Advocates for Costa-Hawkins Repeal Ask for WeHo Residents’s Support

Fri, Jan 05, 2018   By Staff    6 Comments

Coalition for Economic Survival protest against Costa-Hawkins Act.

Advocates for repeal of the state’s Costa-Hawkins Act are encouraging West Hollywood residents to reach out to members of the California Assembly’s Housing and Community Development Committee to express their support for the repeal.

The Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act was enacted in 1995 and limits the abilities of California cities to control local rents. The passage of the act had a major impact on the rent control measure adopted by the City of West Hollywood in June 1985, shortly after the city was incorporated in 1984.

That rent control law rolled back rents in WeHo to the level of May 1984 and allowed annual rent increases going forward limited to 75% of the Consumer Price Index. When an apartment was vacated, a landlord could only increase the rent by 15%. And the landlord could increase the rent on a vacated apartment only twice between Jan. 1, 1996, and Dec. 31, 1998.

Costa-Hawkins, named for its sponsors, Sen. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) and Assemblymember Phil Hawkins (R-Bellflower), put a number of restrictions on a city’s ability to control rents. Perhaps most important was that it allowed landlords to increase the rent charged for an apartment to the market level rather than the 15% limit stated in West Hollywood’s original law. The city still is able to restrict to a percentage of the CPI any rent increase for an existing tenant in apartment buildings built before July 1979. Costa-Hawkins also prohibits rent control on single family homes and any housing with a certificate of occupancy issued after Feb. 1, 1995.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-District 50), whose district includes West Hollywood, introduced a bill (AB 1506) last year that would repeal the Costa Hawkins Act. The West Hollywood City Council adopted a resolution in support of Bloom’s bill.

But last year the bill did not move forward because of strong opposition from real estate interests and was postponed until this year. The first hearing of the new legislative year for the bill will be on Jan. 11 at 9 a.m. at the State Capitol, Room 4202, in Sacramento.

If you would like to contact the Housing and Community Development Committee members to give them your thoughts on Bloom’s bill you can email them at the addresses below:

Assemblymember (Chair) David Chiu: assemblymember.chiu@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember (Vice Chair) Marc Steinorth: assemblymember.steinorth@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Ed Chau: assemblymember.chau@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Steven Choi: assemblymember.choi@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Todd Gloria: assemblymember.gloria@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Monique Limon: assemblymember.limon@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Jim Wood: assemblymember.wood@assembly.ca.gov

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  1. JoeTue, Jan 09, 2018 at 2:47 am

    Repeal of Costa Hawkins will be disastrous to the State of California housing.

  2. ObserverMon, Jan 08, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Thank you Josh Kurpies for taking the time to make this an easy path for the residents to effectively participate presumably increasing the quality of life for a basic human need.

    Thank you Assemblymember Bloom for taking the lead on this issue.

    Please folks take the few minutes to support AB1506, you will fell better for having done so.

  3. Josh KurpiesSun, Jan 07, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you WeHoVille for sharing the information about this important hearing.
    Due to the short time period between now and Thursday morning’s hearing, instead of emailing the Member’s public email, I highly recommend using the contact form on their website or faxing a letter to their office.**

    Committee Member website, fax number & direct link to contact form:

    Assemblymember (Chair) David Chiu: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/chiu
    Fax: 916-319-2117

    Assemblymember (Vice Chair) Marc Steinorth: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/steinorth
    Fax: 916-319-2140

    Assemblymember Ed Chau: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/chau
    Fax: 916-319-2149

    Assemblymember Steven Choi: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/choi
    Fax: 916-319-2168

    Assemblymember Todd Gloria: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/gloria
    Fax: 916-319-2178

    Assemblymember Monique Limon: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/limon
    Fax: 916-319-2137

    Assemblymember Jim Wood: http://www.assembly.ca.gov/wood
    Fax: 916-319-2102

    AB 1506 needs 4 “Aye” votes to pass out of committee. AB 1506 caught the attention of property owner & apartment associations who see it as a threat to their investments. Increasing supply to meet housing demand is the answer to stabilizing the cost of housing and while the legislature continues to advance act objective, the AB 1506 debate ensures the challenges facing existing tenants are not forgotten. If AB 1506 dies in the committee on Thursday, what incentive do property owners have to work with tenants to address these issues ? If it passes, the conversation survives another day.

    **Its more efficient to utilize the Member’s “Contact me” button on their websites than sending to their public email account. Each office operates differently but generally messages in the public email inbox are the slowest to be processed – mostly due to the amount of labor involved in accurately categorizing the volume of emails. Using website contact form decreases time to process your comment and increases likelihood it being recorded correctly.

  4. wienrdogSat, Jan 06, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Unless amended, all that AB 1506 does is repeal Costa Hawkins. Vacancy decontrol between tenancies will no longer be required. It is up to local jurisdictions to determine exactly what that means for them. It will probably differ from place to place, just like before Costa Hawkins, when Santa Monica allowed no increase between tenancies, West Hollywood allowed 10%, but only for some, and Los Angeles where vacancy decontrol was always allowed.

  5. Joshua88Fri, Jan 05, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I wish I could tell you that I agree with the repeal, but I am finding it IMPOSSIBLE to figure out what the rollback entails and how it would benefit us renters.

    Greatly appreciate more detail.

  6. Kimberly CopelandFri, Jan 05, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Tenants in rent stabilized housing have several targets on their backs these days, and greater tenant protections are desperately needed. Those should include a repeal of Costa Hawkins, mandatory 12 month noticing for all tenants evicted under the provisions of the Ellis Act-and especially, stronger penalties for tenant harassment. While I would also love to see the Ellis Act repealed or at least amended, that might be wishing for too much.

    I appreciate that Assemblymember Bloom is addressing the serious issues faced by tenants in rent regulated cities.

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