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California lawmakers look to control and reduce rising rent prices across state | 10 News San Diego

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California lawmakers are trying again to tamp down rising housing costs by expanding rent control and stopping rental price gouging, warning a failure to act this year could result in another costly ballot measure in 2020.

“Our Legislature has failed to act to address the plight of struggling tenants,” Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu said. “That has to change in 2019.”

California lacks enough homes to shelter its nearly 40 million people, a situation that drives up the costs of homes and rental units. The federal government considers someone “rent burdened” if they spend more than a third of their income on rent. More than half of California renters meet that threshold.

At the center of the debate is a 1995 law that bans rent control on apartments constructed after that year and on single-family homes and condominiums.

Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom wants to change the law to allow rent control on apartments built more than 10 years ago as well as single family homes, with an exception for small landlords. He said those ideas are a starting point.

His proposal comes after he tried unsuccessfully to repeal the law last year, prompting tenants to take the question to the ballot. Advocates on both sides spent a combined $100 million, with the bulk coming from real estate agents in opposition.

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California lawmakers look to control and reduce rising rent prices across state.

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