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HomeNewsCity NewsSanta Ana Becomes First OC City to Approve Rent Control

Santa Ana Becomes First OC City to Approve Rent Control

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Update 11/3/21: This article has been updated to correct a statement regarding the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance and the type of housing that qualifies for it.

The City of Santa Ana adopted the Just Cause Eviction and Rent Stabilization Ordinances on Oct. 21, effective Nov. 19.

The Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, which serves to protect tenants from unjust evictions, includes provisions such as written notices stating the justified causes of eviction, a grace period to correct violations of rental agreements and three months of relocation assistance in the event of “no-fault” evictions. The Rent Stabilization Ordinance aims to prevent rent increases beyond 3% each year. 

With the passage of these laws, Santa Ana has become the first city in Orange County to enact rent control. However, the ordinances do not apply to all renting tenants of Santa Ana. Only buildings built on or before Feb. 1, 1995, are protected from rent increases. Similarly, the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance will not apply to housing created in the last 15 years

Landlords can petition City Manager Kristine Ridge for relief from the 3% increase cap if the cap is possibly hindering fair and reasonable returns to their property. The petition will be available after the ordinances go into place on Nov. 19.

The law was approved by City Council members Thai Viet Phan, Jonathan Ryan Hernandez, Jessie Lopez and Mayor Vicente Sarmiento. Opponents include council members David Penaloza, Phil Bacerra and Nelida Mendoza, who have opposed rent control proposals in prior readings. 

According to Penaloza, the added cost of enacting the laws will increase the city’s taxes. 

“Why can’t our residents afford to live here? Well, if we stopped screwing them over every chance we got, they would be able to afford to live here,” Penaloza said in a comment to Voice of OC

The city’s tenants currently dedicate at least 30% of their income to housing. 

“The struggles of Santa Ana renters are too big to continue to ignore,” Lopez told Daily Pilot. “Low wages and high rents are the clamps that squeeze the working class of its earnings.”

Further questions concerning the new rent control policy can be emailed to or answered through a representative-run hotline at (714) 667-2209. 

Erin Boshers is a City News Intern for the fall 2021 quarter. She can be reached at