Voters to decide fate of rent control in California

California Connection

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — If passed in November, Proposition 21 will allow local governments to impose rent control on housing that was built more than 15 years ago, which advocates say will preserve affordable housing.

But political consultant Steven Maviglio opposes the measure, saying that the 15-year-exemption on new homes is not enough time for developers to turn a profit.

“This is the same bad idea that was rejected by California voters just two years ago by almost 20% points,” Maviglio said. “Anybody who builds affordable housing or housing in general can tell you you need a longer time for projects to pencil out.”

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As a result, Proposition 21 will scare away development projects, which California “desperately” needs to fills its housing shortage, according to Maviglio.

“This makes it almost impossible for anyone to invest in new projects, makes less housing available because people will pull their housing off the market if it’s subject under rent control. [Proposition 21 is] really is going to hurt a lot of people, especially people of lower income, find the housing they need,” he said. “It’s kind of silly to bring back a rent control idea when rents are dropping by as much as 21% in San Francisco, and are down statewide.”

However, supporters of Proposition 21 say rent control can prevent families from becoming homeless.

“This is really focused on corporate landlords and equity firms that come in and buy up a large portion of neighborhoods,” Yes on 21 policy director Susie Shannon said. “They raise rents on everyone, and then people are left scrambling. They either need to leave the neighborhood, [while] some could be left homeless.”

The proposition will not affect property owners who own no more than two homes.

Even if passed, however, rent control could only be implemented by local governments, such as the city councilman or county supervisors of your district, Shannon said.

Monday, Oct. 19 is the last day to register to vote in California. For more information and to register online, click or tap here.

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