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Santa Ana Renters Are Trying To Get Rent Control On The Ballot

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An apartment for rent in Central Los Angeles. (Matt Tinoco/LAist)
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A new law capping rent increases in California has not stopped efforts to pass stricter forms of rent control in Southern California. Organizers in Santa Ana are now collecting signatures to get rent control on the November ballot.

The new state law, AB 1482, went into effect at the beginning of this year. It limits rent hikes in most buildings to around 8% per year.

Kayleigh Levitt with Tenants United Santa Ana said that’s not enough to prevent working class renters from being pushed out of the city.

“That kind of change that we're seeing is happening everywhere,” she said. “Even a smaller rent increase can do a lot of damage to a community.”

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Levitt is one of the organizers now trying to collect enough signatures to put rent control up for a vote in Santa Ana during the 2020 Presidential election. Their proposal would limit rent increases to 3% each year, or 80% of current inflation, whichever is less.

Organizers tried to get rent control on the ballot in Santa Ana back in 2018, but they failed to collect the required number of signatures (10% of the city’s registered voters). This time, they’ll need to collect even more to qualify, because voter registration has gone up in the city. They’re aiming for nearly 12,000 signatures by their July 20 deadline to qualify for the November ballot.

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