Proposition 10: The Death and Life of Rent Control

Friday, September 21, 2018

Since 1995, the Costa-Hawkins Act has limited cities' ability to impose rent control. Loved by landlords and hated by tenants' rights advocates, Costa-Hawkins has been blamed for many ills associated with California's current housing crisis, including rising rents, evictions, displacement, and even homelessness. As rents have risen to their current all-time highs while incomes lagged, California has earned the dubious distinction of having the least affordable major cities in the country. Now organizations and activists have joined forces to challenge Costa Hawkins with a state ballot measure this November. Proposition 10 would repeal Costa-Hawkins and give cities and counties vastly more freedom to institute various regulations that, collectively, fall under the category of rent control. And LA County is already considering a temporary rent control measure.

While Los Angeles and several other local cities have pre-Costa Hawkins rent control regulations, the passage of Proposition 10 could open the floodgates in the Los Angeles area and around the state. This month at WUF, we will discuss the varieties of rent control and their potential impacts on stakeholders including tenants, landlords, developers, and the greater Los Angeles community. What regulations might cities adopt? Will they protect tenants as promised and alleviate the housing crisis? Or will they chill new development and dampen the economy, as many developers and economists content contend? In other words, will new regulations avoid the pitfalls of the past, or Is rent control always a short-term fix with long-term consequences?  Panelists to be announced. 

Tim Piasky, CEO, Building Industry Association of Southern California
Molly RysmanHousing and Homelessness Deputy, Sup. Sheila Kuehl 
Cynthia Strathmann, Executive Director, SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy)
Daniel TenenbaumFounding Principal, Pacific Crest Realty; Commissioner, Housing Authority of L.A.; Chair-Elect, California Apartment Assoc.

Leonora Yetter, Steering Committee Member, Abundant Housing Los Angeles