“Proposition 10, also known as the Affordable Housing Act, will repeal the 1995 Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act if passed, according to California’s Voter Guide.
The Costa Hawkins act limits the ability of cities in California to enforce rent control on housing built after 1995, and allows landlords to raise rent as much as they want for new tenants.
This is especially relevant in Orange County, where housing prices are notoriously high.
Kyle Hensley, a fourth-year student at Cal State Fullerton and third-year tenant at the University House apartment complex, said he has seen his rent increase since his initial lease.
“It was around the low 900’s when I first moved in and now it’s around a grand,” Hensley said.
Forty-three percent of Orange County residents are renters, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The average California resident, earning minimum wage, would have to work “92 hours per week in order to afford to rent an average one-bedroom apartment,” according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
According to the Yes on 10 website, Prop 10 will allow communities to establish rent control policies to adequately address the nation’s worst housing affordability and homelessness crisis.
Zachary Coleman, a fourth-year at CSUF, said he has noticed a similar situation as Hensley with the property he rents off campus.
“This is my third year and it’s gone up I think usually $100 a year,” Coleman said.
Coleman said there was no improvements made to the rent price and “it’s actually gotten worse,” even when other apartment prices in the area went down.
Steven Maviglio, spokesperson for Californians for Responsible Housing and member of the No on Prop 10 campaign, said he believes that the proposition will ultimately be worse for renters.
Maviglio said the proposition could lead to a potential loss of many affordable-housing projects and single-family rentals.
“We saw in Berkeley when rent control went into place, more than 3,000 single-family homes were taken off the market for rentals, reverting back to their owners who either lived in them or sold them,” Maviglio said.
Organizations, such as the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, are working to find the middle ground.
The Terner Center wrote a policy brief attempting to find “common ground” on rent control, even proposing an anti-gouging cap that would enact rent control yet still allow landlords to freely set prices for new tenants.
The center has proposed ways to enact rent control while still allowing landlords some flexibility to set prices, according to the brief.
It also proposed to create tax incentives for landlords to develop new property at an affordable price.
This is largely meant to address the concerns of opponents of rent control, who fear that Proposition 10 will lower the number of already-low housing available in California, Maviglio said.
The Terner Center proposal was received with mixed reviews, Maviglio said.
“We were very supportive of (the Terner Center policies), (but) the proponents of this measure were opposed to them. It’s all or nothing for (the proponents),” he said.
Coleman said an in-between option would be ideal.
“Rent is shooting up and the rental owners have too much control, especially in a college area,” Coleman said.
All propositions, including Proposition 10 will be voted on during the Nov. 6 midterm elections.”