A proposed November ballot initiative gaining steam would open the door for broad rent control regulations across the state.
The measure being called the Affordable Housing Act would repeal the decades old Costa-Hawkins Housing Act of 1995, which prevents cities from adopting rent control on single-family homes and all rental properties built after 1995.
Some say it would offer relief to folks like Gene Anderson, a 57-year-old self-employed contractor living in Sacramento’s Greenhaven neighborhood.
Anderson has watched his rent go up nearly $600 in the six years he’s lived at the same townhouse in that neighborhood, but he’s not bringing home that much more to compensate for the increase. He said he often works 12-hour days to pay the bills.
“More time away from my family, worry about paying the bills, and whether you're gonna have the money at the end of the month,” Anderson said, a father of an elementary school student.
A similar bill failed a state committee in early January.
Jonah Paul is an affordable housing and tenant advocate in the Sacramento region. He says measures like this could be approved quickly and would help alleviate the states growing housing crisis.
"I think it should be up for every city to decide what's best for them,” Paul said.
Lawmakers like Assembly member Marc Steinorth of Rancho Cucamonga disapprove of rent control legislation.
“I think it would be devastating for our housing market,” Steinorth said. “I think it would completely exacerbate the problem that the proponents of rent control are trying to address.”
Steinhort said the state needs to build more houses not add regulations.