The Costa Hawkins Act (Costa-Hawkins) allows cities to implement local rent control laws, but within specific parameters: housing constructed after 1995, single-family homes, condominiums, and townhouses are exempt from local rent control regulations. Additionally, Costa-Hawkins allows rental property owners to establish their own rates at the time of a change in tenancy.

 

A proposed ballot initiative entitled the “Affordable Housing Act for the California November 2018 Ballot” was submitted to the California Attorney General’s Office in October of 2017. This initiative would repeal Costa-Hawkins. According to this article, supporters of the bill have obtained over 565,000 signatures, which exceeds the 365,880 required to make it to the ballot.

 

Why is this important?

 

A proposed ballot initiative may implement rent control laws and reduce property rights for real estate owners in the City of Santa Cruz. The Costa Hawkins act protects the groups mentioned above from the rent control portion of this ballot initiative, however if repealed, single family home-, condo-, and new home-owners will not receive an exemption. Additionally, if rent control laws are proposed in other areas of the county in the future, these groups will be affected. There are other predictable negative consequences of repealing Costa Hawkins that you can read about here.

 

As a current or potential rental property owner, these changes would affect you directly. Additionally, they would likely have a negative impact on the Santa Cruz housing market in the long run.

 

If you would like to take action against the statewide and local ballot initiatives, consider supporting these organizations, or others that are working to defeat the measures:

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