Newsom Signs Landmark Rent Control Legislation, Expanding Protection To Tenants

Doug Sovern
October 09, 2019 - 10:30 am
Gavin Newsom Signs Landmark Rent Control Legislation

Doug Sovern/KCBS/Twitter

OAKLAND — Activists for tenants' rights have seen their long-held dream come true: Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1482, a statewide rent control bill that gives California the nation's toughest protection for renters.

The landmark legislation is the result of a deal hammered out with real estate interests that caps rent increases in California at 5% per year, plus inflation.

Newsom, at a signing ceremony at a West Oakland Senior Center on Tuesday, said where California leads, the rest of the nation will follow. 

"You're going to see this happening in states across the country," said Newsom. "Not just one or two states, there is no doubt in my mind this is a movement afoot all across this country, because it may be most acute here in California, but it is not unique, this affordability crisis."

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Newsom described the legislation as a fair balance between the needs of tenants and landlords, as California struggles with housing affordability and income inequality.

"We're living in the wealthiest as well as the poorest state in America," he said, "and while we've made some progress in the last five years in reducing our poverty rate, it's still the highest in the nation for one reason: cost of living."

The bill's author, San Francisco Assembly Member David Chiu, called his measure just one step toward solving the crisis. 

"Until everyone has a roof over their head, until everyone has a place they can go home, we're going to continue this fight for our renters, for our tenants in California," he said. "Just because someone rents doesn't make them any less worthy of having a stable home." 

In addition to the rent control bill, Newsom signed into law legislation that bans landlord from discriminating against veterans and Section 8 renters.