A California lawmaker wants to provide more tenant protection for state residents as a way to limit the risk of homelessness and protect renters against unjust actions from landlords.
Sen. María Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, announced on Friday a measure that would strengthen the California Tenant Protection Act of 2019. The current law provides tenant protection for renters statewide, which includes limits on rent increases, unjust evictions and relocation fees for no-fault evictions, according to the law’s text.
During a news conference, Durazo said the bill would improve the 2019 law by limiting rent increases to “make them reasonable and humane” and “close the loopholes for landlords to evict people” along with other protections, the Sacramento Bee reported.
More details about the bill, known as the Homelessness Prevention Act, are still being finalized.
Supporters of the bill cite a 2020 study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office that said the median rent price increased by $100, correlated with a 9% increase in the estimated homeless rate.
About 30% of the nation’s homeless population resides in California, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, an independent research group. That means about 170,000 homeless people are in the Golden State.
Los Angeles has a homeless population of 69,144, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
“The rising homelessness crisis has become one of the most urgent and humanitarian issues facing our state and communities; that’s why I’ve introduced the Homelessness Prevention Act of 2023,” Durazo said on Twitter.
The news of the bill also comes as the California COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act and the COVID-19 Rental Housing Recovery Act are set to expire on March 31, according to the state’s housing website.
The law protected renters who were financially impacted due to the pandemic from evictions.