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The Agenda, Jan 8-16: A critical rent-control vote, and the power struggle at City Hall

January 8, 2018

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Can a good tenant bill clear the state Assembly — and who does the power structure want in the Mayor’s Office?

The most important and dramatic change in state rent control law in 20 years is up for its first hearing at a state Assembly committee Thursday/11– and the vote will probably be close.

Assemblymember Richard Bloom, who represents Santa Monica, Malibu and parts of Los Angeles, has introduced SB 1506, which would repeal the Costa Hawkins Act. That 1995 law banned cities from extending rent controls to vacant apartments – undermining effective limits on rent hikes and giving landlords and incentive to evict long-term tenants. It also banned rent control on most single-family houses and condos – and on any housing built after 1995…

Berkeley, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood passed so-called “vacancy control” laws in the 1980s, and they were effective tools to fight gentrification and displacement. But after trying and losing in court, the landlords got the Legislature to ban vacancy control in 1995.

San Francisco never had vacancy control – the Board of Supes actually passed a vacancy-control law in the 1980s, but then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein vetoed it…

Advocates say the swing vote may well be Ed Chau, who represents a district east of Los Angeles. Anyone who’s reading this who lives in the 49th District might want to give Chau a call. Anyone who knows anyone who lives there – get in touch, and have them call.

It also helps to call Chiu, to let him know that there is strong support for this bill…(more)

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