mountain View and Richmond.
The decision was discreetly posted late Friday to the CAA's website.
In suspending the lawsuits, CAA officials emphasized that they remained wholeheartedly opposed to rent control. But the decision to abandon the legal challenges was described as a strategic move to take the fight elsewhere.