A New Act is Slated for November 2024’s Ballot
Santa Monica’s City Council threw its support behind the Justice for Renters Act, slated for inclusion on the November 2024 ballot, which aims to repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act that currently imposes limitations on local rent control ordinances.
Presently, Santa Monica’s rent control law governs rent increases and evictions for around 27,000 apartments constructed before 1979. However, under the Costa-Hawkins Act, landlords of these rent-controlled apartments can elevate rents to market rates once a tenant vacates the unit.
Mayor Gleam Davis emphasized the adverse impact of Costa-Hawkins on the city, stating, “The Costa-Hawkins act significantly hampers our ability to regulate residents’ financial capacity to reside in Santa Monica. The Justice for Renters Act is crucial in addressing core issues contributing to homelessness, notably escalating rents and unattainable housing.”
According to a news release from the City, records from the Rent Control Board indicate a consistent annual increase in initial median rents for new tenants since the enactment of Costa-Hawkins. Using federal affordability standards, last year’s median rental rate for new studio apartments in Santa Monica would have necessitated an income of at least $115,429 for a household to afford it.
For additional details regarding Santa Monica’s rent control program, visit https://www.santamonica.gov/departments/rent-control.