Measure to repeal Costa-Hawkins qualifies for November Ballot
A statewide ballot measure that would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — and return extreme forms of rent control to California — has qualified for the Nov. 6 ballot.
On June 15, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed that rent control proponents had submitted enough signatures to place the repeal measure before voters. Official certification of the initiative is expected on June 28.
If Costa-Hawkins is repealed, cities will be authorized to apply rent control to single-family homes and new multifamily housing. They’ll also be able to make rent caps permanent, even after changes in tenancy. This type of extreme rent control would bring construction of rental housing to a halt, exacerbating the state’s housing shortage and driving up rents from most tenants.
News of the repeal initiative’s qualification came as no surprise to the California Apartment Association. In April, repeal proponents reported having collected more than half-a-million signatures, far more than the 365,880 required to make the ballot.
Anticipating a fight at the ballot box, CAA this spring launched a campaign committee called Californians for Responsible Housing, which has emphasized the detrimental effects that overturning Costa-Hawkins would have on California’s ongoing housing crisis.
“This measure would stop the construction of new affordable housing across the state and make many of the problems it claims to address worse,” said Steven Maviglio, a spokesman for the campaign committee.
CAA members can learn more about the campaign to stop the repeal of Costa-Hawkins on the campaign’s website, NoHousingFreeze.org.
For over 20 years, the Costa-Hawkins Act has prohibited local governments from regulating the price of rents on rental units built after 1995. Costa-Hawkins also prohibits a local government from regulating rents on single-family homes, individually owned condominiums and townhouses. Moreover, the act requires all rent control ordinances to allow a rental property owner to set the rent at market rate once an existing tenant moves out and a new tenant moves in, a policy known as vacancy decontrol.