Opposition to Assembly Bill AB1506
Repeal of 1995 Costa-Hawkins Fair Housing Act
By Michael Millman
The below letter was sent to State Assemblypersons listed below at Capital Office/P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249.
Adrin Nazarian, Matt Dabbabneh, Chris Holden, Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Anthony Reardon (Speaker, State Assembly), Jimmy Gomez, Mike Gipson, Miguel Santiago and Ian Calderon.
Each of you has expressed an intense interest in promoting “good paying” jobs in our district. As you’re aware, approximately 20 years ago, when the Sate Legislature made a “grand compromise” where the President of the Senate, John Burton, crafted the above-referenced statute. It exempted from rent control single family homes, condominiums, new construction and of course, all rental units initiated after January, 1999. When a unit became vacant, an owner could rent the unit at market. This was called vacancy decontrol. This was a system that worked since the inception of rent control.
The evidence suggested that rent control units in Berkeley, L.A., San Francisco, Oakland, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and other cities were not being occupied or used by very low-income families, fire fighters, teachers, nurses or any other form of diversity’ rather, wealthy physicians, technicians, engineers, motion picture producers, directors, actors, lawyers and exceptionally wealthy persons. Street after street was impregnated with Mercedes Benzes and BMWs. Rent control was a failure, like rent control in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which was also a failure.
Mr. Burton discovered that a tenant would rent a unit and then secretly leave and allow another person to sneak into the unit to perpetuate the low rent in perpetuity. He became angry. He knew that many cities were oppressing housing providers. Rental units were being lost.
Costa Hawkins Was Enacted
Now, our good friend Richard Bloom, for whatever reason, wants to have a Bill passed which will reverse the progress made 20 years ago, and destroy the protections for small housing providers under Costa-Hawkins.
Remember, the California Supreme Court found the Costa-Hawkins Bill to be lawful and constitutional. Appellate Courts up and down the state have found Costa-Hawkins to be fair, as it promotes and encourages construction of new units.
Could you get any development and building in the whole state of California without the protection afforded by Costa-Hawkins? Never.
There are some who want to turn back the clock and go to an oppressive vacancy control and the housing department can balloon into a bureaucratic nightmare, hiring hundreds or more employees only with a design to harass and intimidate small housing providers.
These housing providers can’t stay in business. Every one of these cities has mandated seismic earthquake retrofit. No money whatsoever to handle the work? No conventional bank will loan if you employ an arcane, draconian rent control (aka “tenant welfare”).
Immediately OPPOSE AB 1506. It’s a bad law which would be incredibly dangerous and injurious and cause irreparable damage to the communities and to others. Thank you for your consideration. Michael Millman, a small apartment owner.
[AOA: Please send a letter or a copy of this letter to each of the Assemblypersons listed at the start of this letter. To also get the name of your personal representative, go to www.assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers. If you write a letter, please send a copy to Dan Faller at your local AOA office so we can run a copy in this magazine and encourage others to send letters and emails. This bill has currently been set aside until next year however, we need to continue to put the pressure on and educate these politicians who probably have never had to run a business before. Thank you!]