Petition: Repeal Costa Hawkins! We Want Rent Control!

 

Costa-Hawkins is a CA statewide mandate written by the Realtor's Association that prevents rent-control from being applied to all single family homes ever built and all multi family apartments built after February 1, 1995. The intent was to crush local renter rights wins in SF and Berkeley. As a result, local communities across CA are unable to respond to the housing crisis in a way that best serves their population’s specific needs. Repealing Costa-Hawkins will let local communities determine when buildings are subject to rent-control.

Rent control is a safety measure that prevents landlords from dramatically increasing rents simply to evict current tenants. Currently increasing rents in Californian cities are displacing low-middle income families, disproportionately affecting the elderly, the disabled, and communities of color.

 

Dear California State Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee Members,

We're writing to you today in support of AB 1506. We're deeply concerned about the ongoing housing crisis and the negative impacts of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act on residents across California.

Costa-Hawkins prevents local communities from responding to the housing crisis in a way that best serves their population’s specific needs. We support repealing Costa-Hawkins so that local communities can once again determine when their own buildings should be subject to rent-control.

The rapid economic growth California has seen in the past few years has brought with it an influx of people to its cities. We understand that it will be necessary to build more housing to accommodate this sharp population increase. However, we also need to ensure that these families can afford to remain in their new homes for the long term. Rent control is a safety measure that prevents landlords from dramatically increasing rents simply to evict current tenants. Currently increasing rents in Californian cities are displacing low-middle income families, disproportionately affecting the elderly, the disabled, and communities of color.

Costa-Hawkins also allows landlords to raise the rental price of rent-controlled units to market rate once the “last original occupant” vacates the unit. For instance, many residents in San Francisco are living as subtenants under a master tenant, or the “last original occupant”, in order to mitigate costly rental prices. Those subtenants are especially vulnerable to exorbitant rent increases in the case that the master tenant vacates the apartment.

Costa-Hawkins exempts condominiums and single-family homes with fewer than two units from rent control regulations, which provides landlords a loophole whereby they can obtain the permit to convert apartments to condominiums or single-family homes (without actually completing the renovations) and raise rental prices to market rate on a moment’s notice. I am concerned about the ways that Costa Hawkins incentivizes landlords to exploit loopholes and evict tenants.

It is for these reasons that we strongly support the passage of AB 1506 to repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act. We ask that you protect the residents of California by fighting in support of this bill, too.

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