Last month Assembly Bill 1482 was proposed which would put limits on the amount a landlord can increase the rent. This proposal comes in the face of the housing affordability crisis in California. Assemblyman David Chiu, who proposed the bill in March explained, “We know that millions of tenants are one rent increase away from not being able to afford food, healthcare or even becoming homeless.”. The bill is gaining momentum as it just passed the Assembly’s Housing and Community Development Committee by an almost unanimous vote. After a failure for rent control on the ballot last November, the support it is gaining from lawmakers has been crucial. The bill has been supported by a plethora of democratic legislators and even Governor Gavin Newsom.
California’s housing crisis has continued to grow in recent years. The perceived desirability of California, with “cool” cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles can hide the fact that while California is only home to 12% of the nation’s population, 22% of the nation’s homeless live in California. Another reason housing affordability in California has spiraled so far out of control is simply that there are so few housing options available for median-income and low-income households. Governor Newsom explained, “The California Dream is in peril if our state doesn’t act to address the housing affordability crisis”.
Assembly Bill 1482 is the latest in a long line of legislation to protect renters and there are plenty of other laws that will be integral in protecting tenants and combatting this epidemic. After decades of inaction and even policies that actively worsened the issue, a new era for housing in California is hopefully on the horizon.
Some statistics regarding the housing crisis in California can be found here.