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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

VICA Opposes Rent Control Initiative

Valley Industry & Commerce Association has voiced its opposition to the repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which would remove rent control exemptions for new developments. The Van Nuys business advocacy group’s announcement was in response to Monday’s news that anti-Costa Hawkins Act supporters of a repeal have submitted the required signatures to the California Secretary of State’s office to put an initiative on November’s election ballot. “Expanding rent control will not produce more affordable housing,” VICA President Stuart Waldman said in a statement. “It will result in higher housing costs, less housing being built, and more people without a place to live. “We need to find ways to make housing more affordable,” Waldman continued. “Tenants in rent control apartments know that if they leave, the chances of them finding another reasonably priced apartment is close to none. This is why we are seeing such a low vacancy rate throughout Los Angeles, especially in the San Fernando Valley. Expanding rent control will have the opposite effect that proponents of this measure are promising. Instead, this measure will make construction of housing more difficult and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars per year.” On Monday, a group of anti-Costa Hawkins Act activists submitted an initiative to the California Secretary of State’s office in hopes of landing its concerns on November’s election ballot. To appear on the ballot, the rent control initiative must have 365,880 signatures. Activists have more than 565,000. The submitted signatures must now be counted and verified before the initiative can land on the ballot. On Monday, the anti-Costa Hawkins movement’s organizers also held protest rallies in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Oakland, according to San Jose Mercury News. Costa-Hawkins, a decades-old California law that makes it illegal for cities to adopt rent control ordinances, declares single family homes and condominiums exempt from rent control, as is any apartment built after 1995, the year of Costa-Hawkins’ passage, or any year prior to 1995 in which a community adopted Costa-Hawkins. Costa-Hawkins also calls for vacancy control, which prohibits cities from regulating how much a landlord can raise the rent on a residence after a tenant has moved out. Currently, there are over a dozen California cities which have adopted some form of rent control, including what PropertyShark deemed Southern California’s most expensive Southern California zip codes for 2017— Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Sections of the Valley controlled by the city of Los Angeles —such as Northridge, Encino and Van Nuys – have rent control, as well as Thousand Oaks in Ventura County.

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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