August 16, 2018
Rent Control on the Block
By Paul Miloe, CRPS® 

In November, California voters will decide the fate of rent control via a highly controversial proposal – Proposition 10.  Prop 10 is to be known as “The Affordable Housing Act” and carries a ballot title of: “Expands Local Governments’ Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property.”

Passage of Prop 10 would repeal the current Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act enacted back in 1995.  Costa-Hawkins limited rent control in CA by stating that cities could not enact rent control on homes occupied after 2/1/95, as well as condos and townhouses (where the title is separate from the connected units).  Prior to Costa-Hawkins, cities could force rent control, but were required to provide landlords with reasonable returns on their rental properties.  

With the passage of Prop 10, advocates (including the Coalition for Affordable Housing and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation) are seeking to keep the basic right of shelter attainable for those who may not otherwise be able to afford current rents.  They note that passing Prop 10 can help keep residents from becoming homeless and keep those needing treatment with the ability to live closer to treatment centers.

Those opposing Prop 10 (like the CA Apartment Association & CA Rental Housing Association), feel that passage could actually make the housing crisis in CA worse as expanded rent control may dissuade landlords from investing in rental properties.  While the fiscal impact is unknown, the ballot measure indicates that a decrease in tax revenues to state and local governments is likely, and that local government costs could rise by tens of millions of dollars (which would probably be paid for by those who own rental units).

A lot is at stake this November!  Now is the time to have a voice and get out and vote.