There’s no doubt that the November 2018 elections will go down in history as the most contentious ever mainly because of Proposition 10, the widely debated ballot measure that if approved, would have meant that Costa Hawkins would no longer be law in California and cities would start implementing rent control on a grand scale.
Thankfully, Prop 10 was defeated but the reality is that as long as there is a supply and demand issue in California, the issue of rent control won’t go away anytime soon until there are more than enough affordable rental properties available for everyone.
About The Vote
Proposition 10 fell behind early and continued to trail by a margin of about 65 percent to 35 percent throughout the night.
Takeaway: Pre-election polls suggested Prop. 10 faced long odds, despite growing concern statewide about a housing crisis that has priced out renters. Opponents said allowing rent control to spread would take housing off the market, making things worse for renters. They outspent proponents 3 to 1 to deliver their message.
Background: Prop. 10 would have repealed the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a 1995 state law limiting the type of rent control that cities can impose. The law bars cities from capping rents on housing built after it took effect. The restriction extends before 1995 in cities such as San Francisco that had rent control at the time. The law also forbids cities from capping prices when a unit becomes vacant and from imposing rent control on single-family homes.
Under Prop. 10, local governments would not have been bound by those restrictions and could have decided which rent controls are appropriate for their cities.
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