Yes and No on Prop 10 ads are looking to sway voters – and both warn affordable housing is at stake.
At a rally in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday morning, a coalition of supporters made a case for a “Yes” vote.
“So that we can keep people in their communities. Communities like Leimert Park, communities like Boyle Heights,” said April Verret, executive vice president of SEIU Local 2015.
The measure proposes repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Right now, cities and counties cannot implement rent control on apartment complexes built after 1995. It also can’t be applied to single-family homes.
State law currently allows landlords to charge market rate for units after a tenant in a rent-controlled building moves out. A “Yes” vote would leave those decisions up to each municipality.
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. It allows every local community to determine the best housing policy that works for them. The situation in Los Angeles and Fontana are different and require different solutions,” said Damien Goodmon, Yes on 10 campaign director.
The Yes campaign points to support from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and a study by UC Berkeley, which concluded, in part, that some limits on rent control remove an important policy tool.
But opponents argue the measure would make a housing crisis worse. Dr. Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, said the law could reduce available housing.
“It keeps people in units that they otherwise might leave,” Green said. “You can make $300, $400, $500,000 a year and stay in a rent-controlled unit. If we’re going to help people who have housing needs, we need to help people who have housing needs.”
Green said the measure would not do that.
“If we were to even have requirements like, okay if you’re looking at the elderly, maybe we look a little different at you,” Green said. “But there’s no nuance to this repeal, it basically allows all communities to impose rent control on all units forever if they want to do so.”
In a report, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s office found there could be tens of millions of dollars lost in state and local revenues – mostly in property taxes – depending on actions by local communities. It also stated losses could be less or considerably more.