Rent control backers say they expect to qualify for ballot

Supporters of more rent control in California say they have gathered enough signatures to put an initiative on the November ballot and held a Monday rally to generate support for the measure.

If the secretary of state certifies that the campaign collected enough signatures, voters will weigh in on repealing a 1995 law that restricts rent control.

The law, known as the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, bars cities from capping rent on buildings constructed after the law took effect and puts other limits on rent control policies.

Roughly 200 people gathered on the California Capitol steps in support of the measure, which would allow communities to pass new rent control laws.

“I’m here fighting for my rights and my kids’ rights,” said Gloria Cortez of Pomona, a speaker at the rally. “We don’t have nowhere to go and we don’t have no one to protect us.”

Cortez said she and her family became homeless 10 months ago when they were evicted from their rental unit after she complained about mold. She was pregnant at the time and has since given birth to her sixth child. Her family can’t find an affordable place to live, she said. …

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