Foothill News Update April 2024

Last Updated: April 11, 2024By

Election season is ramping up for this November, and with it you will begin to see a spate of advertising touting the need for stronger rent control in California. These are ads for the “Justice for Renters” act that qualified for the ballot last year. The Act would repeal Costa-Hawkins, therefore removing the state restrictions on rent control where it exists.

The Costa-Hawkins Housing Rental Act (or “Costa-Hawkins” for short) is a California state law which limits local rent control laws in two major ways: first, it prevents cities from creating rent control for newly-constructed housing and for single-family homes; second, it prevents “vacancy control” which keeps rents at the same rate once a unit is no longer occupied, preventing the unit (and future tenants) from having to a pay higher, market-rate rent.

The measure would also prohibit the state from limiting the right of local governments to maintain, enact, or expand residential rent control. All property owners, including mom-and-pop landlords and homeowners renting their homes or rooms, would be subject to price controls set by local governments.

The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation has furnished more than $10 million in support of the ballot measure. It supplied about $22.5 million and $40.6 million for campaigns for similar ballot measures Proposition 10 in 2018 and Proposition 21 in 2020, respectively.

It’s worth noting that the AHF opposed AB 1482, formally the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019, based on the belief that rent control should apply universally across the state’s housing stock, without the modest exemptions included in that law, such as for unit turnover, some housing types, and building age, and that rent caps should be determined at the local level, no matter how extreme.

For instance, San Francisco has set an annual cap on rent increases at 60% of the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which in the past decade has seen lows of half a percent.

Furthermore, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation contend that landlords should not be permitted to raise rents to market rates when a unit is vacated.

This is AHF’s third attempt to repeal Costa-Hawkins via a ballot measure. Both previous attempts were rejected by voters by more than 20 points.

Shared by the Foothill Apartment Owners Association


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