RELEASE: Local Leaders: Prop 10 Will Pave Way For Radical Rent Control That Will Hurt California Communities, September 17, 2018

Richmond’s Mayor Points to “End-Run” Around Local Elected Officials

SACRAMENTO — Local leaders from throughout California are warning Prop 10 could clear the way for radical activists to circumvent local leaders and push for extreme rent control measures.

Proponents of Proposition 10, the ballot measure that repeals the Costa Hawkins Housing Act, argue the measure will simply give city and county officials more freedom to pass rent control measures. But in reality, it will transfer power to local activists seeking to restrict new development, even if it hurts tenants and homeowners, say the local officials.

The California League of Cities voted to take no position on Proposition 10, while a bipartisan group of more than 40 local officials voiced their opposition last week.

“In Richmond, we’ve seen what happens when tenants rights groups make an end run around local leaders and push forward radical rent control,” said Mayor Tom Butt. “Proposition 10 will enable these groups to further limit the voice of elected officials, and put power in the hands of unaccountable boards and bureaucracies, while creating rules that hurt homeowners, renters and taxpayers alike.”

The issue of “local control” is being used as a stalking horse for tenants rights groups eager to enact strict controls on single-family homes and all rental property. These proposals could limit rents homeowners could charge even after a tenant moves out. That, in turn, could drive down property values statewide, hurting millions of California homeowners.

The state’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst has noted the measure could drive down property values, lead to more rental housing being taken off the market, and cost state and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Proposition 10 is bad public policy that will worsen the state’s housing crisis and add to many of the problems proponents say they are trying to solve. That’s why a bipartisan coalition of elected leaders from communities across California are joining the broad coalition of civil justice, labor, business, veterans and affordable housing organizations opposed to Proposition 10. Opposition to the measure includes the California Council for Affordable Housing, NAACP CA, The American Legion Department of California and the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California.