Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation capping rent increases in Oakland on Tuesday. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Newsom signs renter protection bill in Oakland

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a tough renter protection bill at a ceremony in Oakland on Tuesday where he was surrounded by legislative leaders and cheered by housing advocates.

Speaking to several hundred people at the West Oakland Senior Center, Newsom said AB 1482, authored by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, creates a statewide rent cap and eviction protections that are critical to combating California’s housing and cost-of-living crisis. The bill establishes a 5 percent annual rent cap, plus inflation, along with just-cause eviction protections that Newsom said are the “most aggressive” renter protections in the nation.

Newsom said, “This is a profoundly important moment” because many people thought such a bill would not be passed by the state Legislature.

“We’re living in the wealthiest and poorest state in the nation for one reason: the high cost of housing. It’s the issue that defines all the other issues in the state,” he added.

Newsom said he thinks the bill will create momentum in other states across the country to enact tough renter protection bills, stating, “This is a movement across the country.”

Chiu said passing the bill was a major achievement because similar renter protection bills had stalled in the Legislature for decades.

“Well folks, we got it done,” Chiu said, drawing cheers from the packed room, including many people from the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the Service Employees International Union.

Newsom also signed several other pieces of legislation into law to combat the housing and cost-of-living crisis at the ceremony, and will continue his rent and housing tour with stops in San Diego and Los Angeles on Wednesday to sign bills intended to spur housing production.

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