California Proposition 21: Letting cities implement stricter rent control

Election guide

Voting yes on Prop 21 means local governments can cap rent increases on housing that’s more than 15 years old.

This won’t affect landlords who own fewer than three properties. The city of L.A. estimates that 141,000 more apartments would become eligible for rent control if the new rule passes, the L.A. Times reported.

Voting no on Prop 21 means keeping current restrictions that prevent local governments from imposing rent control on housing built after 1995 or earlier, like in L.A., where rent on most apartments constructed after 1978 can’t be restricted. 

Supporters: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Maxine Waters, civil and labor rights activist Dolores Huerta have endorsed the measure, along with the Los Angeles Tenants Union, the California Nurses Association and the cities of Santa Monica and West Hollywood. 

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored the measure, has contributed about $24 million to promote Prop 21. 

Critics: The state’s major landlords have contributed a large chunk of the $44 million raised to defeat the measure. 

Newsom also opposes the proposition, citing the law that he signed in 2019 that already caps annual rent increases across the state at 5% plus inflation, according to the L.A. Times. 

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