Californians’ housing costs are catastrophically high, forcing many families to choose between paying rent and buying necessities like food and medicine, and pushing others into shelters or onto the street. We know that low income people of color are among the most vulnerable renters in this crisis. Why is it that legislators have implemented so few policies that would help the 17.5 million Californians who rent? One answer may lie in the vast amounts of money the real estate industry has poured into state politics over the last decade.
Since 2008, the largest real estate lobbying groups in California have spent a staggering $110.3 million to elect candidates and decide the fate of legislation in line with the industry’s interests. These groups represent some of the largest real estate investors, developers, and property managers in the world, and consistently rank among the biggest political spenders in the state.
Renters in California need legislators to stand up to the greed of the real estate industry and advance policies that protect the rights of the millions of Californians who rent. We recommend:
State-level legislation allowing local governments to set reasonable rent protections
“Just-cause” eviction legislation
Emergency assistance to support tenants through rent increases or sudden unanticipated expenses