“It’s no big surprise that California’s far-left political apparatus is in favor of repealing Costa-Hawkins (California Proposition 10, November 2018), the California law which restricts local governments from imposing rent control on single-family homes and properties built after 1994, among other things.

What my friends on the far left fail to understand is that we already have a severe housing shortage and what this repeal would likely mean here on the ground. Statewide, we are more than 100,000 units short on housing production per year just to keep up with existing demand for new household formations, and have been running at this deficit for well more than a decade. This fact more than any other is why home prices and rents have escalated beyond what many locals can afford, lack of supply.

Repeal of Costa-Hawkins will do nothing to create more housing. In fact, it will greatly disincentivize creation of any meaningful housing except for the top tier wage earners, something we’re already seeing here locally in Vallejo. With frivolous and anonymous lawsuits employing the well-intentioned yet oft-abused California Environmental Quality Act, lack of skilled construction labor and increasingly, skyrocketing costs of building materials, we already have a dire situation with lack of meaningful housing production.

Add new market constraints where housing developers will only build where their rates of return guarantee some kind of reliable, recurring profit, and production of affordable workforce rental housing doesn’t make the cut. It really doesn’t make the cut now, but artificial market caps and preventing or restricting the ability to increase rents upon unit turnover just makes a bad situation untenable.”

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