“Politically, housing has been a hot-button issue in California for years now, with candidates vying for various seats promising to somehow ameliorate the situation. Proposition 10 is at the center of the heated debate around affordable housing in the state of California. The two front runners in this year’s race for governor, Gavin Newsom and John Cox, have publicly commented on the housing crisis, and neither of them supports a full repeal of the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which is what Proposition 10 would do if passed. Though Newsom said he is open to fewer restrictions on rent control, “[Prop 10] could have unintended consequences on housing production that could be problematic.”

Cox was more straightforward in his assessment simply stating, “I don’t believe rent control works.” Opponents of Prop 10 say that it will do more harm than good and are encouraging voters to say no to the measure in November. Proposition 10, a strict repeal of the Costa- Hawkins Rental Housing Act would give local governments the power to impose rent control on single family home owners. This would hurt, not help the most vulnerable, say members of the No on 10 Coalition, like the NAACP and the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce. African American communities, where property ownership is a pathway to wealth building would be disproportionately and negatively impacted say opponents.

“We really took a close look at what [Prop 10] is meant to do,’ said Alice Huffman, president of the California Hawaii NAACP. If you look at the language, they say its rent control but local governments already have the power to impose rent control. The only thing local governments cannot do – the reason they want to repeal Costa Hawkins, is so that they can impose rent control on single family homes. So, people are thinking they are voting for rent control but they are not. They are actually voting to give governments in 400 cities and 56 counties (in California) carte blanche authority over single family homes.”

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