California rent control bill could finally put an end to San Diego's lawless rent increases
In April, tenants in a City Heights apartment building were shocked to find out their rent would be jumping from $1,075 to $1,875 – a 75% increase. Similarly, this time last year two art galleries in North Park were equally as shocked to find out their rent was increasing from $2,000 to nearly $9,000. In a city that has the second highest city-wide gentrification percentage in the United States, these stories come as no surprise.
With local policies that give landlords the ability to increase rent as much as they want–as long as written notice is given to renters–these kind of insane rent hikes have become something of a steadfast trend. A new rent control bill, however, is looking to put an end to it.
If passed, Assembly Bill 1482 would ban landlords from increasing rent in California by more than 5% per year plus the rate of inflation. In San Diego, a city where rent control policies are practically nonexistent, many think the bill is a step-forward towards alleviating our affordable housing crisis.
In a statement to the Voice of San Diego, Ginger Hitzke, an affordable housing developer said, "My biggest issue is with folks who are buying up existing apartment complexes…and just immediately jack up the rent. What value did that really just add to society? You didn't really do anything, you just found an opportunity in the market and you exploited it."
As of May 2019, the bill is currently awaiting a vote from the California assembly floor. If passed, it will need to go through the state senate and governor to become law.