Garcetti To Join Rent Control Advocates to Extend Rent Control

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will reportedly endorse a proposed initiative that would repeal limits on rent control in housing-starved California, an advocacy group claimed today.

A spokesman for AIDS Healthcare Foundation said Garcetti and city council member Mike Bonin will join housing advocates, labor leaders, community activists and other local elected officials to endorse the ``California Local Rent Control Initiative.''

The proposal would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, which prohibits local communities from setting limits on rent increases for residences either built after 1995, or after a city enacted rent control, which the City of Los Angeles did in 1978. It would cover single-family houses and multi-unit buildings.

Ged Kenslea, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's spokesman, said Garcetti and Bonin had endorsed the initiative and would appear at a Monday news conference at Los Angeles City Hall.

More than 565,000 signatures have reportedly been collected to place the issue before voters across the state.

Californians for Responsible Housing is leading the campaign to defeat the initiative. ``It (the initiative) is a disincentive for the construction or new, multi-family housing,'' said Tom Bannon, the CEO of the California Apartment Association.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation has donated $1.7 million to the initiative - - nearly 99.9 percent of the funds backing the fight to repeal the Costa Hawkins Act, according to state records.

On the other side, Californians for Responsible housing has donated $3.56 million and $89,000 in cash contributions and in-kind service to defeat the initiative, according to state records and Ballotpedia.

The Los Angeles news conference will mirror a march and demonstration at the state capital, as well as a demonstration and news conference in Oakland.

Repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act will give local communities a critical tool to tackle the state's housing crisis by allowing them to implement more robust rent control if they feel it is the right method for handling their residents' needs, Kenslea said.

The Costa Hawkins Rental housing Act was passed in 1995 by the state legislature and signed into law by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. Prior to this law, local governments were allowed to enact rent control, provided that landlords would receive just and reasonable returns on their rental properties.

Garcetti's office, and Bonin's office, could not be reached for comment today.

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