Rent control will worsen California’s housing crisis. Vote ‘no’ on Prop 10

by Catherine Van Weele, Staff Writer

Prop 10 will be on California’s ballot this November.

If passed, it will repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act.

This act prevents the implementation of rent control on single-family housing and apartments built after 1995.   

Prop 10 would give cities and counties the ability to create their own rent control policies to address the needs of their local area.

Currently, there is no single-family housing rent control policy anywhere in the United States and there are no federal laws on rent control.

California has the fastest rising housing costs, outpacing the rate of the nation as a whole

The majority of the renters in California spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing, with 1.5 million  spending more than 50 percent of their incomes. 

California also has the highest poverty rate in the United States and is home to 25 percent of the nation’s homeless population.

Nevertheless, Prop 10 is not the strong and comprehensive piece of legislation Californians need to address the growing housing crisis.

Rent control creates a price ceiling by restricting the amount landowners are able to charge their tenants. 

There are a few proven benefits to rent control.

It has been shown to help long-term residents from being forced out from their homes due to rising costs, and it prevents displacing people from the lower working class and minority groups.

However, rent control is only a short-term solution to a complex and ever-growing issue.

Most economists would agree the price ceiling created by a rent control policy produces a shortage. 

It reduces the quantity and quality of available housing.

Rent control leads to more long-term residencies since these tenants have fewer incentives to move out as they are paying low costs for their rent. 

But this negatively affects the people actively seeking a place to live because it makes it more difficult to find somewhere that is affordable.

Rent control harms landlords of rent-controlled buildings because the earnings they receive are often far below the market price. 

There is also less incentive for landlords to maintain and improve their buildings as they receive little to no returns for investing in further development of their properties.

Prop 10 would localize rent control, which could potentially result in a patchwork of cities and counties with rent control policies across the state, leading to further gentrification. 

Rent control alone will not solve California’s housing crisis, in fact, it will cause the problem to worsen in the long run by further contribution.

California needs legislation that funds affordable housing especially for the working class.

Vote no on Prop 10 this November and instead encourage California legislators to pass laws focusing on efficiently constructing new housing developments to meet the needs of its expanding population.

Catherine Van Weele is a freshman studying political science.

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