Big rent hikes are about to be illegal in California

California lawmakers just approved a cap on how much landlords can increase rent, as the state struggles with affordable housing and a homelessness crisis.

It's a win for renters statewide.

Assembly Bill 1482 will limit rent increases to 5% plus inflation.

There may not be a big difference locally but cities in the Bay Area and Southern California could see a significant impact.

Governor Gavin Newsom has made renter protection a priority during his first year in office.

The governor reached an agreement with landlord and tenant groups to introduce statewide rent control.

Lawmakers believe it is a compromise that will protect both sides.

"No one can look at the price of housing and say there's not a problem with housing," says Greg Terzakis with the California Apartment Association.

Terzakis believes this is the first step in a long process to bring down rental costs in the short term while state and local governments figure out ways to build more affordable housing.

But housing experts believe it won't have the same impact here locally as, say, places like San Jose.

"Frankly our market in the Central Valley - you don't typically see five, seven, eight percent rent increases annually. The market just won't bear it."

The Fresno Housing Authority helps thousands of families every year find homes to rent through its Section 8 program.

"In such a tight housing market our goal has always been to provide more opportunities for our residents," says Communications Manager Brandi Johnson.

Johnson hopes AB 1482 will help mitigate the process and eliminate some of the red tape for families seeking housing.

"If you have a Section 8 voucher and if you're searching for housing you can't be denied the opportunity to start the process to lease a new unit," he says.

Those opposed to the bill say it will decrease the value of rental properties and deter developers from building more housing.
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