Governor signs city-sponsored legislation protecting disabled renters

October 12, 2023 2:00 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2023) — Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1620, authorizing local jurisdictions to adopt regulations requiring property owners to allow tenants with permanent mobility-related disabilities to move into an accessible comparable (or smaller) apartment unit and retain their current rental rate and terms.

Sponsored by the City of Santa Monica along with the City of West Hollywood, with language authored by Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur in collaboration with Santa Monica Rent Control Board Chairperson Anastasia Foster and West Hollywood officials, this legislation is the first time the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act has ever been significantly amended. Passed by the California State Legislature in 1995, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act allows owners to reset rents at market rate for most new tenancies in apartments subject to rent control.

“We’re thrilled and thank Governor Newsom for signing this legislation into law and Assemblymember Zbur for his leadership,” Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis said. “We know that those with disabilities are at higher risk of experiencing homelessness and this is another tool, along with Santa Monica’s strong renter protections, to help keep everyone in our community housed.”

“In working with Assemblymember Zbur on the fine-tuning of the language, I was moved by his compassion for both renters and our senior and disabled residents in California,” Rent Control Board Chairperson Anastasia Foster said. “This common-sense amendment demonstrates the ability of tenant advocates and property owners to work together to help some of our most vulnerable.”

To ensure this opportunity is available to the qualifying residents of rent-controlled units in Santa Monica, the Rent Control Board will consider amendments to local regulations in advance of the January 2024 effective date.

For more information, see the bill analysis here.

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