The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted to make amendments to an anti-housing rent control bill and advance it to the Senate floor, ignoring a torrent of phone calls from CAA members and more than 5,800 emails sent in opposition.
SB 466 by Sen. Aisha Wahab, D-Hayward, attacks California’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and would pave the way for local governments to impose strict rent control on more residential rental housing and exacerbate the state’s housing crisis.
The amendments are as follows:
Single-family home exemption remains: SB 466, with the promised amendment, would retain the Costa-Hawkins Act’s exemption of single-family homes and condominiums from local rent control measures, regardless of their age. As initially drafted, SB 466 would have opened up these housing types to local rent caps after the homes turn 15 years old.
Rolling date for eligibility: Multifamily housing would fall under local rent control laws after they turn 28 years old — as opposed to 15 years old as Wahab originally proposed. The rule would allow local governments to incrementally include more properties in rent control measures. At present, local rent control ordinances may not apply to multifamily properties with a certificate of occupancy after Feb. 1, 1995. Under the amendment to SB 466, local rent controls would be allowed to include properties built in 1996. Annually thereafter, a local government could choose to encompass another year of housing. Older ordinances, like San Francisco’s, would also have a rolling date starting from the date the ordinance was enacted. Instead of rolling forward one year annually, however, the new housing eligibility date for these cities would roll forward two years annually until reaching 1995, at which point the eligibility date would roll forward one year annually.
Small apartment buildings: The amendments would exempt accessory dwelling units and buildings with up to four units from the rolling date.
Despite these changes, CAA is expressed disappointment with the bill, which does nothing to solve California’s housing crisis and merely subjects more rental units to San Francisco-style rent control. The bill, however, maintains the state law requirements for vacancy decontrol, allowing owners to reset rents to market rates when an existing tenant moves out and a new tenant moves in.
The CAA has stressed the importance of continued opposition from its members and the public in convincing state legislators of the bill’s potential harm to the rental housing industry. The association promises to keep members informed of further developments and opportunities to advocate against SB 466.
“Your letters, phone calls, and advocacy are critical,” said Debra Carlton, CAA’s executive vice president for state public affairs. “It is your continued opposition that will help make clear to State Legislators how harmful this bill is when it comes to investment in the rental housing industry. Stay tuned for future updates on how you can continue to advocate against this bill.”