LOS ANGELES (May 6, 2020) Housing justice advocates and backers of the Rental Affordability Act (RAA), a November 2020 state ballot initiative that will allow for expansion of rent control throughout California, applauds the Los Angeles City Council for taking the position to urge that the state repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995. This state law limits rent control measures in California and makes it difficult for cities and counties to put adequate protections in place for renters.
Since a statewide stay at home order was put in place to protect Californians from the spread of the coronavirus, over 4 million Californians have filed for unemployment, and the unemployment rate is likely to climb to levels unseen since the Great Depression. In a matter of weeks, millions of Californians will face further housing insecurity and possible homelessness because of inadequate tenant protections.
“We called on state and local officials to take meaningful action to ensure renters in Los Angeles and across California do not face increased housing insecurity due to this unprecedented public health crisis and its massive economic impact. Today, the largest City Council in the state took a significant step in the right direction, said René Christian Moya, Housing Is A Human Right and Rental Affordability Act Campaign Director.
The LA City Council cannot carry this torch alone. The burden now falls upon Gov. Newsom and the California legislature to act decisively and immediately and suspend the Costa Hawkins Act and protect California renters now.
The RAA last week launched a high-profile advocacy campaign, which includes a Change.org petition, to press California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature to suspend the Costa-Hawkins Act.
The rent control ballot measure has gained increasing urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic, as millions of Californians already struggling with the state’s high housing costs have now lost work and income in the nation’s shuttered economy.
The Rental Affordability Act is sponsored by Homeowners & Tenants United, with significant funding by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.