List of newspapers opposing Prop 21 continues to grow

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The list of California newspapers urging voters to reject radical rent control on the Nov. 3 ballot continues to grow.

The Desert Sun, Chico Enterprise-Record, the Los Angeles Sentinel and La Opinión, are among the latest papers to editorialize against Proposition 21.

“It’s almost identical to Proposition 10 on the November 2018 ballot,” the Chico Enterprise-Record notes. “That lost 59 percent to 41 percent, and there really should be a law against running out the same idea over and over. Rent control doesn’t increase affordable housing. It may protect those who already have rental homes, but it’s a disincentive to builders to add housing.”

La Opinión, the nation’s largest Spanish language newspaper and the second largest newspaper in Los Angeles, also notes that Proposition 21 would worsen California’s housing crisis.

“We reject Proposition 21 and call for immediate solutions,” notes the editorial, which can be read in Spanish here.

If Proposition 21 passes, local governments will bring back vacancy controls, capping rents between tenancies; they’ll also apply local rent control ordinances to newer apartments — as soon as they turn 15 years old — and to a greater number of condos and single-family homes.

The Desert Sun, which serves Palm Springs and the surrounding Coachella Valley, says Prop 21 “is like a bad remake of a bad movie that state voters have seen before, yet are forced to sit through anyway.” 

“As was true in 2018, this measure would only make California’s real housing problem — the dearth of affordable housing development — more difficult,” says the editorial. It will only add the uncertainty of local rent control boards to California’s already Byzantine and costly housing development process.”

The Los Angeles Sentinel, a Black-owned weekly newspaper in Los Angeles, also editorialized against Proposition 21.

Like its predecessor Prop 10, Prop 21 aims to dismantle the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — the single most vital California law for rental housing providers. If Proposition 21 passes, local governments will bring back vacancy controls, capping rents between tenancies; they’ll also apply local rent control ordinances to newer apartments — as soon as they turn 15 years old — and to a greater number of condos and single-family homes.

All but one major newspaper in the state have editorialized against Proposition 21. The list includes the San Francisco Chronicle; San Jose Mercury News; San Diego-Union Tribune, Sacramento, Fresno and Modesto Bees; Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, and nearly a dozen more.

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