California housing crisis podcast: Will the proposed cap on rent increases pass the Legislature?

Construction workers in Irvine
A construction crew works on Central Park West residences in Irvine in January. Gov. Gavin Newsom and top California lawmakers struck a deal late last month to cap rent increases.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Soon millions of tenants in California could see new prohibitions on large rent increases. The plan emerged in a deal announced late last week by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders. It would cap annual rent hikes at 5% plus inflation for the next decade.

Rent caps at these levels, economists and housing researchers have told The Times, would not affect the majority of rent increases but would limit one-time surges that some tenants have faced amid the state’s housing crisis. The measure might also result in more regular rent increases for tenants by landlords worried they would otherwise face restrictions on their ability to do so.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we break down how the rent cap deal came to be and its chances of passage. The influential California Assn. of Realtors is opposed to the bill and a weaker version of the cap barely cleared the Assembly in the spring. Our guest is the bill’s author, Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco).


Gimme Shelter,” a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times Sacramento bureau, and Matt Levin, data and housing reporter for CALmatters.

You can subscribe to “Gimme Shelter” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Google Play and Overcast.