With the California November election about five months away, several tenant rights groups and apartment associations representing owners and landlords are gearing up for a big fight over the state’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which limits rent control.
On one side, tenant unions want to repeal the law. They are concerned with low- and middle-income earners, elderly and disabled tenants being forced out of their neighborhoods due to lack of housing supply, unaffordability, and high rent.
Property owners on the other side are worried that repealing Costa-Hawkins could financially hurt a majority of apartment owners and drive them out of business.
“The fact that people are being forced out of their neighborhoods and into the street, we will continue to target corporate landlords from now until November,” Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Executive Director Christina Livingston said.
The ACCE is a nonprofit community organization that advocates for policies that help low-income families.
“We are just beginning our campaign to get our stories out there,” Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles Executive Director Dan Yukelson said. “While there are corporate landlords like Blackstone and Essex and others, more than 80% of our members are not Wall Street tycoons, these are mom-and-pop shop operators trying to make a living.”
The debate over the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act comes at a time when a growing housing shortage on both ends of the spectrum continues to plague the state’s housing landscape.