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, CA—Last night the campaign to repeal Santa Rosa rent control, which was passed by Santa Rosa City Council in 2016, defeated the grassroots ballot initiative “Measure C” to defend rent control. In the same night, the Alameda City Council approved the addition of a just cause for eviction policy, a major win for tenants. Now landlords in Alameda have to cite a fair reason to evict tenants. The win in Alameda highlights the resilience of tenant activists and will inspire other cities in the midst of rent control campaigns.
As the owner of DeDe’s Rentals, one of the largest property management firms in Sonoma County, Keith Becker has been one of the most consistent voices opposing the city’s effort to impose rent control and just-cause for eviction rules.
He has addressed the City Council publicly on numerous occasions over the past 18 months, imploring members not to make what he views as a fundamentally misguided public policy decision.
Marlina Martarano has been a renter in Santa Rosa for 42 years, and in that time she’s lived in her share of dumps.
One place had a mold infestation that made it into her bed and couch. Another had sewage that backed up into her bathroom.
But the 64-year-old retiree from a variety of odd jobs put up with the substandard conditions because she didn’t feel comfortable speaking up. She worried that if she asked the landlord to make repairs, she’d be viewed as a problem tenant and ousted.
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