Is Rent Control Housing Justice or a Burden on Landlords? Voters Will Decide


Is Rent Control Housing Justice or a Burden on Landlords? Voters Will Decide

2018-10-02T11:55:13+00:00October 2nd, 2018|Advocacy, Local Updates|

“As rents continue their steady rise across California, Proposition 10 seeks to overturn current rent control restrictions statewide. Making that change would give municipalities, including Redding and Shasta County, the power to pass wider rent control rules. Housing justice groups across the state have said that expanded rent control is necessary so low- and middle-class people who work in expensive communities aren’t priced out from rental units that are located near their jobs.

Opponents of Proposition 10 say an easier path to rent control would only escalate the state’s housing crisis by limiting landlords’ incentive to build rentals, since they won’t get as much financial return down the line. Broader rent control measures could also lessen landlords’ ability to afford upgrades and improvements to their properties, opponents say.

Proposition 10 stands to make the “housing crisis worse, not better,” said Michael Bustamante, spokesperson for No on Prop 10 Committee. He said that the measure measure “would inhibit the ability of developers to build more and, in the end, what is most necessary is more housing, not less.”

Regions including San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles, which have seen enormous rent increases, have laws limiting how much landlords can increase rents. For more than two decades, California cities have been able to enact limited rent control provisions under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. A landlord lobby advocated for the legislation, which was signed by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1995.

The law allows landlords to increase rents to a level where they’ll receive some profit each year — what state courts deemed to be “a fair rate of return.”

Costa-Hawkins created three measures that moderate rent increases. Right now, single-family homes are not subject to rent control. In addition, rent control measures cannot apply to housing that was completed on or after February 1, 1995. Existing rent control laws also cannot tell landlords what they can charge to a new tenant.

A “yes” vote on Proposition 10 means state law would be prohibited from limiting the kinds of rent control that cities and counties could have.

A “no” vote would permit the existing state law to continue placing restrictions on any rent control laws that cities and counties pass.

About one-fifth of Californians live in communities with rent control measures in place, says the Legislative Analyst’s Office. No jurisdiction in Shasta County currently has rent control.

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