District Six candidate Sonja Trauss has repeatedly switched her position on Proposition 10, a November state ballot measure that would repeal California’s limits on local rent control laws.
At first, Trauss — a pro-development candidate who built the national pro-housing movement dubbed YIMBY — “Yes in My Backyard” — supported the measure. Then she reversed her opinion last week in conversation with The Chronicle’s editorial board, saying she was concerned how the measure could stifle development around the Bay Area.
“It’s clear that there is political will all over the state to use laws that have a nice social justice goal to do something that is harmful, like suppress housing development,” she told the editorial board, which has come out against Prop. 10. “And the Yes on 10 folks don’t have a good answer for that.”
But now she’s changed her mind again. Trauss told The Chronicle Monday that over the weekend she met a voter on Treasure Island who made a “compelling case” that allowing local governments to extend rent control to more people is the “next step in tenants rights.”
Few measures have been watched closer for the November election than Prop. 10, which would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a 1995 law that limits cities’ ability to impose rent control. Under the law, San Francisco cannot extend rent control laws to units built after 1979.
Supporters of Prop. 10 argue that local governments should be able to set rent control laws, while those against it say local governments could impose rent control laws so strict that developers are discouraged from building.
While Trauss said she does not support giving local governments the authority to set rent control laws, she wants to repeal Costa-Hawkins so California has a clean slate to create a new law that extends rent control to more people.