Overturning limits on rent control will be on the ballot in California this November, now that organizers have garnered enough signatures to certify Proposition 10. California could be the first state to repeal state-wide rent control limits via ballot initiative, as a number of other cities are challenging similar laws in other states.
The law Californians are seeking to repeal, the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, was originally passed in 1995. It prevents cities from enacting rent limits on any structure built after 1995, bans vacancy controls, and excludes single-family homes from rent control ordinances. In January, a bill in the California state assembly to repeal Costa-Hawkins died in committee.
Rent control imposes limits on rent increases during the duration of a tenant’s stay. Ordinances in cities grew in popularity during the 1970s, when inflation was high, according to Jenny Schuetz, a research fellow at The Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program. In the decades that followed, most states banned the practice.