The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is making its third attempt to overturn California’s Costa-Hawkins Act, which has restricted rent control for 28 years.

The AHF and its allies submitted more than 800,000 signatures to county clerk offices across the state for verification on May 25 in hopes of putting its Renters Justice Act on the November 2024 ballot. It follows a similar attempt to overturn the Costa-Hawkins bill that California voters rejected in 2018 and 2020.

The AHF and its allies also staged a demonstration at Los Angeles City Hall, with AHF President Michael Weinstein and labor movement star Dolores Dolores, 93, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers Association. Dolores Huerta added a comment. Also in attendance was Susie Shannon, Policy Director, AHF Housing is a Human Rights Unit.

during an interview TRD, Shannon said, the move to provide tenants with justice is similar to past initiatives. However, she predicts the new initiative will succeed at the ballot box because of a different mindset among California voters compared with 2018 and 2020.

“California is not the same as it was four years ago,” Shannon said. “We’ve had a pandemic. More adult children are living with their parents because it’s harder to own a home. Rents are skyrocketing.”

The Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995 provided guidelines that shaped California’s rental market. It prohibits rent control on single-family homes, condominiums and rental units built after 1995.

Justice for renters has alarmed political conservatives like Susan Shelley of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

“If Costa-Hawkins is repealed, every city council and county board of supervisors could pass an aggressive rent control law at any time that would revolutionize the economics of the rental housing business,” Shelley wrote in an April editorial for Orange County Write to register.

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