The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Rent Cap in California:
A Joke

Oct 28, 2019

In September, California politicians approved a bill, a so-called statewide rent cap promoted as “the strongest rent control package in America.” This act is supposed to prohibit an owner of residential property from increasing the rent more than 5%, plus the percentage change in the cost of living, per year.

But, currently, the rents are already very high. The average two-bedroom apartment rents for around $2,500 in California, according to Zillow. Some 9.5 million renters, more than half of California’s tenant population, are burdened by these very high rents, spending at least 30% of their income on housing costs, according to UC Berkeley. This bill does nothing to decrease these already skyrocketing rents.

Considering that the inflation rate is above 2–3% in California, this bill allows the real estate owners to increase the rents by more than 7% per year. This allowed increase is well above what the working class can afford: who gets a wage increase more than 3%?

Also, this rent cap is only applicable to the rental properties older than 15 years. So, owners of the new buildings can increase their rents with any price that strikes their mind at the moment, preventing the working class from moving into the new rental properties at all.

All in all, this bill is just another deceitful scheme, another malignant joke, brought to the working class by the politicians. Our rents are already damn high. If we don’t get organized and resist against these skyrocketing rents, the owners will increase these rents even higher.