Sacramento, Calif. — As activists barnstorm California’s Capital this week, advocating for solutions to the state’s housing crisis, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks’ (D – Oakland) proposal collect statewide data on rental trends passed through committee with strong support from tenants rights groups. Assembly Bill 724, will establish California’s first state-wide rental registry to track rent levels and evictions.
“California’s housing crisis is crushing our renters and driving folks out of their communities,” said Wicks. “Lawmakers need rental data in order to create sound legislation that actually helps alleviate the strain on renters and protects working people. We can’t make effective public policy without a fact-based understanding of the problem.”
In his January ‘State of the State,’ Governor Gavin Newsom pressed the Legislature to create bold legislation addressing the state’s housing crisis and creating greater protections for renters but California lacks the comprehensive data to develop best practices. Half of California renters are “rent burdened”
“The state is considering adopting stronger protections for renters in order to preserve their residence but lacks the comprehensive data on rent increases needed to develop the best policies because datasets that already exist are proprietary or incomplete,” said Matt Schwartz, President of the California Housing Partnership Corporation. “AB 724 would address this need directly by providing the data the Legislature needs to make the best policy solutions.”
AB 724 requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to create a rental registry online portal and rental registry form. The bill now heads to Assembly Judiciary Committee for a vote later this spring.
“There are more than 200 housing bills being considered by the legislature this year,” said Berkeley Rent Board member James Chang. “If we are going to actually understand how our policy will impact people across the state – we need this information. I applaud Assemblymember Wicks’ commitment to protecting tenants from eviction and displacement.”
AB 724 is supported by the California Housing Partnership (co-sponsor), TechEquity (co-sponsor) and the Western Center on Law and Poverty.