Proposition 21 gives cities the ability to expand rent control and would apply to housing that is more than 15 years old. It could also be applied to single-family homes or condos if the owner has more than two properties. It also limits rent increases when a new renter moves in.

Overall, it could lead to a potential reduction in state and local revenues in the high tens of millions of dollars per year over time. Depending on actions by local communities, the revenue losses could be less or more.

A yes vote on means the state law would allow cities and counties to apply more kinds of rent control to more properties than under the current law.

A no vote means the state law would maintain current limits on rent control law cities and counties can apply.

Background

Prop 21 is a referendum on the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a 1995 law that drastically changed each city’s ability to enact rent control. Voters were faced with a similar choice to expand rent control and make changes to Costa-Hawkins with Prop 10 back in 2018, but it didn’t pass.

The Legislative Analyst’s office says Prop 21 will result in tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue to the state every year, which is one reason why Lakireddy opposes it.

Real estate groups spent $76 million fighting Prop 10 in 2018; so far, the “No” side is outraising the “Yes” side yet again. Supporters have spent just over $24 million so far; opponents just over $44 million.

59% of Californians voted against Prop 10 in 2018. Supporters hope with a larger percentage of people voting in a presidential year things will be different this time around.

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