Inside the Ballot: Proposition 21

Inside California Politics

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California voters will get to decide whether local governments can establish rent control on some properties.

With voter approval, Proposition 21 would allow cities and counties to impose rent control on housing that is more than 15 years old.

Supporters say this exempts property owners who own no more than two homes.

“The rent increases would be determined by the city council members or county supervisors, depending on your district,” said Susie Shannon, director of policy for the Yes on 21 campaign. “This is really focused on corporate landlords and equity firms that come in and buy up a large portion of neighborhoods. They raise the rents on everyone and then people are left scrambling. They either need to leave the neighborhood, some people could be left homeless.”

Opponents say this measure could make California’s homelessness crisis even worse.

“This does nothing for our homeless population despite what the proponents will tell you. It does nothing to provide any new housing, which is what we desperately need here in California,” Debra Carolton, executive vice president of state government affairs and compliance at the California Apartment Association, said. “And, unfortunately, what it will do because it does put rent control on single-family homes, it might incentivize these smaller owners to get out of the business and we’ll then lose more housing.”

State lawmakers last year passed a measure capping rent increases at around 8%.

Fiscal analysts say this would overall reduce state and local revenues over time, mainly from property taxes, but the amount lost would depend on how or if local governments use the measure.

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