Statewide rent control inches closer to a reality with Gov. Newsom endorsement

Newsom could be a boost to the proposed regulations that have otherwise floundered

Gavin Newsom
Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom has endorsed the Legislature’s “long overdue” plan for rent control and said he wants even stricter regulations than the ones proposed.

His support could help boost Assemblyman David Chiu’s AB 1482, which would limit annual rent increases statewide to 7 percent plus inflation for three years and prevent landlords from evicting tenants without providing a reason, the Los Angeles Times reported. Similar proposals have otherwise struggled to advance or gain enough support from the Legislature or the general public.

In order to persuade the California Association of Realtors to drop its opposition, Chiu weakened the restrictions from a 5 percent cap that would have lasted a decade. But the group remains opposed to the bill after Chiu added the provision to limit evictions.

But at an event for funding to protect renters from evictions, Newsom said, “I think we can take it another notch up.”

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According to a study from UC Berkeley, about 9.5 million renters in California spend at least 30 percent of their income on housing costs.

Last year, voters defeated Proposition 10, which would have expanded rent control more than AB 1482. The bill’s creator, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, is collecting signatures for a similar version for the 2020 ballot, but Newsom said he hopes to avoid that.

Local municipalities and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors have extended their own rent control measures since Prop. 10 failed. Inglewood and Glendale imposed restrictions on rent increases similar to AB 1482 and added new regulations for evictions. [LAT]Gregory Cornfield