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Vote yes or no on allowing local governments to adopt rent control. This initiative would repeat the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, the 1995 state law that sharply limited municipal rent control ordinances. The 1995 law kept cities from establishing rent control over single-family homes, condominiums and new residential buildings, and it allowed landlords to charge market price when a rent-controlled unit became vacant.

Democrats who support rent control because of the state’s critical shortage of affordable housing tried unsuccessfully to win repeal in the Legislature of the 1995 restrictions, which have some support across party lines. Gavin Newsom, the Democratic candidate for governor, does not oppose rent control in principle but has not endorsed Prop 10 out of concern that it would affect much needed housing production. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has endorsed Prop 10, arguing that local government should have control of any rent regulation.

The biggest backer of the initiative, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, joined with other advocacy groups that argue that housing is a basic human right and a public health issue. Opponents of Prop 10 don’t dispute that high rents and gentrification are issues but say the only solution is building more multifamily housing, and that rent control is a disincentive to those who can build and maintain housing.”

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