Public Advocates is co- sponsoring the Stable Homes Act (AB 919) with the California Reinvestment Coalition and Housing California. This legislation, authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), would establish a statewide policy giving renters, local public agencies, and mission-driven nonprofits the first opportunity to purchase rental housing properties when landlords put those properties up for sale or the right to match an offer made by a third party.

Additionally, this bill would keep rental housing—which is at risk of being sold cheaply to developers, corporations or wealthy landlords eager to make a quick profit—off of the market and maintain it as permanently affordable for current and future renters.

Ultimately, the Stable Homes Act would keep workers and families housed and communities together.

AB 919 Resources



The Stable Homes Act prevents our neighbors from being pushed out of their homes and potentially into homelessness by empowering them with choices for their future housing when the owner of a rental property decides to sell.

In an economy where homeownership is a key source of financial stability and means for inter-generational wealth, investors and wealthy buyers are robbing low-income and BIPOC community members of access to a safe and permanently affordable home in our state.

California is losing unsubsidized housing accessible to low-income households far faster than we can build new permanently affordable housing. An analysis of industry data estimates at least 710,000 unsubsidized units in California are currently affordable to lower-income working families; however, this number is rapidly dwindling. From 2012 to 2017, the Bay Area lost 32,000 of its unsubsidized affordable homes annually. San Diego lost an estimated 72 percent of its unsubsidized housing stock affordable to very low-income households between 2000 and 2020.

Several states have similar “right of first offer” policies including Massachusetts, Delaware, and Colorado. Washington DC and San Francisco also have related local policies.

Earlier TOPA Campaigns

The Moms 4 Housing Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)  is a policy proposal authored by Oakland City Council Member Nikki Fortunato Bas.

If passed, TOPA would help low-income and working-class residents in Oakland stay in their homes and neighborhoods. How? By giving them the first chance to purchase a property when a landlord puts it up for sale. Public Advocates is a member of The Oakland Opportunity Coalition that’s behind the measure and we are supporting the coalition in its advocacy and legal strategy.

Most low-income renters are left out of ownership opportunities in Oakland—TOPA gives tenants a fair shot in an overheated housing market. And it works: In Washington DC, TOPA has helped preserve 3,500 units of affordable housing in cost-effective way that benefits both owners and tenants.

TOPA is one way that tenants and landlords can work together to slow displacement and homelessness. Because we know that when our most vulnerable residents have stable housing, everybody wins. ​


Pictured: Public Advocates standing with Moms 4 Housing, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Causa Justa Just Cause, Oakland Community Land Trust, Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas, East Bay Housing Organizations and Urban Habitat at press conference.

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