“Supporters of rent control through measures like Prop 10 uphold it as a solution to California’s current housing crisis but opponents worry that it could worsen the housing crisis.
If passed, Prop. 10 would repeal the restrictions of the Costa-Hawkins Actand allow local governments to enact more comprehensive rent control measures, including tenant-to-tenant rent control. The new measures would apply to cities like L.A. which already have rent control as well as cities such as, Pasadena, Glendale and Long Beach, which currently do not have tenant protections in place.
“We should realize that Prop. 10 may not change anything,” said Gary Painter, a professor at USC Price School of Public Policy. He added that measures such as Prop. 10 are rarely passed in isolation and that changes in rent control would likely also include changes in construction incentives as well.
“We need more housing built across all asset classes,” Painter said. “Building more is part of the solution.”
A recent estimate from the California Housing Partnership Corporationshowed that the city needs more than 500,000 new affordable units to satisfy demand, most of which would be for low-incomes earners.
“The fact that local governments could change their laws makes it riskier to invest in multifamily rental housing,” said Jerry Nickelsburg PhD Adjunct Professor of Economics Anderson School of Management, UCLA.
But Nickelsburg cautions it can be difficult to predict how Prop. 10 would affect affordable housing developments since rent control measures would still have to be enacted by local municipalities.
“We don’t think that the answer to the problem we have is rent control,” said Michael Costa, President/ CEO of Highridge Costa Housing Partners at a No On Prop 10 media conference. “We think that the primary way to help is production.”
Opponents of Prop. 10, most notably the No On Prop. 10 PAC, say rent control measures would slow the production of more units for low- and middle-income Californians, many of whom live in multi-family rental units.”