Ahead of referendum, rent control measure isn’t polling well with voters

The real estate industry is against Prop 10, which if passed, could lead to expanded rent control across the state

Proposition 10 isn't polling well in California. (Credit: iStock)
Proposition 10 isn't polling well in California. (Credit: iStock)

Ahead of the Nov. 6 referendum, an initiative that would let municipalities expand rent control laws does not appear to have the support of enough voters to pass. That’s according to a recent poll, that found 41 percent of likely voters would support the measure, Proposition 10, the Los Angeles Times reported. It needs 50 percent of voters to pass.

Developers and property owners are opposing the measure, saying it would squeeze profits, leading to diminished apartment construction at a time when Los Angeles in particular has a shortage of affordable homes.

Steve White, C.A.R. president

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The passage of Prop 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995. The law froze rent control measures around the state and barred local governments from creating any new regulations.

Around 21 percent of voters polled are undecided, according to the Times. Support is highest among Democrats, 53 percent of whom support Prop 10, with 21 percent undecided. Around 58 percent of Republicans oppose the measure. There is a noticeable difference among age groups — roughly half of voters ages 18 to 44 support Prop 10, while only 29 percent of voters over the age of 65 support the measure.

Opponents, led by real estate industry donors, have spent $62.4 million to convince voters to check “no” on their ballots. Most in real estate say that expanding rent control would devastate residential development by tightening margins. There’s evidence that just the possibility of Prop 10’s passage has caused some developers and investors to hold off on projects until after the results of the vote.

Supporters argue  that new rent control laws are needed to preserve affordable housing in an increasingly unaffordable state. Supporters of the measure have spent $24 million. More than 95 percent of that money came from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. [Los Angeles Times]Dennis Lynch

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