“Now that the California Democrat Party has heartily endorsed the statewide ballot initiative to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act that limits local governments’ ability to impose rent control, property owners should be asking gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom and any Party candidate they are thinking about supporting in November:  will you publicly repudiate the recent action by the Party?

After all, isn’t there a healthy moderate, business-friendly quantity of Democrats in Sacramento that’s poised to reject restrictive policies like rent control?  If there is, they must act.  If there isn’t, there should be, and they should be organized.

Certainly, the stakes in the rent-control fight are high enough and what the Democrat Party’s 330-member Executive Committee did recently in Oakland was atrocious.  Rent control – especially on newly constructed housing units – is among the most insidious of all public policies.  By limiting rental revenue for existing properties, rent control robs housing projects of a source of debt-service and money to keep up with repairs and deferred maintenance.  That’s not good for existing tenants or those just entering the rental market.”

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