Santa Monica City Council votes to support Justice for Renters Act

November 14, 2023 3:14 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2023) — At its Oct. 24 meeting, the Santa Monica City Council voted to support the Justice for Renters Act, a state ballot initiative set for the November 2024 ballot.

The initiative would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which places limits on municipal rent control ordinances.

Santa Monica’s rent control law currently limits rent increases and evictions for tenants of approximately 27,000 apartments in the city built before the law went into effect in 1979. Under Costa-Hawkins, landlords of those rent-controlled apartments are permitted to raise rents to market rate once a tenant moves out.

“The Costa Hawkins act has a very pernicious effect on our ability to control people’s financial ability to continue to live in Santa Monica,” Mayor Gleam Davis said. “The Justice for Renters Act will help local governments address some of the root causes of homelessness — skyrocketing rents and unaffordable housing.”

Rent Control Board records show that initial median rents for new tenants have largely risen each year since Costa-Hawkins went into effect. Using the federal standard for affordability, a household would have required an income of at least $115,429 to afford a studio apartment in Santa Monica at the median rental rate set last year for new tenancies.

For more information on Santa Monica’s rent control program, click here.

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Tati Simonian
Public Information Officer


Housing, Programs


City Council