One popular definition of insanity is: doing the same thing again and again while expecting a different result. Decades of evidence show that rent controls are a bad idea, yet several Californian cities maintain their rent-control ordinances. A new proposal working its way through the legislature would double down on this insanity by implementing it statewide.
Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, introduced AB1482 to limit annual rent increases to 5 percentage points above the rate of change in the consumer price index or a maximum of 10 percent, whichever is lower. Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled his support for the bill after it cleared the legislature’s Housing and Community Development Committee by stating “The California Dream is in peril if our state doesn’t act to address the housing affordability crisis” and thanking the committee for passing the “renter protection” bill.
If this bill becomes law, California will be the second state, following Oregon, to implement statewide rent control. Oregon recently approved an ordinance to limit rent increases to 7 percentage points above the rate of inflation.