Proposition 10 proposes to allow local governments to adopt rent control on any type of housing unit. The measure also would state that local governments’ rent control ordinances cannot abridge a “fair share of return” for landlords. Passage would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995.
The official ballot summary is as follows:
• Repeals state law that currently restricts the scope of rent-control policies that cities and other local jurisdictions may impose;
• Allows policies that would limit the rental rates that residential property owners may charge for new tenants, new construction and single-family homes;
• In accordance with California law, provides that rent-control policies may not violate landlords’ right to a fair financial return on their rental property.
Supporters believe giving the choice to local governments to adopt rent control is the best way to stop what they believe is a “mass displacement” of renters who can no longer afford rent raises and are often left with no choice but homelessness.
Supporters also note Prop 10 does not mandate rent control anywhere in the state but leaves the choice and the manner of rent control to local governments who are closest to the nature of the housing crisis in their jurisdictions.
Opponents contend that rent control will not help the housing shortages but may, in fact, contribute to them, by making builders less likely to begin new construction projects.
Costa-Hawkins did not prohibit rent control; it limited it throughout the state, taking control from local governments on the issue of rent control. Costa-Hawkins stated: “Cities cannot enact rent control on housing first occupied after Feb. 1, 1995, and housing units where the title is separate from connected units such as free-standing houses, condominiums and townhouses; housing exempt from local rent control prior to Feb. 1, 1995 must remain exempt; [and] landlords have a right to increase rent prices to market rates when a tenant moves out.”
Passage of Prop 10 would repeal Costa-Hawkins. Defeat would leave Costa-Hawkins as governing law.
Support and opposition to the measure is mixed across the political spectrum with gubernatorial candidates Democrat Gavin Newsome and Republican John Cox opposing all or part of the measure. Cox stated, “I don’t believe rent control works.” Newsome said he was open to fewer restrictions on rent control but that outright repeal [of current restrictions under Costa-Hawkins] would “have unintended consequences on housing production that could be profoundly problematic.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, said in support of the measure, “I’ve always believed that those who live closest to a given block or a street know what’s best. Local government should have control over their own city.”
Tom Bannon, CEO of the California Apartment Association, said, “It’s a disincentive for the construction of new multifamily housing.”
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office observed, “The fiscal impact [of passage of Proposition 10] is unknown, but potentially significant with net reduction in state and local revenues of tens of millions of dollars per year in the long term. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or considerably more.”
The California Democratic Party, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, California Federation of Teachers, California Nurses Association, California Teachers Association, SEIU California and Our Revolution support the measure.
The California Republican Party, California Chamber of Commerce, NAACP, California Conference and United Latinos Vote oppose the measure.
Top supporter donors include the AIDS Healthcare Foundation at $22 million, the California Teachers Association at $500,000 and the California Nurses Association Initiative PAC.
Opposition donors include the California Association of Realtors PAC at $8 million, Blackstone Property Partners at $5 million and Michael K. Hayde, including Western National Group & Affiliated Entities, at $4.8 million.
Media editorial support is mixed with the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee in support and the San Francisco Chronicle, Orange County Register and San Diego Union-Tribune in opposition.
Voters can read the full text of the measure online.