California’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has said that Proposition 10 — the ballot measure that would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — could cost local governments up to “tens of millions of dollars per year” in new costs and that the state could lose up to “hundreds of millions of dollars per year” in revenues.
The Legislative Analyst’s Office shared those findings in an analysis of Proposition 10 included in an Official Voter Information Guide published this week by the California Secretary of State’s Office.
Of those costs, the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board writes, “That’s the sobering bill for Proposition 10, billed as a tenant-pleasing antidote to the state’s critical housing ills.”
By repealing Costa-Hawkins, Proposition 10 would bring extreme forms of rent control back to California, cities would be allowed to apply rent control to single-family homes and new multifamily housing. Cities would also be able to make rent caps permanent by enacting vacancy controls, which prevent landlords from returning rents to market rates between tenancies.
In the analysis, the Legislative Analyst’s Office noted that, should Costa-Hawkins be overturned and cities adopt strict rent control, the value of rental housing would likely decline, and rental units would likely be sold and no longer be available for rentals. This, say experts, would make California’s affordable housing crisis even worse.
Additionally, the office predicts that “if many localities enacted strong rent control legislation, other economic effects (such as impacts on housing construction) also could occur.”
“The Legislative Analyst hit the nail on the head in noting that Proposition 10 will cost our state and our communities millions of dollars, reduce the number of available apartments and homes available for rental and could result in a housing freeze – which is the last thing California needs right now,” Steven Maviglio of Californians for Responsible Housing said in a news release. “Proposition 10 is a lose-lose measure for our communities and renters, and will only make California’s affordable housing crisis worse.”