There is no question that rent control laws actually hinder affordable housing more than they help it. In fact, we’ve had several posts to that effect on this site. However, there is a good chance California voters will be voting this fall on whether cities across the state will have more power to enact even stronger rent control laws. The Sacramento Bee is reporting that rent control advocates across the state have recently gathered and turned in over 588k signatures to repeal a 90’s-era law, known as the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which allows landlords to take a rent-controlled unit to market rate after the tenant moves out. As of this posting, the ballot initiative has not been certified…stay tuned.
“This ballot measure will pour gasoline on the fire of California’s affordable housing crisis,” said California Apartment Association CEO Tom Bannon. “It will do exactly the opposite of what it promises. Instead of helping Californians, it will result in an affordable housing freeze and higher costs.”
“People understand that rents are out of control, that’s why I think you’re seeing this initiative move forward,” said Damien Goodmon, director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s “Housing is a Human Right” campaign.