Valley News -

By Stephanie Lai

Proposition 10 to allow local government rent control on Nov. 6 ballot


Last updated 9/13/2018 at 6:50pm

A 2016 U.S. Census Bureau study showed that California had the second highest median rent in the U.S. – $1,297 per month.

In efforts to repeal a 1995 measure, Proposition 10, or the Local Government Rent Control initiative, aims to allow cities and local governments to enact rent control ordinances. If passed by the voters, Nov. 6, the initiative will become the Affordable Housing Act.

Before the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, California allowed local governments to regulate rent, provided that landlords received just and reasonable returns on their rental properties. The Costa-Hawkins Act was passed as a state statute to limit government control of rental prices. Proposition 10 aims to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act and allow local governments to regulate the amount landlords charge their tenants without abridging a fair rate of return.

In addition, Proposition 10 is intended to restore authority to California’s cities and counties to develop and implement local policies that ensure renters are able to find and afford decent housing in their jurisdictions. The measure also aims to improve the quality of life for California renters and reduce the number of citizens facing critical housing challenges and homelessness.

Proposition 10 was introduced by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, earlier this year, but the bill was rejected by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee by two Republican votes against the passage and two abstained votes by Democrats.

Median rental prices have increased by over 15 percent for some of California’s largest metropolitan areas from 2010 to 2016. Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco have seen the largest rental increase. The U.S. Census Bureau also said that Los Angeles renters spent 61.2 percent of their income solely on housing. San Diego renters spent 54.3 percent of their income on rent.

Currently, only four U.S. states allow some form of rent control on specific properties, including California, New York, New Jersey and Maryland.

According to Ballotpedia, campaigns surrounding the proposition have raised a combined $45.93 million with opposition raising over $33 million of the total. Support for Proposition 10 have raised over $12.5 million as of Sept. 4 with The Coalition for Affordable Housing, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and Alliance for California Community Empowerment leading the campaign. The opposition campaign is made up of three separate groups: the California Apartment Association, the California Rental Housing Association and No on Proposition 10.

The presidents of the CAA and CRHA, Tom Bannon and Larry Cannizzaro said their groups’ opposition is primarily about private investment in rental housing, stating Proposition 10 would make the state’s housing crisis worse because rent control would discourage investment.

Though, state legislature analysts said that the initiative’s financial impact are not yet known, but there may be potentially significant changes in state and local government tax revenues.

“Net decrease more likely than net increase. Potential increase in local government costs of up to tens of millions of dollars per year in the long term, likely paid by fees on owners of rental housing,” the analysts said in a statement.

California Association of Realtors President Stephen White said, “Proposition 10 could hurt homeowners by authorizing a new government bureaucracy. It could make homes more expensive for future buyers and hurt families trying to purchase their first home.”

Support for Proposition 10 written by Zenei Cortez, Nan Brasmer and Elena Popp said, “Proposition 10 is a limited measure that answers one question: who decides housing policy – local communities or Sacramento special interests and powerful real estate investors? It doesn’t establish new housing policies, it just lets local communities – which are closer to the people – decide what works best for them.”

Polls will open for voters Nov. 6, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Stephanie Lai can be reached at [email protected]


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