You should vote yes on Proposition 10, also known as the “Local Rent Control Initiative,” because it will help more Californians afford decent housing. Proposition 10 will repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which strictly limits the use of rent control in the state.
The important thing to remember is that Proposition 10 does not impose rent control on the state; rather, it gives discretion to cities and counties to enact rent control, if needed.
“It doesn’t do anything—it just gives jurisdictions a tool if they feel they need it and then they have to come up with an ordinance,” said Barbara Macri-Ortiz, an attorney and housing advocate based in Oxnard. “There’s plenty of time and notice to address as to whether it’s good or not for the community.”
According to a study by the California Budget & Policy Center, more than half of renters in California are considered cost-burdened, and close to 30 percent of renters are considered severely cost-burdened. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines renters as cost-burdened when they spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, while severely cost-burdened renters spend more than half of their income on rent.
Proposition 10 will allow local government to independently control rent to please renters and landlords.
Opponents of Proposition 10 say rent control will make developers go bankrupt and disincentivize them from building more housing, but this is not the case.
“Most studies have found that rent control has no effect on new construction,” said Stephen Barton, the former housing director for the city of Berkeley in an interview with the Santa Monica Lookout. “Proportionately more new apartments are built in cities with rent control.”
Proposition 10 states that landlords will be able to raise rent to make a profit each year and cover repairs and maintenance. Yearly rent increases will be tied to the Consumer Price Index, which will allow landlords to raise rents based on inflation and other factors.
You do not need to look any further than who is funding the “No on Prop 10” campaign to realize who will stand to benefit if the proposition is defeated. According to Ballotpedia, the “No on Prop 10” campaign has spent over $64 million on TV ads and other expenditures, almost tripling the amount spent by the “Yes on Prop 10” campaign.
Three of the biggest donors to the “No on Prop 10” campaign include the California Association of Realtors Issues Mobilization PAC, Blackstone Property Partners and Breit MF Holdings, LLC. The three largest donors for “Yes on Prop 10” include the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, California Teachers Association and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action.
“On the no side, you’ve got predatory corporate landlords and Wall Street speculators who are opposing Prop 10 because they’ve spent the last 20-plus years gaming the system to make more profit at the expense of renters,” said Charly Norton, communication director for the “Yes on Prop 10” campaign.
Proposition 10 will not singlehandedly fix the housing crisis in California, but it certainly will make it more manageable. Rent control will ensure that Californians will be able to afford rent now, as well as in the future when new housing units are built.
For the past several decades, California’s housing market has been taken advantage of by greedy housing developers and special interests. We can’t let them dictate the price of the housing market anymore, and that is why I urge you to vote yes on Proposition 10.