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Oregon is charting a new path on rent control. Will California and other states follow?

In an attempt to slow displacement and upheaval in communities where rents are rising faster than incomes, Oregon has just adopted the nation’s first statewide rent control law, capping the annual increase landlords may impose on tenants. Sounds dramatic? Well, it could happen in California too, where Gov. Gavin Newsom and California lawmakers are discussing similar efforts to stabilize rents amid a long-term, crisis-level housing shortage.

Oregon’s law, which was signed by Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday, is aimed at curbing really exorbitant rent hikes, which makes it more of an anti-gouging measure than most rent control laws in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. The state will limit annual rent increases to 7% plus inflation in buildings more than 15 years old. The law would have capped rent increases at 10% last year. L.A.’s rent control law, by comparison, capped increases in rent-controlled buildings at 3% last year.

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