Proposition 10: Letting Cities Impose Their Own Rent Control Policies

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Current state law, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, bans cities and counties from imposing new rental price restrictions on housing built after 1995 and on single-family homes. If a tenant moves out, landlords can decide how much to charge the new renter without restrictions.

Currently, 15 cities in California – including Los Angeles, Santa Monica and West Hollywood – have some form of rent control that complies with Costa-Hawkins.

Proposition 10 will change state law to let local jurisdictions impose their own rent control policies.

Related: A Guide to the Propositions on the Nov. 6 Ballot in California, From the Gas Tax Repeal to Daylight Saving Time

Voting “yes” means repealing state law and enabling hundreds of local jurisdictions to decide on their own rent control policies.

Voting “no” means letting stand current rent control policies under state law.

Supporters – The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has contributed millions in support of Prop 10. The L.A. Times editorial board endorses the measure, saying each city should be able to decide how to respond to the housing crisis on its own terms. More than 9.5 million Californians spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, the Times reported, and rents have risen dramatically in many areas of the state in recent years.

Labor groups and the state Democratic Party support Prop 10.

Opponents – Apartment property owners are funding the campaign to defeat Prop 10. The editorial board for Southern California News Group argues expanding rent control will discourage new development. The California Chamber of Commerce and the California Republican Party oppose the measure.

Many economists also argue that if landlords can’t charge at market rate, they’ll take properties off the rental market (turning them into Airbnbs or condos instead) and thus contribute to a rental housing shortage.

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