How Anti-Rent Gouging Policies Differ From Rent Control
Matt Levin writes about efforts in the state of California to mitigate the effects of the ongoing housing affordability crisis by adopting a anti-rent gouging policy similar to that one just approved in Oregon.
Interestingly, most media outlets, including this one, have characterized the Oregon legislation as a statewide rent control bill. According to Levin, the difference is that the Oregon bill "focuses on the most flagrant rent hikes—typically 10 percent or more."
"Anti-gouging proposals would give landlords a lot more wiggle room than traditional rent control. The Oregon plan would allow landlords to raise rents up to 7 percent annually plus inflation—had it been in effect last year, rent hikes would have been capped at about 10 percent. In Portland, that means the landlord charging the average rate of of [sic] $1,120 for a one-bedroom apartment could still increase the rent $100 a month," adds Levin.
The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley proposed an anti-rent gouging policy last year, and the idea also has the support of CASA – The Committee to House the Bay Area.
The big remaining question, then, is how many units in California could potentially be affected by an anti-rent gouging bill, and that depends on the Costa-Hawkins Act. Interestingly, the number of renters that would be protected by the recently approved rent cap in Oregon is far smaller that might be expected of a statewide bill, as explained in the source article.