Locally and on a statewide level, rent control and just cause for eviction ordinances have not been very successful in winning majority-approval. Understandably, legislators fear that if nothing is done, rental housing will continue to make up a disproportionately high percentage of renters paychecks.

California legislators are working to come up with solutions to our local and statewide housing issues. Some focus on decreasing the barriers to development, while others focus on capping rental rates and controlling how the supply of rental housing is managed. While economic principles suggest that the former will have better results in the long-run, pressure from constituents may lead legislators to focus on the later.

Here are just a few of the many housing bills that have been introduced in Sacramento over the past six months:

  • San Francisco assemblyman David Chiu suggests a price-gouging bill that would cap rent-increases anywhere from 6 to 10 percent above the consumer price index. Chiu argues the cap would be high enough that landlords could still take in profits.

  • The City of Santa Cruz has approved an ordinance amendment that requires landlords to pay tenants up to 2 months rent worth of relocation assistance if the tenant moves out due to “large” rent increases. Large rent increases are defined as increases of more than 5% in one year or cumulatively more than 7% in any two consecutive years.

  • California YIMBY has proposed bill SB 50, named, The More HOMES Act. Amongst other things, this bill incentivizes the construction of housing near job-centers and high quality transit. You can find the proposed bill here.
  • AB 725 addresses the lack of affordable homes by promoting the construction of sustainable and affordable housing in zones that accommodate above-moderate-income units.

  • Read about other housing bills here.

With a large number of bills in Sacramento, one this is clear: our representatives are focused on housing. This means each of us is afforded a small say in what California housing will look like in the future. Whether it’s writing to your legislators, debating different solution with your friends, or posting on social media, we encourage you to learn about,contemplate, and in whatever way you see fit, actively participate in the big decisions that need to be made about real estate and housing in California in the near future.

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