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Backers of Statewide Affording Housing Initiative to Submit Signed Petitions Monday, According to Report


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By Jorge Casuso

April 20, 2018 -- The campaign to repeal California' vacancy decontrol law, which if approved could have a major impact in Santa Monica, has announced it has gathered more than enough signatures to place the measure on the ballot, according to a news report.

The campaign plans to hand in petitions with 565,000 signatures on Monday and will be holding rallies that day in Sacramento, Oakland and Los Angeles, said an article published Friday in The Mercury News.

For the measure to be placed on the ballot, the campaign needs to submit the verified signatures of 365,880 voters by late June.

The signature gathering campaign was launched February 17 after a bill co-sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom failed to pass out of the Assembly's Housing and Community Development Committee on a 3-2 vote ("Santa Monica Lawmaker's Rental Bill Fails to Pass Committee," January 12, 2018).

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The failed bill would have repealed the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act that dealt a major blow to cities with rent control by allowing landlords to raise rents to market rates on most units vacated after 1999.

It also would have allowed cities such as Santa Monica -- where voters approved rent control in 1978 -- to expand their law to single family homes and new construction.

The proposed statewide initiative, which is called the "Affordable Housing Act," would take a similar measure to California voters.

For the proposed law to take effect in rent control jurisdictions, the statewide measure would need to pass, and local voters would need to approve initiatives to expand the rent control laws in their cities.

Earlier this month, the Santa Monica Rent Board for a second time tabled a motion supporting such a ballot measure ("Santa Monica Rent Board Again Tables Measure to Expand Rent Control," April 17, 2018).

The Board was concerned about the future of the proposed state initiative, Board officials said.


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