I will be a strong advocate for renters’ rights and affordable housing in the legislature. Too many of our neighbors in this district are being priced out of the neighborhoods they grew up in and love. California passed sweeping affordable housing legislation in the last legislative session, and I will fight to ensure those bills translate into quality housing for low and middle-income residents.
I will fight to repeal the Costa Hawkins Act, which prevents local governments from imposing rent control and stabilization ordinances on apartments built after 1995. I will reform the Ellis Act, which is subject to frequent abuses and allows owners to evict renters under false pretenses.
We need to expand our housing supply in smart and sustainable ways (with urban density, walkability, and public transportation) as a path to better housing affordability. I am a fan of the growing YIMBY movement: Yes In My Backyard! But that has to mean affordable housing and not driving out longtime residents.
All stakeholders need to be at the table in the effort to expand our housing supply sustainably. Neighborhood groups, environmentalists, unions, and builders need to be involved in how we meet these goals. All voices need to be heard. It cannot just be those who pay to play. In 2017 the legislature passed a set of bills to address the affordable housing crisis, but we need to build on those efforts.
Finally, I am interested in developing a tax on unoccupied luxury housing units, which are often related to out-of-state real estate speculation. In one version this is also known as the “Vancouver Tax.”