May 23, 2019
Contact: Mike Roth, 916.444.7170
California Voters Overwhelmingly support tenant protections; & Three Ps Housing Strategy for Production, Preservation, & Protections
New poll fins overwhelming support for limiting rent increases, providing free legal aid and support to low-income tenants facing eviction, and preventing unjust evictions.
Sacramento, CA - In a new poll conducted by EMC Research for the Three P’s coalition, voters across the state express widespread and growing concern about housing and overwhelming support for policies that will preserve existing affordable homes, produce more homes at all income levels and protect the people and families who reside in them. Specifically, voters are very supportive of tenant protections measures, including:
Capping the amount landlords can raise residential rent to a predetermined preventative rate above the annual increase in the state's cost of living—68% support
Providing legal aid and rental assistance to low-income tenants facing eviction and ensuring that low- and middle-income tenants can access emergency rent assistance to prevent eviction—66% support
Requiring landlords to provide evidence when evicting a tenant for a just cause, and requiring landlords to provide relocation assistance for certain evictions that are at no fault of the tenant, such as when the owner plans to move into the unit—63% support.
Notably, each measure has strong support from voters across the state. In Los Angeles County, 69% of voters expressed support for capping residential rent increases, 74% favored assistance for renters facing eviction, and just cause eviction requirements were supported by 72%. (See poll memo for additional county breakdowns). The statewide poll of 1,600 likely November 2020 voters was conducted from April 25 to May 6.
Pollster Ruth Bernstein noted voter “concern over housing has intensified over the past year alone,” with “over half of voters statewide strongly agreeing they are concerned about friends, family members, or neighbors being able to find an affordable place to live, compared to 37% in 2018.” The sharp rise in voters reporting a personal connection to the housing crisis is notable but expected as the housing crisis affects everyone: from teachers and public safety staff, to seniors on fixed incomes, working families, children, emancipated foster youth, and people experiencing homelessness. Benstein continued, “Voters are not only showing an overwhelming concern, but they are also very willing to support policies that make it easier to build housing and provide renter protections.“
The urgency for housing solutions comes as the Three P’s coalition, formed by a broad and diverse coalition of organizations from business, labor, housing, environmental justice, local government, and more have united behind a bold housing policy agenda called the “2019 Plan for Housing Production, Preservation, and Protection.” The poll shows the Three P’s agenda, currently moving through the legislature, closely aligns with voter support for producing more housing at all income levels, preserving existing low- and middle-income housing, and protecting renters from unjust evictions and rent gouging.
With fewer than 8 days left for bills to pass their house of origin, it is clear that voters are calling on legislators to approve bold, ambitious housing policies for the sake of themselves, their families, and all Californians, especially low-income and disadvantaged families.
The 2019 California Housing Plan for Production, Preservation, and Protection includes these specific bills to protect tenants:
AB 1481 (Grayson, Bonta) – Eliminates arbitrary evictions, requiring landlords to specify the reason for an eviction.
AB 1482 (Chiu) – Prevents rent-gouging by limiting extreme or unreasonable rent increases.
AB 1734 (Chiu)- Expands the property taxation welfare exemption for rental housing to moderate-income households.
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