Santa Monica

Councilmember Kevin McKeown


Santa Monica’s strong rent control law safeguards you with controlled rent increases, amenity protection, maintenance remedies, and limits to the reasons for eviction.  Despite protections for tenants, affordable housing in our town is still at risk, as I explain in this City Council video.

(Don’t forget that any TV set graphic on my website links to a video!)

Right: Rally against 2008’s Prop. 98, which would have forever ended rent control statewide.

Thanks for helping defeat Prop. 98!

I’m proud that my strong advocacy for rent control, tenant protections, and affordable housing has earned me the support of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights.

Reduced scale and massing helps assure better neighborhood compatibility, with less overshadowing of existing housing by huge new condos.  New units are likely to be smaller in square footage for more affordable and sustainable living.  Sensible sizing could also reduce the economic incentive to demolish existing affordable housing.

Passing economic woes may slow demolitions and development in the short term, but let's remember that the new LUCE is a 20-year plan.  This is our chance to protect our neighbors, our neighborhoods, and the city we love.

Santa Monica

Rent Control Administration:


City Attorney’s

Tenant Issues Division:


Santa Monicans

for Renters’

Rights hotline:



Allowable Rent Database



Legal Aid Foundation of

Los Angeles

(Santa Monica office)


Eviction Defense Network


Now, in 2014, we turn our attention to our own local zoning powers.  Santa Monica has adopted a new Land Use and Circulation Element, for which we now must write new zoning law. This is our year to get more serious about preserving existing, occupied affordable housing.  We can work together to make sure more of our neighbors don't suffer eviction.  How can we keep Santa Monicans in their homes?

That's one reason I've already made the proposal that we reduce the allowable massing of new market-rate multi-family housing in existing neighborhoods.  I first brought that up at a Council meeting in spring of 2008, and will persevere until it becomes adopted LUCE zoning law.

Air America radio:

I explain another threat to renters, condo conversions

Santa Monica has enjoyed strong rent control since 1979, but guaranteeing our residents the stability provided by rent control is a continuing struggle.

In 2008, with a huge statewide effort, we turned aside the threat to renters posed by a ballot initiative disguised as “eminent domain reform.” Prop. 98 would in reality have ended rent control and gutted environmental law in California. Here’s what I said at the time, which is also a good introduction to my beliefs on the importance of rent control.

Let's make sure the new zoning code and neighborhood preservation provisions include meaningful protection for our stable, long-term Santa Monica renters who depend on threatened apartments.

Unless we enact such stabilizing renter protections, our residential neighborhoods remain at risk.  Developers could continue to profit by demolishing existing apartment buildings in our neighborhoods to build oversize luxury condos, displacing long time Santa Monicans.

Renters in Santa Monica continue to need protection against eviction and harassment.  Knowing that, I proposed adding a reasonable warning before eviction proceedings can be started, adding more stability to local housing, and more civility to tenant-landlord relations.  Along with “just

cause” eviction protection to tenants in apartments not under rent control, and even greater protections to seniors, the terminally ill, and persons with disabilities, that passed in November of 2010 as voter-approved Measure RR.  Here are the new protections now in place for all renters!

I’m honored by, and grateful for, your support in electing me six times!