Peace and Freedom Party

California's Feminist Socialist Political Party

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Repeal Costa-Hawkins!

By Dave Kadlecek

Posted on November 10, 2015 by the Legislative Committee

In 1995 the California legislature passed the "Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act" that severely limited the provisions of local rent control ordinances in California cities. The bill contained three main provisions:

  1. It required that any local rent control ordinance include "vacancy decontrol", so that rent increases during a tenancy could be regulated, but once a unit became vacant, there could be no limit on what rent a landlord could charge new tenants.
  2. It required that all local rent control ordinances exempt single-family homes and all condominium units from their provisions.
  3. It required that all local rent control ordinances permanently exempt all new construction.
Further, in 2009 in the "Palmer vs Los Angeles", case the courts interpreted Costa-Hawkins as forbidding local "inclusionary zoning" ordinances that required new developments to include a percentage of permanently affordable rental housing.

The current housing affordability crisis in much of California shows that the weakened tools available to local governments under Costa-Hawkins aren't enough to prevent Californians from being thrown out of their communities due to unaffordably high rents. Costa-Hawkins must be repealed now!

Dave Kadlecek is an officer at large of the State Central Committee from Santa Clara County and serves on the Legislative Committee.

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