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Ballot measure looks to shift rent control

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Jaycie Thierry
Staff Writer

California opens its polls for the general election on Nov. 6, and Proposition 10 has voters divided.

If passed Proposition 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995, which places the power of rent control into State government and limits a local government’s ability to dictate the cost of housing.

The current law works has three primary functions: it prevents rent control in single family homes, prevents rent control in housing built after Feb. 1, 1995 and it cannot dictate the rent costs for new renters. 

According to the California voters’ guide, voting yes on Proposition 10 would mean that state law would no longer be able to limit local rent control ordinances. 

Voting no on the Proposition would mean the state of California would continue to regulate local rent control policy.

“The reality is that I will probably never be able to afford a house in my lifetime due to the housing market in California,” said senior business administration major Elmeera Nosrati. “I want to at least be able to afford rent and I think having fair and annual limits on landlords can help with that.”

Sofia Minassian, a senior political science major who does not support Proposition 10, said that local governments should not have the power to fluctuate rent on families who are living paycheck to paycheck. 

“California should focus more on creating affordable housing for middle class families rather than giving almost unlimited power to local governments that would only harm these struggling middle class families,” Minassian said.

Communications Director for “Yes on 10” Charly Norton said the proposition is a key step in solving the housing crisis and homelessness.

“When people are unable to afford housing, they’re displaced and not able to live comfortably within the community. Our young people should not be forced to move further to find housing,” Norton said. “The thought of even buying a home or being close to school is out of reach.”

Norton said that if the proposition is approved, it will allow cities and counties to have a thoughtful process of what works in their community. 

Michael Bustamante, spokesperson for the “No on Prop. 10” group believes the proposition will exacerbate the current issues in the California housing market. 

“We’re in this problem because we have a lack of housing. (Prop. 10) really doesn’t provide local control, that’s just a fallacy,” Bustamante said. “They intend to encourage cities to adopt some form of rent control but what’ll happen is that it will become a campaign issue for a mayor or councilman.”

Bustamante said Proposition 10 does nothing to lower a current tenant’s rent.

“Playing political football isn’t what California needs,” Bustamante said. “Prop. 10 would create a quilt-like approach that doesn’t make sense.”

“[Prop. 10] is a shift in power, there won’t be any change,” said professor of sociology, Julie K. AbiGhanem.

“[With all propositions, the question is] who stands to gain and who stands to lose? That’s really the heart of the matter,” said Robert Barrett, professor of law and business. “It’s less of a law issue than it is a political one.”

Jaycie Thierry can be reached at jaycie.thierry@laverne.edu.

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