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California's First Statewide Rent Control Bill Faces Next Test

Gov. Gavin Newsom Throws Support Behind 'Anti-Gouging' Bill Set for Hearing Next Week


California Gov. Gavin Newsom is pushing for lawmakers to pass tenant protection legislation. (California Governor's Office)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling on lawmakers to pass the Golden State's first statewide rent control bill, warning that "the California dream is in real peril if we don’t address the housing crisis."

Newsom this month has stepped up his advocacy for Assembly Bill 1482, legislation sponsored by Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco that would cap annual rent increases and ban landlords from evicting tenants without showing "just cause."

AB 1482 is scheduled for its next hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday, August 19. If approved by the committee, the bill would proceed to the full Senate. Newson has already vowed to sign AB 1482 and other housing measures, including Senate Bill 330, which would suspend certain local development rules to speed up permits for new housing construction.

If California passes AB 1482, it would become the third state in the country to pass statewide rent control. Oregon became the first state in the country to pass rent control last February, followed by New York in June.

The governor said during a panel discussion in San Francisco this week that he's "working with the Legislature to get a rent-gouging ordinance to my desk” and that it's among his top priorities for the next few weeks before the legislative session ends.

The bill cleared the Assembly in May and was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month despite strong oppostion from the California Apartment Association and other real estate groups.

California lawmakers are grappling with the nation's largest crisis of homelessness, skyrocketing housing prices and a critical shortage of housing for its 40 million residents, more than any other state.

Chiu's bill, which would expire in 2023 and would not apply to landlords leasing fewer than 10 single-family homes or to properties built in the last decade, proposed to limit rent increases at 7% each year. It would also protect renters from what Chiu describes as "predatory evictions" while still allowing landlords to turn a profit.

Article by CoStar

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