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New Rent Control Measure Advances Toward November Ballot

An apartment for rent in Central Los Angeles. (Matt Tinoco/LAist)
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Rent control could be on the ballot in California in November — again.

The Secretary of State announced Monday evening that proponents had collected enough signatures to take the measure to the voters.

The proposed Rental Affordability Act would let cities pass stronger forms of rent control that are currently banned under state law.

It comes from the same group that put forward Prop 10, a similar measure voters defeated by a wide margin two years ago.

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The new initiative would also let cities curb landlords’ ability to raise rents as much as they want when new tenants move into a vacant unit.

You might be asking yourself: "Didn't state legislators just pass a rent cap law?"

They did — capping annual rent increases at about 8%.

But Rene Moya, campaign director for the new rent control initiative, says the new law doesn’t go far enough.

“The statewide anti-rent gouging law stops the most egregious rent increases for many Californians. But it does not do anything to actually stabilize rents at the levels of affordability that most people need.”

The California Apartment Association calls this a “radical” form of rent control that would bring apartment construction to “a screeching halt.”

You can expect to hear a lot about this between now and Election Day.