A new measure to repeal a current law restricting rent control has received enough signatures to be placed on the November 2024 ballot.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has led this initiative with the goal of overturning a law that “prohibits rent control from being placed by cities and counties on single family homes and apartments after 1995,” called the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act. (L.A. Times)
Supporters include the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights and the California Nurses Association.
The main opponent of the measure is California Apartment Association which said that it will hurt landlords who will not receive “fair market returns on their investments.”
According to 2021 U.S. Census Bureau data, around 44% of California housing units are rented. Based on this study, “more than half spend 30% or more of their income on rent, and about 28% spend more than 50%.” (SACBEE)
Those who pay more than 30% of their income on housing are recognized as being “cost-burdened.”
This measure by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation failed to pass both in 2018 and 2020.
Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said that there is more momentum for this measure due to the dire conditions many Californians are facing.
“The main reason why we have a better chance now is that the situation has gotten so extreme. Rates of homelessness are going up,” Weinstein said. “Where are people going to live? The population of California is shrinking, and the California dream is dying.” (L.A. Times)
In April, state lawmakers removed the rent cap provisions that limited rent increases to 5% plus inflation or a maximum of 10%. The provisions that were kept focused on preventing evictions.
Given the current housing crisis, this measure could provide important rent relief, but the voters will decide once more.